Pedestrian Access and Line of Sight

Submitted by Guest Blogger on Fri, 02/28/2020

 

As a designer for a Title II entity under the Americans with Disabilities Act, I look at things a little differently now. As I drive around areas that have on-street parking I notice cars parking at the crosswalk. This is an easy design flaw to correct with a No Parking sign or a little striping. We have pedestrian crossing signals but vehicle behavior is scary to watch at best. Drivers might run a red light, be texting or just distracted in general. 

In some neighborhoods you see large scrub in the sight distance triangle, making it harder for drivers to see oncoming traffic. This forces the driver to pull out past the shrubbery. And if it is hard for the driver just think of someone using a wheelchair or a child trying to cross a street. With that being said, let's show a few sight distance scenarios.

 

In this picture you see that a portion has satisfactory sight distance but also a portion has hazardous area.  In some cases if you scrub that isn’t over three feet high it not a problem.  That is something you would want to check with your local city or county.
In this picture you see that a portion has satisfactory sight distance but a portion also has hazardous area. In some cases if the scrub isn’t over three feet high it's not a problem.  That is something you would want to check with your local city or county.

 

The following images came from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and show line of sight from a pedestrian view point.

Diagram of line of sight for pedestrians at a crosswalk with cars.Diagram of line of sight for pedestrians at a crosswalk with cars.Diagram of line of sight for pedestrians at a crosswalk with cars.

 

This over grown tree is a line of sight problem but easily fixed by trimming the bottom portion up. 

Tree preventing a driver from seeing around the corner while driving.

 

Not only is the location within the urban area a determining factor in the type of on-street parking, but the type of roadway (major arterial streets vs. collector streets) must also be considered. Major arterial streets are wider, have higher speeds and may have parking prohibitions. Pedestrians are normally accommodated at marked crosswalks. Higher speeds of arterial streets may require additions to the parking restrictions.

Collector streets generally have a smaller width and lower speed than those of arterial streets. Collector streets tend to have more on-street parking and small neighborhood shopping centers. The neighborhood store located along the block face of a collector street poses a particular problem due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic and the desire of merchants to provide as much on-street parking as possible. More signage is often necessary near these shopping centers with particular attention given to sight distances for pedestrian crossings.

 

This blog post was written by RMADAC Brand Ambassador Kelly Rosson. Kelly is an Engineering Technician and ADA Title II Coordinator with the City of Wheatridge.

 


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The Rocky Mountain ADA Center's blog, Access Granted, tackles ADA issues through unique and diverse perspectives. Articles are written by staff of RMADAC and a variety of special guest authors. Some may be educational, others might be personal or thought-provoking. Either way, Access Granted will bring you the ADA of today!

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