Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Better Design and a 'Level of Service' for the Blind
Scott Schafer's recent column for Streets.mn is thoughtful reminder of the many people neglected by engineering to auto-centric level of service standards. After watching a visually impaired women navigate a busy intersection to get to the Vision Loss Resources center, obviously an essential facility for the women's quality of life, once she actually gets inside the door.
Schafer takes a moment to imagine how scared he would be to navigate the street without the benefit of site. Then he starts to imagine solutions:
"What can we do to make it better? The Model Design Manual for Living Streets has at least two suggestions to make sidewalks safe. First, make sidewalks level. By making the ramp steeper and routing the sidewalk slightly away from the street, we can keep the sidewalk from sloping."
Schafer's column ends with a call to shift the myopic considerations of the planners, engineers, and designers shaping the world: "What's Lyndale's level of service for the sight-impaired woman I saw last week?"