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Delivering a first-rate transportation system for Seattle Scott Kubly, Director

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SAFETY & SECURITY

There are access challenges for people with physical disabilities.

All public places must be accessible to all people. This includes pedestrians using wheelchairs, pedestrians with vision and/or hearing loss, and older adults with limited mobility. While general design guidelines and problem solutions recommended for improving pedestrian travel apply to those with physical disabilities as well, other details become important for this population.

For pedestrians with disabilities, details matter. A vehicle blocking the sidewalk may be a nuisance to one pedestrian, but it is an obstacle to someone visually impaired or using a wheelchair. A low-hanging branch can cause injury to those with low vision, and a cracked sidewalk can cause a dangerous fall for an older adult.

There are a number of items to consider regarding the mobility needs of all pedestrians. Walkway widths are important (for wheelchair users to pass one another); the slope of a walking surface is crucial for both wheelchair users and those who have a difficult time with balance. Curb ramps with truncated domes must be included at intersections, and signal timing might need to be adjusted for slower walkers. Click here for more information.

The design toolbox contains many tools promoting universal access, although tools from most of the other toolboxes are important as well.

Recommended Tools
Under each toolbox listed below, you have been directed to categories of tools. Selecting an individual category will link you to the tools from that category that can best be used to address access challenges for people with disabilities.

Design, Engineering, and Universal Access Tools
Walkable Zone
Landscape/Furniture Zone
Curb Space Zone
Travelway Zone

Encouragement Tools
Pedestrian Advocacy
Wayfinding
Built Environment and Infrastructure

Education Tools
Training Program Topics for Officials and Decision Makers
Training Program Topics for Property Owners and Developers

Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Tools
Regulations and Directors Rules
Permitting and Review Processes
Resource Documents
Technical Analysis Tools
Review Boards

Equity, Health, and Environment Tools
Assessment Tools
Programs
Standards

Sidewalk ramps

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