Communities need to understand the location and condition of existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Having an inventory can help identify and prioritize areas for improvement. Inventories should include the presence (one side or both sides) and quality of sidewalks (width, surface conditions, separation from traffic, accessibility, etc.). Important roadway conditions to be inventoried include street classification; posted speed limits; school zones; number and width of lanes; the presence of medians, traffic signals, or marked crosswalks; curb ramps; and bike lanes.
Other useful inventories include transit stops; regulatory, wayfinding, and regulatory signs; and important community destinations (e.g., schools, parks, libraries, medical facilities, etc.).
Facility inventories are most commonly conducted in the field, but they can also be compiled or double-checked using remote sensing (e.g., aerial photographs, satellite images, and video recordings) or other secondary sources. Communities are increasingly using geographic information systems (GIS) software, online data entry, and other newer technologies to complete their inventories.
It is most helpful if all inventory data points are geo-coded so they can be analyzed and displayed on a computerized map or aerial photograph using GIS software.