Shared streets, which serve both slow-moving motor vehicles and pedestrians, can provide flexible, desirable public spaces. However, they provide a challenge for pedestrians with vision impairments. FHWA’s guide provides a toolbox of design options, as well as planning guidance and case studies, for addressing this issue.
Federal ADA regulations aim to provide access to people of all abilities. As Complete Streets gains greater influence in street design, there is a clear opportunity to develop complimentary efforts to improve access to our transportation system, weaving ADA standards into CS policies and implementation that will benefit the entire community.
Transit agencies typically struggle, logistically and financially, to provide service to those unable to ride fixed-route buses. These riders need access to transportation, but the additional costs of paratransit can drain agency coffers and result in reductions to the operating budgets for fixed-route service. Without a plan to manage these costs, the entire system can be put at risk. Fixed-route bus transit typically carries more people than paratransit or on-demand service; at the same time, transit providers are keenly aware of the social equity needs met by paratransit.
Disabled drivers clearly need access to parking spaces near their destinations but do they also need to park for free? A recent article in the magazine Access argues that policies allowing disabled permit holders to park for free and for unlimited time in metered parking spaces create a number of problems without generating significant benefits for disabled people.