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Site Planning for Accessibility



> Site planning should create a sense of inherent safety and security, by putting 'eyes on the street,' ensuring overlook from apartments, lobbies, meeting rooms and offices towards exterior public areas. A sense of security is created by design rather than by the addition of electronic surveillance (in other words, the creation of "Defensible Space" as described by Oscar Newman).



- Entrances should be obvious from all parts of the site (like a 'beacon'), and from the public access points into the site. Entrances should be designed in such a way that no one can conceal themself, and to discourage the chance of being followed into the building


- Buildings should not have blank end walls, there should be windows on all sides


- Accessory buildings on the site, such as garden/ storage buildings should have their entry doors facing towards the main building, buildings should be lockable so that no one can hide in them to surprise passersby or drag a victim into


- Vehicular access and roadways should be designed so that pedestrians arriving from public transit do not have to cross parking areas


- Parking areas should be designed so that persons in wheelchairs do not have to cross driving aisles. Place accessible parking spots for residents closest to the most convenient building entry (may not be main entry). Avoid front-yard parking plans.


- Incorporate detectable warning surface on walkways at driveways etc.


- Accessible walkways can either be wider to accommodate passing wheelchairs (1830mm) or have regular lay-bys (1600x1600 size) at 60m (200'). A T-intersection can be used as a lay-by. In addition provide a bench and a space for a wheelchair or a baby carriage at regular intervals (30m, 100') along long pathways for resting


- Beyond speed bumps: incorporate traffic calming measures, such as changes in width and direction of roadways, chicanes, or 45° directional changes, can be created by offsetting angle parking on opposite sides of the street). Pinch points, chokers and/ or speed tables (raised portions) at intersections slows traffic and increases safety for pedestrians, as can changes in road surface texture, bollards and planting.


- If public telephones are provided, at least one should be accessible to both persons who use wheelchairs and persons who are hard of hearing


- Keep sidewalk curb cuts away from corners (rather than a continuous crescent around a corner, provide 2 curb cuts at 90° to each other)





- Use shielded/ focused lighting for public safety and avoidance of glare into housing.


- Use ‘hot spot' lighting at entrances and all doorways


- Lighting should be designed to reflect a pedestrian scale and avoid an institutional appearance, lighting should not be mounted high up the face of a building nor should it be wall mounted in a way that it glares horizontally into the eyes of passersby


- Design transitional illumination into the buildings at all public and parking entries


> Good lighting is not only about making it better for people, plan to spend minimal energy lighting up the sky.






- Outdoor play and seating areas should be shaded to protect children and adults from excessive UV exposure, whether by landscaping or by building or accessory structures


- Landscaping should provide a sense of space, enclosure and privacy, but not compromise resident security


- Do not plant seed or fruit-bearing trees or thorny plants adjacent to accessible routes


- Plan landscaping to provide seasonal variety and to screen undesirable views. Plan to create differing micro-climates, using plants and screens to reduce wind velocity, and incorporatie shady areas and Water to moderate temperature


- Consider providing a refuge and food area (such as a small wetland) for birds and Wildlife


- Protect planting guy wires with yellow plastic Wrap to 198Omm high near Walks



> For more information on landscaping refer to Sustainability pages on this website


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