Sunday, October 27, 2019

When bridges become barriers

During a 2019 hashtagaccess audit in an east Boise, ID subdivision, hashtagplanning and hashtagdesign barriers were evident throughout the 'walk and roll' event. From the absence of Greenbelt access indicators to steep connecting ramps, missing or misaligned curb cuts, and even surface materials, the team encountered multiple opportunities for improved mobility and access. Take the bridge decking in the photo above. The openings are the perfect size to trap small front wheels on a manual chair or swallow the tip of a cane. It's also a surface service dogs might perceive as unsafe. This is a perfect example of the need to include a range of voices in the planning process. Until you've tried to navigate your community without full vision, hearing or mobility, access is often an afterthought. Construction can create life-threatening hashtagbarriers and hazards, as in this 2018 story about ongoing hashtagtransportation projects. ( Highway signs in the path of travel can trip a pedestrian or force them into the roadway. This is not a mere inconvenience; we all need to increase our access awareness and take an active role in creating barrier-free communities.