Infrastructures Accessibility

 
Infrastructure accessibility is the design of the street environment to enable free and safe movement from place to place. This article reviews the issues that must be addressed in making infrastructures accessible – sidewalks, intersections, bus stations and parking spaces for persons with a disability.

​The following is a brief description of accessible infrastructures.

 

The aim of making infrastructures accessible is to design a street environment that will enable free and safe movement, as specified below.

 

  1. Sidewalk – a sidewalk will include the following elements:
    • A walking strip that is wide, convenient and safe enough for free passage of persons using mobility devices such as: baby strollers, walkers, wheelchairs or mobility scooters, or for persons with a visual disability, or for persons in danger of falling for any other reason.
    •  A walking strip free of obstacles for persons with a visual disability.
    • o An installation strip will be constructed on the edges of the walking strip, with road signs, trees, benches, garbage bins, etc. The boundaries of the walking strip will be marked in a contrasting shade and texture to the installation strip.
  2. Intersections – the Local Authorities Law (Arrangements for Persons with Disabilities), 5748-1988, requires local government to install curb-cuts at intersections or crosswalks to enable persons using wheelchairs to get on and off the sidewalk easily and without danger of falling. This principle was also adopted in the Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Law, with a requirement added to install assistive aids and devices for safe street crossing for persons with a visual disability and persons with an intellectual disability (e.g. a tactile warning surface and audio clicking traffic lights).
  3. Bus stations – accessibility of a bus station is the responsibility of the local authority. It must mark the area required for opening the bus ramp so as to enable maneuvering needed to go up and down the ramp with a wheelchair, provide a waiting area for persons using a wheelchair and adjusted seats for persons with a disability, equalize the bus station floor level to the level of the sidewalk around it and provide signage and lighting accessible to persons with a visual disability. The bus station will be located so that wheelchairs can pass around it.
  4. Parking spaces for persons with a disability – parking spaces for vehicles of persons with a disability in parking areas and on the street, and areas for letting passengers with a disability on and off a vehicle will be located to provide safe and convenient access from them to the nearby sidewalk or to the entrance to nearby structures or to any other public place. Curb-cuts, suitable signage and good lighting will be installed alongside parking places for persons with a disability. Parking spaces for persons with a disability will be provided in central locations in the city, and several parking spaces for persons with a disability near public institutions will be suited for high vehicles with a side wheelchair lift.

 

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