The Crosswalk: Thousands of Years of Evolution

The Crosswalk: Thousands of Years of Evolution

A crosswalk with black and white stripes used by a lot of pedestrians

The Crosswalk: Thousands of Years of Evolution

Do you know how many crosswalks are located near your home or your workplace? Do you even pay attention to them? They help us cross the street and yet, they’re invisible to us. 

But there’s more than meets the eye. Especially when we go back to Antiquity. At a time when the city of Pompeii was still a city, the first crosswalk emerged. 

Impressed yet? Wait until you see how innovating the crosswalk can be nowadays. Here, we’ll focus solely on crosswalks at signalized intersections so let’s cross the road together for a time travel across the ages. You’ll never use a crosswalk the same way as before… 

What is a crosswalk?

A crosswalk, also known as a pedestrian crossing in the UK, designates a place where pedestrians can cross the street or the road. 

It can be paved or marked to indicate pedestrians have the right-of-way. This means vehicles stop to let them cross with safety. 

What does it look like?

There’s a particularity for crosswalks in the United States: they may be marked with white stripes or not. It depends on the cities as there’s no specific regulation regarding this aspect. 

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) provides two main methods for marked crosswalks:

Two parallel white lines from one side of the road to the other. The width of the lines goes from 12 to 14 inches. A stop line across lanes going into the intersection to indicate vehicles where they have to stop.

Continental stripes that look like the zebra crossings in the UK: several bars across the crosswalk from 12 to 24 inches wide. The stripes are also 12 to 24 inches apart.

These marked crosswalks represent the common ones you may have encountered in the U.S. but what did they look like when they first emerged? 

The birth of the first crosswalk

Let’s put a foot in history, a history that happened more than 2000 years ago in the ancient city of Pompeii, more precisely before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Now the ruins of Pompeii near Naples, Italy attract thousands of tourists every year who want to see what Roman life looked like. But they overlook the first ever crosswalk created.

It consisted of blocks raised on the road. Pedestrians could cross the street without having to walk onto the road itself. These blocks were implemented across the whole city enabling pedestrians to reach the streets from a sidewalk to the other. Thanks to the spaces between the blocks, horse-drawn carts could easily come and go.

1869: the failure of the first pedestrian crossing signal

Another introduction to the crosswalk appeared in December 1868 along with the first traffic lights at Parliament Square in London. 

Railroad engineer John Peake Knight came up with an innovative idea to allow pedestrians to cross this busy part of the square: two mobile signs attached to semaphore arms that were manually lowered by a policeman. They could signal the amplified red and green coloured gas lights.

But in January 1869, the gaslight exploded, killing the policeman who manipulated the semaphore arms. The tragedy put an end at the development of crosswalks and traffic lights.

The 1930s: an attempt to provide more safety to pedestrians

In the 1930s, both the United States and the United Kingdom tried to control traffic and the safety of pedestrians. More and more cars were on the roads creating more and more accidents.

Both countries tested various designs but not one in particular stuck. For example, the UK used metal studs in the road and poles on the side. These metal studs marked the crosswalk for pedestrians who could easily spot them. But it wasn’t the case for drivers. They could only feel the raised studs once their car was on them. This means it was too late for them to slow down or stop.

1951: the zebra crossing becomes the norm across the world

The first zebra crossing was implemented in October 1951 in Slough, England. After experimenting with several designs, the black and white stripes proved to be efficient: they could be easily seen by drivers and pedestrians alike from afar. High contrasting colors such as black and white also help pedestrians with low vision find the crosswalk and align to cross.

Countries all over the world have chosen the zebra crossing. They may have different variations though. But they all agree the black and white stripes ensure the safety of pedestrians. 

How can crosswalks evolve?

It’s not because black and white stripes have spread throughout the world that crosswalks can’t evolve. Especially when the safety of pedestrians is at stake.

Cities experiment with new technologies to secure crosswalks for all road users. 

3D crosswalks

An optical illusion that makes it look like the painted crosswalk is raised. The goal of 3D crosswalks is to make motorists slow down when they spot them. 

Different countries implement this creative solution: the UK, Germany, China, India and the U.S…

Crosswalk lighting

You may encounter different systems of lighting:

An embedded flashing-light system or an in-pavement flashing-light system: LED lights warn motorists that pedestrians are crossing the crosswalk. They start flashing thanks to a motion detection device. This means they’re activated as soon as a pedestrian walks up to the crosswalk.

Overhead crosswalk lights: streetlights mounted above the road so that at night time drivers can perfectly see the crosswalk. And most of all if a pedestrian is crossing. A uniform and bright light that provides better visibility and consequently, safety.

Countdown timers

A lot of countries use countdown timers for both pedestrians and motorists to know when the red signal for pedestrians will be on. 

In the United States, countdown timers have been a mandatory feature since the MUTCD’s 2009 edition. But in France, they’re only beginning to be implemented. 

Although this solution enables the safety of road users, for blind and visually impaired people countdown timers can’t help them cross the street. That’s why accessible pedestrian signals remain essential for their mobility.

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

From what we’ve seen, safety could be the key word to describe a crosswalk. As pedestrians, we all are vulnerable when we cross the street but we may not always be aware of it. With new technologies and new ways of conceiving roadways, pedestrian safety represents a commitment for many cities. How does your city fare about its crosswalks?

Want to know more about pedestrian safety? Check out these articles:

Vision Zero: a Revolutionary Approach to Road Safety

How to Make Shared Streets Truly Shared By All?

Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians: What Are Their Difficulties When Crossing the Street?

Smombies: the New Safety Challenge for Cities in the 21st Century

Published on September 23rd, 2022

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A crosswalk called zebra crossing in the UK

The first zebra crossing was implemented in October 1951 in Slough, England. After experimenting with several designs, the black and white stripes proved to be efficient: they could be easily seen by drivers and pedestrians alike from afar.

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Carole Martinez

Carole Martinez

Content Manager & Copywriter

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The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals  Table of contents What are accessible pedestrian signals?Why do cities have accessible pedestrian signals?Who are APS for?How do audible traffic signals work exactly?What is pedestrian detection?Why are...

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The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

How to Create a Smart City for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People?

How to Create a Smart City for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People?

People walking in the streets of New York City

How to Create a Smart City for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People?

 

Is it challenging for a smart city to be accessible for deaf and hearing impaired people? Yes and no.

It is challenging in the sense that a smart city that meets the needs of the deaf community fosters inclusion. The concern is broad. But it’s not that complex to implement. 

From the conception of your smart city, take into account the difficulties met by people with hearing impairments. The smart city is the future. It needs to be exemplary in terms of accessibility.

Let’s see what an accessible smart city looks like for the deaf and hard of hearing and for you as well as decision maker.

What is a smart city?

Putting people first thanks to the use of technology. That’s how we could define what a smart city is.

It relies on information and communication technology (ICT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect residents with their city.

This means a smart city serves its people. It collects data and information from people, transportation, devices and buildings. Everything that enables a smart city to improve its operational services.

That’s what makes people’s lives easier. And we can even go further by ensuring the smart city is accessible for deaf and hearing impaired people. 

The deaf community needs to easily access information on public transportation, real-time traffic… A smart city represents the perfect opportunity to foster inclusion.

What solutions can you find in a smart city for deaf and hearing impaired people?

The question could also be: what do deaf and hard of hearing people need to fully enjoy their city? Let’s take a closer look at their struggles in a regular city and the solutions that can be found in a smart one:

Difficulties of the hearing impaired

Solutions for an accessible smart city

Accessing real-time information on public transit: it may only be available through audio.

The MaaS platform: it regroups all modes of public transit at the disposal of users. Deaf and hearing impaired people can plan their trip according to their preferences. 

Having real-time traffic information on buses

Smart urban furniture like smart benches where users can charge their phones and get free WiFi. If installed at a bus stop, deaf and hard of hearing people can access real-time information about the bus timetables.

Having real-time traffic information when driving

A GPS with real-time traffic updates like Garmin or TomTom.

Finding their way in a complex venue like a shopping mall or a public transport network: they may lack visual signage.

An indoor navigation app like Evelity can help them find their bearings. The app adapts to the user’s profile. Deaf and hard of hearing people have text instructions.

Communicating with hearing employees: the venue may not have audio induction loops and the staff may lack training in knowing how to interact with deaf or hard of hearing people. 

An instant transcription app like Ava: the conversation is transcribed for deaf people who don’t have to lip-read.

A live transcription app for phone calls like RogerVoice: when phoning a venue to make enquiries, people with hearing impairments receive a typed text of what the other person is saying. They can reply thanks to voice synthesis.

Of course, there are solutions to conceive a smart city that meets the needs of different categories of people like smart buildings.

These smart infrastructures aim at enhancing the user experience. From their conception, everything is designed to meet the needs of people: the elderly, people with disabilities with various capabilities… 

Just like a smart city, smart buildings collect and share data for users. Deaf and hearing impaired people can easily have access to any information within a smart building. Especially since they rely on phygital to provide universal accessibility.

Check out more information about smart buildings:

The 5 Keys of Tomorrow’s Smart Building 

As you can see, the most important challenge for a smart city to be accessible and inclusive for deaf and hearing impaired people is to maintain the chain of information at all times.

A smart city is molded to suit its residents. Even though technology is at its center, it’s managed and controlled by humans. It’s at the service of deaf and hard of hearing people and ensures accessibility.

Why should you focus on an accessible smart city for deaf and hard of hearing people?

You want a smarter, better and more efficient city? Then focusing on conceiving an accessible smart city is the best way to achieve it.

There are many benefits in creating a smart city fit for deaf and hearing impaired people:

Your city works as an ally: a smart city easily removes accessibility barriers like accessing information for the deaf community.

Your city is at the forefront of inclusion: keep in mind inclusion is not a trend. It’s meant to stay. What you implement has a purpose and truly makes a difference.

Your city is more effective thanks to data collection: you can analyze different types of information regarding the operational services of your smart city. This means you can know how deaf and hearing impaired people get around and what they need to make their lives easier.

Your city invests in what benefits its residents: through data collection, you know where to inject your money. You can better spend your city’s budget on projects that truly meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people. 

As you can see, the smart city you conceive can be accessible to the 48 million of deaf and hearing impaired people who live in the United States. Inclusive solutions regarding communication and information represent a true asset to put your city on the map. You have the opportunity to better serve different categories of people. It’s up to you to seize it.

Want to know more about the issues of the deaf community? Check out these articles:

12 Tips to Welcome a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2022

Published on September 9th, 2022

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The tram of Cincinnati passing in the city

The most important challenge for a smart city to be accessible and inclusive for deaf and hearing impaired people is to maintain the chain of information at all times.

writer

Carole Martinez

Carole Martinez

Content Manager

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The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals  Table of contents What are accessible pedestrian signals?Why do cities have accessible pedestrian signals?Who are APS for?How do audible traffic signals work exactly?What is pedestrian detection?Why are...

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The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

How to Create a Smart City for Blind and Visually Impaired People?

How to Create a Smart City for Blind and Visually Impaired People?

A blind woman is using Evelity as she's about to enter a smart building

How to Create a Smart City for Blind and Visually Impaired People?

 

A smart city for blind and visually impaired people makes their lives easier. Especially regarding their mobility. Indeed, they need to rely on efficient public transportation, to know at what time they can get the bus, to have obstacle-free routes, to easily actuate accessible pedestrian signals…

Basically, this means they need to be more connected to the operational services of their city. And that’s exactly what a smart city does. But to better meet their needs, a smart city has to be accessible and inclusive. 

How can a city be smart? How can you conceive an accessible smart city? Let’s take a look at digital solutions that connect blind and visually impaired people to the smart city!

What is a smart city?

A smart city is all about connectivity. It connects residents with their city. What’s the point exactly?

Well, to put it simply, a smart city is at the service of its inhabitants and tourists. Its purpose is to make their lives easier so that they can fully enjoy it. 

But what makes a city a smart one? How does a smart city work? 

It all lies in information and communication technology (ICT) and the Internet of Things (IoT). A smart city focuses on collecting data from residents, devices, buildings and transportation in order to improve its operational services.

This means that a smart city relies on technology to better serve its community. Consequently, a smart city is efficient: it offers public transit users real-time information on traffic, timetables, optimized routes…

For us at Okeenea, a smart city represents the gateway for a more accessible and inclusive city. After all, if its sole purpose is to help its citizens navigate the city more easily, then it includes people with disabilities. 

And in this article, we’ll focus on blind and visually impaired people who need to feel safe and free to get around with more spontaneity and independence in their smart city. 

How can you design a smart city fit for blind and visually impaired people?

What digital solutions can you implement for your smart city to meet the needs of people with vision disabilities? Seeing that mobility represents one of the most challenging issues for blind and visually impaired people, we’ll only see this aspect.

Let’s see how you can foster accessibility and inclusion:

Smart benches: even our urban furniture can be smart. A solar smart bench enables users to charge their phones and access free WiFi. And of course, they can still sit to rest for a while. A blind person can wait at a bus stop and use WiFi to know exactly at what time the bus arrives. A simple solution to access real-time information. 

You can install smart benches at parks, bus shelters, squares, arenas, shopping malls, universities… Check out manufacturers like EnGoPlanet, Strawberrye, SEEDiA… 

Safe Smart CLE: an initiative set up in Cleveland, Ohio to replace street lights with LEDs. The goal is to save money and energy while ensuring the safety of all citizens. Indeed, cameras are installed at crime hotspots, main streets and intersections. LEDs will benefit visually impaired people as they rely on good lighting to safely get around. 

MaaS: a trip planner that regroups all modes of transportation. Blind and visually impaired people can access real-time information regarding traffic, public transit networks or shared mobility. The platform adapts to the user’s needs. 

Mobility as a Service was born in Finland but is now implemented in several European cities like Madrid, Spain, Budapest, Hungary, Antwerp, Belgium… The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has recently been using MaaS.

Wayfindr: an indoor navigation technology especially conceived for blind and visually impaired people. It consists of audio navigation to remove accessibility barriers users can meet in venues. 

Wayfindr is a non-profit organization set up in London, United Kingdom. It’s the first internationally-approved standard for accessible audio navigation. 

NaviLens: an indoor navigation app developed by a Spanish company in Murcia. Blind and visually impaired people use their smartphone’s camera to scan QR codes laid out on the ground by following tactile guide paths. 

This phygital solution mostly equips public transit networks in Murcia and Barcelona. 

Evelity: our indoor navigation app that has been designed for people with disabilities. But it adapts to the user’s profile. This means that Evelity provides step-by-step audio instructions to blind and visually impaired users but that users with different disabilities and capabilities can set it up according to their needs. 

Our wayfinding app is perfect for complex venues where getting around can be difficult for people with vision impairments. Evelity equips the subway of Marseilles, France. It is currently being tested by New Yorkers at the JaySt-MetroTech subway station

But Evelity is also useful in museums: the app guides blind and visually impaired visitors from one exhibition room to another and it provides them with contextual information on the artworks. It works like a cultural mediation tool. The Maison Victor Hugo museum in Paris, France chose Evelity to offer their visitors an unique and interactive experience.

And that’s exactly what phygital solutions are for.

What Is a Phygital Experience and How Can It Improve the Accessibility of Your Venue?

aBeacon: an accessible pedestrian signal that we’ve developed as well at Okeenea. It collects data for smart cities to know the number of times blind and visually impaired people have activated it. Open data is also essential for pedestrians with vision disabilities to know what crossings are equipped with accessible pedestrian signals. This information enables them to create their own accessible routes. Plus, aBeacon can be actuated with three different modes of activation: the regular pushbutton, a remote control and a smartphone app. 

The remote control and the smartphone app reduce noise pollution as aBeacon is only activated when necessary. An on-demand and remote activation that helps blind and visually impaired people better locate the beginning of the crossing. 

This innovative accessible pedestrian signal is currently being tested in a crossing at New York City. The first user testimonies have been very positive. Blind and visually impaired pedestrians liked using several modes of activation to actuate aBeacon. 

Why Is aBeacon a Game Changer Regarding Accessible Pedestrian Signals?

NAVIGUEO+ HIFI audio beacons: located at points of interest such as the entrance of a subway station or a public venue, they provide practical information to people with vision disabilities. They can better locate the entrance of a building. Just like aBeacon, these audio beacons we’ve conceived can be triggered by a remote control and a smartphone app. 

The example of Marburg: a smart city for blind and visually impaired people 

You may never have heard of Marburg in Germany but this city perfectly represents how smart cities can enhance accessibility and inclusion. It’s often referred to as the Mecca for the blind by newspapers.

This smart city has been conceived taking into account the needs of blind and visually impaired people. It has implemented:

Beeping traffic lights,

Talking bus stops,

Tactile signals of hazards or barriers,

Raised maps and floor plans,

Braille menus in restaurants…

All of these solutions enable blind and visually impaired people to enjoy their smart city. But the key in their success resides in fostering a culture where residents are used to interacting with one another regardless of their disabilities and capabilities. 

Cultural acceptance of the blind and visually impaired people made the smart city of Marburg unique in its approach. This proves that from the moment you integrate accessibility and inclusion into the conception of your smart city, you create a city focused on the wellbeing of its residents.

Why will a smart city for blind and visually impaired people become the new norm? 

This question is in fact tricky. A smart city that meets the needs of blind and visually impaired people has to become the norm. But it actually has to do the same for all those with disabilities. We’ll be even more inclusive: a smart city has to adapt to people in general, whether they have reduced mobility or not. 

As we’re focusing here on the mobility of people with visual impairments in a smart city, let’s explore what difficulties they face:

Navigating routes with obstacles or barriers (when there are street works for example),

Crossing the street when there’s no accessible pedestrian signal,

Locating the beginning of the crossing to press the pushbutton in order to actuate the APS,

Locating the entrance of a building,

Locating the entrance of a bus or any other public transportation,

Accessing information about public transit timetables, traffic… when it’s not vocalized,

Navigating their way in a shared street,

Getting around in a complex venue…

A smart city enables blind and visually impaired people to easily get around. We’ve mentioned earlier how it collects information and data. Open data regarding street works can be useful for them. Indeed, this can help them know what routes are blocked. They can then create their own obstacle-free itinerary to better navigate the city. 

Find out more about their getting around in a city with our article:

Blind Pedestrians: What Are Their Difficulties When Crossing the Street?

The United States counts around 12 million people with vision disabilities. This doesn’t even comprehend the entire Los Angeles county. We can no longer afford to create cities where a portion of its citizens struggle to get around and don’t live comfortably.

It’s time for more accessibility and inclusion to conceive a smart city where blind and visually impaired people can easily navigate into. The city has to adapt to them, not the other way around. 

Want to know more about digital solutions for the visually impaired? Check out these articles:

Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities: Is Human Assistance Really Obsolete for Their Mobility?

The Smartphone: a Revolution for the Blind and Visually Impaired!

Published on August 12th, 2022

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A blind man has reached the other side of the crossing after actuating accessible pedestrian signals

Cultural acceptance of the blind and visually impaired people made the smart city of Marburg unique in its approach. This proves that from the moment you integrate accessibility and inclusion into the conception of your smart city, you create a city focused on the wellbeing of its residents.

writer

Carole Martinez

Carole Martinez

Content Manager

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

share our article!

more articles

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals  Table of contents What are accessible pedestrian signals?Why do cities have accessible pedestrian signals?Who are APS for?How do audible traffic signals work exactly?What is pedestrian detection?Why are...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

How to Create a Smart City for People with Physical Disabilities?

How to Create a Smart City for People with Physical Disabilities?

A wheelchair user can easily get around in the city thanks to lowered curbs and accessible sidewalks

How to Create a Smart City for People with Physical Disabilities?

 

Why should you focus on creating a smart city for people with physical disabilities? The answer is simple: with a more connected city designed to meet their needs, you can remove accessibility barriers and foster inclusion. A smart city focuses on optimizing its services. It represents the perfect opportunity to put those who usually are more neglected at its center.

The smart city is connected to all its citizens, including those who don’t fit in society’s norms. Several digital solutions enable people with motor disabilities to better find their way in a city, to use public transportation more efficiently and to fully enjoy their environment.

Let’s see what a smart city is exactly and how it can make the lives of people with physical disabilities easier!

What is a smart city?

A smart city can be defined as an intelligent city. It uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve its operational services. 

A smart city collects data from citizens, devices, buildings and transportation and shares it with the public to be at the service of its citizens. This represents the Internet of things (IoT).

As you can see, a smart city is a connected city: it links the city officials and services and the community so that both parties can interact more easily. Digital solutions guarantee this interaction and efficiency.

By being more connected, cities can improve traffic circulation, become more sustainable and save energy, reduce costs, promote active transport…

Shanghai is the number one smart city in the world. Its public platform “Citizen Cloud” connects its citizens to over 1,000 services. A single point of entry for residents to have access to everything the city has to offer.

How can you design a smart city fit for people with physical disabilities?

A smart city improves the everyday lives of people with physical disabilities. We just need to rethink what it can do for them. Especially in these domains:

Smart mobility

As stated earlier, getting around can be difficult for people with motor impairments. And yet, same as anybody else, they need to go to work, do their shopping, visit their friends… This means they need to use public transport, the city’s sidewalks and parking spots. 

That’s where smart mobility takes place: it consists of an intelligent transport and mobility network. It provides people with options for different modes of transport like motor vehicles, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, public transport, scooters, on-demand ride sharing services with Uber and Lyft…

Let’s take a closer look at some solutions for smart mobility that you can implement in your city! They may inspire you.

MaaS: a platform that lists all existing means of transportation to users. MaaS stands for Mobility as a Service. This solution provides them with the best mobility option according to their needs and traffic with real-time information. 

Different European cities use MaaS to make the getting around of their citizens easier. It has recently arrived in the United States, in the city of Pittsburgh.

Parquery: a cloud-based smart parking solution that lets drivers know where they can find a parking spot. A perfect way to decongestion traffic as too many drivers end up driving in circles to find a parking space. It provides them with real-time occupancy information. It is also a good solution for finding the parking spaces closest to your destination and reducing the walking time.

Several Swiss cities have implemented it. In the U.S., you can find Parquery in Greenville, South Carolina.

Streetco: a collaborative pedestrian GPS platform especially conceived for people with reduced mobility. It provides them with optimized routes in order to avoid itineraries where they could encounter obstacles like roadworks. People with physical disabilities can use Streetco to make sure their smart city is accessible to them.

This app can mostly be found in French cities but it has also set foot on American soil in San Francisco. 

AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks Project: a collaboration of G3ict (the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs) with Smart Cities for All and TCAT (Taskar Center for Accessible Technology) to provide the OpenSidewalks accessibility open data and the AccessMap personalized routing directions. 

This project is present in cities all over the world. An initiative that removes accessibility barriers for people with physical disabilities making sure they can enjoy their smart city.

Smart buildings

Can we have smart cities without smart buildings? Definitely not. 

Smart buildings aim at improving the comfort of their users while optimizing their management and consumption. Basically, they have the same goal as smart cities. 

They use innovative digital technologies for an user-centered approach. In this case, users with motor impairments. In a smart city, accessible smart buildings are essential for their comfort and wellbeing. 

From their conception, they need to take into account the needs of people with physical disabilities. They should adapt to them and not the other way around.

Phygital can be an interesting concept for smart buildings. It connects the physical world with the digital one to provide users with a unique interactive experience. 

What does it mean for people with physical disabilities? To put it simply, smart buildings need to follow accessibility guidelines and make sure all of their services can be easily accessed and used by people with motor disabilities.

One way of doing this is by implementing an indoor navigation app to guide their users. An app like Evelity, that we at Okeenea created. It has been specially designed for people with disabilities. 

Evelity adapts to every user’s profile. For people with physical disabilities, the app provides them with step-free routes. It favors the ones with an elevator or an access ramp to make their getting around easier. 

This wayfinding app currently equips several venues in France: the Maison Victor Hugo museum in Paris, the Luma Foundation in Arles and the Rockefeller Medical University in Lyon. 

A phygital experience can ensure the accessibility of smart buildings. People with physical disabilities use technology to enhance their mobility. This represents the purpose of every smart city: to make sure every citizen has the same quality experience. 

Find out more about phygital:

What Is a Phygital Experience and How Can It Improve the Accessibility of Your Venue?

Why is a smart city essential for people with physical disabilities?

Turning into a smart city represents the perfect opportunity for cities to be more accessible and inclusive. This makes smart cities an essential part of our modern society.

The most common disability in the U.S. is physical impairment. That’s why the number of Americans with motor impairments is so high: 39 million people. 

Disability Statistics in the U.S: Looking Beyond Figures for an Accessible and Inclusive Society

People with motor disabilities have difficulties getting around in the city: 

Damaged sidewalks, 

Lack of elevators for public transit networks, 

Inaccessible public venues, 

Lack of accessible restrooms, 

PRM parking spots…

Living in a smart city that takes into account the needs of people with physical disabilities can make a difference. Plus it can better address the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to prevent any form of discrimination against them.

It’s truly up to the cities to make sure all their citizens can enjoy them. People with physical disabilities shouldn’t have to adapt to them.

A smart city designed for people with physical disabilities has many benefits for both the city and its citizens:

The smart cityPeople with physical disabilities
Collecting dataControlling their mobility
Managing its operationsGaining more access to the city
Meeting the needs of people with motor disabilitiesHaving more spontaneity in their getting around
Reducing its consumptionUsing the city’s services like everybody 
Attracting more residents and touristsHaving real-time information
Improving quality of life of all citizensKnowing what venues are accessible
Enhancing inclusionLocating accessible services (restrooms, PRM parking spots…)

Put your city on the map by creating a smart city fit for people with physical disabilities. You now have several initiatives and solutions to remove accessibility barriers once and for all.

Want to know more about conceiving barrier-free smart cities? Check out our articles:

Disability as an Innovation Driver for the Smart City 

How Can a Smart City Make Life Easier for People with Disabilities?

Creating an Accessible and Barrier-Free Society Through Inclusive Design: a Constant Renewal

Published on July 29th, 2022

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Pedestrians crossing the street in the smart city of New York

Living in a smart city that takes into account the needs of people with physical disabilities can make a difference. (…) It’s truly up to the cities to make sure all their citizens can enjoy them. 

writer

Carole Martinez

Carole Martinez

Content Manager

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Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

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The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals

The Ultimate Guide to Accessible Pedestrian Signals  Table of contents What are accessible pedestrian signals?Why do cities have accessible pedestrian signals?Who are APS for?How do audible traffic signals work exactly?What is pedestrian detection?Why are...

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powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

How to Make Shared Streets Truly Shared by All?

How to Make Shared Streets Truly Shared by All?

A woman is about to cross the tram rails

How to Make Shared Streets Truly Shared by All?

 

Shared streets, curbless streets, shared spaces, all these facilities have been on the rise for the last fifteen years. Based on the removal of the conventional division between sidewalk and roadway, they lead to a decline in car domination, a good way to improve safety, quality of life and the attractiveness of city centers! At least on paper. In reality, experience shows that the most vulnerable users do not always find their way there. Among them are seniors and people who are blind or visually impaired. Sharing the street with bicycles and motor vehicles reinforces the sense of insecurity when navigating those spaces.

How to reconcile road sharing and comfort for all? How to ensure that shared streets do not become zones closed to the most fragile pedestrians? In this article, we provide you with a series of recommendations resulting from international experience so that shared streets are truly shared by all.

What are shared streets?

Shared streets or shared spaces are zones where pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles mix in the same space. The design of shared streets should suggest that the most vulnerable users have greater priority over all others. In other words, a child, an elderly or disabled pedestrian should benefit from the awareness of all other users in order to be able to move around safely. Next on the “vulnerability scale” are able-bodied pedestrians, bicyclists and other active modes of transportation, powered two-wheelers, cars and trucks.

The design of a shared street aims to reduce traffic speed and increase driver awareness. Shared streets are generally designed to produce motor vehicle operating speeds between 5 and 15 mph. Thus, design elements that suggest priority to motor vehicles and separate modes are removed. They include vertical curbs, traffic signals, pavement marking, and other conventional street elements.

It happens that curbless streets and complete streets operate quite similarly to shared streets. The recommendations we’re going to cover apply to all categories of shared spaces, regardless of their official classification.

The benefits of shared streets

The transformation of city centers into shared streets or low-speed zones has many advantages.

Pedestrian safety

Creating shared streets aims to provide more space for pedestrians, bicyclists and other active modes of transportation, while improving their safety.

Space flexibility

Compared to a conventional street, a shared street offers more flexibility. It can be easily converted into a pedestrian area when organizing markets, festivals or other events. The rest of the time, it allows access for motor vehicles even if it does not give them priority.

Improving accessibility and economic development with shared streets

When a street is too narrow to provide comfortable sidewalks that comply with accessibility standards, converting it into a shared street saves space. It is also a good way to facilitate access to shops and services for people with reduced mobility or using a stroller. If the shared street is well designed, it is likely to attract a lot of people and have a positive impact on economic development.

The recommendations we give you in this article are precisely intended to help you design safe and welcoming shared streets for everyone, in order to be able to derive all the expected benefits.

How to avoid creating zones closed to the most vulnerable users?

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides that no person with a disability shall, because a public entity’s facilities are inaccessible or unusable, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of a public entity’s programs, services, or activities-including pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. 

The concept of shared streets was originally created on the basis of “normal” human abilities. However, in terms of human capacities, we know well that the norm does not exist. There is simply no question that certain people are deprived of essential faculties. They are already vulnerable in general, and even more exposed to close contact with motor vehicles due to the removal of physical barriers. This primarily concerns blind or visually impaired people and seniors. The absence of detectable landmarks such as curb lines creates orientation difficulties for them and increases their feeling of insecurity. In addition, negotiating priorities in shared streets involves eye contact, which is obviously impossible for blind or visually impaired people. The same goes for “smombies ”, smartphone addicts who never look up from their screen, even if, in their case, it’s voluntary.

In a conventional street, visually impaired people rely above all on detectable edges, such as curbs and building faces to keep their path. They identify the location of pedestrian crossings thanks to the noise of traffic flows and learn to analyze intersections to cross at the right time. Detectable warning surfaces alert them as soon as they are about to cross the road. The accessible pedestrian signals (APS) associated with the traffic lights are also very useful for identifying crosswalks and crossing safely. In an environment where traffic flows are not regulated, all these landmarks disappear. The shared streets are also used a lot by silent vehicles such as bicycles or electric scooters.

Seniors also face similar challenges. Promiscuity with motor vehicles, bicycles and scooters creates a feeling of insecurity. Indeed, age-related sensory and cognitive impairments complicate risk assessment. Many seniors say they avoid shared streets for fear of an accident.

The fact that these vulnerable users avoid shared streets also calls accident data into question. How can we say that these developments are less accident-prone if part of the population avoids them?

What design rules for a space truly shared by all?

The rules for designing a shared street aim to naturally induce a reduction in speed. The removal of signs, curbs and road markings delimiting spaces aims to reduce the illusion of safety and create uncertainty in the minds of drivers to encourage them to slow down. But experience shows that removing signs is not enough to change behavior overnight.

Show Pedestrian Priority

The first step to take when designing a shared street is to make its operation visible and to leave no ambiguity about the priority scheme. This requires the installation of Share Road Signs at any entry/exit of shared streets, but also at intersections so as to remind drivers of the pedestrian priority.

The facilities present in a shared street should also encourage pedestrians to appropriate space and drivers not to feel at home. Among them are:

Creating chicanes, raised crossings and textured paving to calm the traffic speed,

Installing seats and benches,

Introducing revegetation by planting trees, installing planters and vegetable plots,

Designing a lighting homogeneous over the entire area.

Create a comfort zone for pedestrians

The concept of “comfort zone” for pedestrians was first introduced in England and then in the United States. It is described in the good practice guide published in 2017 by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The comfort zone consists in an obstacle-free pedestrian route where pedestrians can move around safely without risk of conflict with other users. Where possible, the comfort zone should be aligned in proximity with building faces.

The guide recommends providing a space between the buildings and the comfort zone to allow the installation of shop signs and storefronts without them invading on the walkway.

Also to preserve the comfort zone, lighting fixtures, road signs, street furniture and café terraces should be grouped together in a “furniture zone” located between the comfort zone and the area shared with the vehicles in the center of the street. The comfort zone should be at least six feet wide so that two pedestrians can walk side by side and comfortably pass a pedestrian walking in the opposite direction.

Provide tactile walking surface indicators and visual contrast

It would of course be counterproductive to recreate the boundaries found in conventional streets. However, it is essential that blind or visually impaired people can find their way around and move around safely. They should then find two types of detectable surfaces: warning surfaces and directional indicators.

Detectable warning surfaces should be installed at each entry/exit of the shared street and at any intersection where vehicles have right-of-way.

Directional indicators should be installed along the comfort zone so that visually impaired people can move around without encountering obstacles. If the comfort zone is more than 11 feet wide, it is better to install directional indicators in the middle of it. If it’s less than 11 feet wide, it is better to place them on the side of the buildings while leaving space for shop signs and storefronts.

There are currently no specifications for the use of directional indicators in the United States but it can be referred to the international standard ISO 23599:2012. This guarantees that directional indicators will be easily detectable and identifiable by people who are blind or have low vision.

In the context of a new street design, it would be a shame not to take advantage of this to integrate directional indicators into the architectural design. The color of this device should contrast with the adjoining surface, either light on dark or dark on light. It should be detectable underfoot and with a white cane. It is essential to organize a consultation bringing together a maximum of users of different profiles to choose the best system. It is unfortunately common that surface treatments theoretically used to provide tactile and visual contrast are totally imperceptible to the main parties concerned.

Install audio signals

The removal of traffic lights and their associated accessible pedestrian signals (APS) from shared streets deprives blind or visually impaired people of valuable landmarks. It is therefore important to restore them by installing audio beacons. These beacons can be activated from a distance with a remote control or the MyMoveo app by Okeenea. The audio beacons have the advantage of providing useful information to visually impaired pedestrians without altering the architectural design of shared streets. Audio beacons can be attached to public lighting poles or on building faces.

We recommend installing sound beacons:

At the entries and exits of the shared street to inform visually impaired pedestrians that they are entering a shared space,

At intersections to make it easier for them to cross the streets,

Whenever an essential point of interest is present.

The audio messages broadcast by the beacons must inform blind or visually impaired pedestrians that they are in a shared street and provide information on its operation and the presence of detectable surfaces.

The ultimate guide to accessible pedestrian signals. I want it!

Don’t skip user consultation to conceive shared streets!

Shared streets are relatively recent facilities in the history of urban planning. We still lack perspective on the appropriation of these shared spaces by all types of users. This is why the consultation stage is essential. This consultation must involve the most varied profiles:

Pedestrian representatives,

Representatives of bicyclists,

The elderly,

Pedestrians with reduced mobility (wheelchair users or other mobility aids: canes, walkers, etc.),

Blind or visually impaired people, as well as orientation and mobility specialists,

People with an auditory, mental, intellectual or cognitive disability,

Maintenance and operation staff who are responsible for roads, vegetation and street furniture.

Key stakeholders should be involved at every stage of the planning and design process, from needs assessment to final design.

Care must be taken to ensure accessibility at all stages of the consultation. Remember to arrange:

Meeting rooms accessible to people with reduced mobility,

A support service for people requiring orientation assistance,

Presentation materials in large print, audio, Braille or accessible digital format (depending on attendee needs),

Sign language interpreters (ASL),

Induction loops or other amplification system for hearing-impaired people with hearing aids (depending on attendee needs),

Contrasting plans and 3D models to facilitate the representation of visually impaired people,

A construction game (Lego or other) to allow participants to represent and manipulate the facility components…

This list is not exhaustive. Remember to ask the participants in the consultation meetings about their specific needs.

In conclusion, the transformation of city centers has accelerated considerably since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can only rejoice at the increase in the place given to walking and other active modes of mobility. But let’s keep in mind that not everyone has the same physical, sensory, cognitive or intellectual abilities. Let’s make sure that everyone finds their place in these new attractive urban environments. We hope these guidelines help you design shared spaces that are truly shared by all.

Want to know how to design an inclusive and safe city for all? Check out our articles:

Vision Zero: A Revolutionary Approach to Road Safety

Removing Traffic Lights vs Pedestrian Safety: a Guide to Inclusive Streets

How Can a Smart City Make Life Easier for People with Disabilities?

How Can Accessible Pedestrian Signals Become Responsive to COVID-19?

Published on March 25th, 2022

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A blind pedestrian is walking towards a staircase

The concept of shared streets was originally created on the basis of “normal” human abilities. However, in terms of human capacities, we know well that the norm does not exist. There is simply no question that certain people are deprived of essential faculties. 

writer

Lise Wagner

Lise Wagner

Accessibility Expert

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Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

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Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs  Did you know that hearing impaired people have several profiles and that the way they identify themselves is important? You may be familiar with deaf and hard of hearing people but for each of...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

Accessibility Data Collection: a Huge Challenge for Cities and Transit Networks

Accessibility Data Collection: a Huge Challenge for Cities and Transit Networks

The United States seen from orbit

Accessibility Data Collection: a Huge Challenge for Cities and Transit Networks

It has been around ten years since we massively adopted the use of GPS on our smartphones. But while this tool is extremely helpful for car journeys, it is much less efficient to calculate routes for pedestrians, and even less for wheelchair users. 

Navigating urban spaces with different abilities requires having access to specific, standardized, and comprehensive data about pedestrian pathways. However, this data is often unavailable. And when it does exist, it is partial and lacks consistency between territories. Are there curb ramps? How steep is the slope? Are there accessible pedestrian signals?

Numerous projects around the world aim to collect and harmonize data on pedestrian routes and in particular accessible routes. Let us look at the main initiatives that will make it possible to create more inclusive maps, GPS navigators and journey planners for all in the future!

Why data collection is so important to enhance mobility for people with disabilities?

Data collection has long been prioritized for streets and cars. Facilitating the mobility of pedestrians, especially pedestrians with a disability, requires collecting data on sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and public transit networks.

People with disabilities need an accessible and seamless mobility chain to navigate independently. They need some specific features according to their mobility profile. Wheelchair users require wide pathways, lowered curb, and ramps or elevators to overcome grade breaks. Wholes or steps become intractable obstacles that ruin any attempt to move. 

Pedestrians who are blind or have low vision need a breadcrumb trail to keep their direction, tactile warning indicators before hazards, auditory bearings, and accessible pedestrian signals. 

People with an intellectual disability need safe and reassuring spaces, easy-to-read signage, pictograms, and colored markers. 

If one of the links in the mobility chain is broken, getting around becomes impossible. 

Today, navigation and routing applications do not take this data into account for the simple reason that it is insufficiently available. Therefore, data collection and harmonization are a major issue. How to describe accessible routes? What data to identify? How to avoid local variations? How to categorize it? How to make it available? 

Another challenge is to define mobility profiles. Manual wheelchair users do not have exactly the same needs as power wheelchair users. People with low vision do not have the same needs as blind people. Every kind of disability has its specifications, and every person their preferences.

OpenStreetMap and accessibility data

OpenStreetMap is a worldwide initiative to create and provide free geographic data, such as street maps, to anyone. Data is collected and recorded by volunteers all over the globe and can be used freely by service providers. Every citizen has the power and the tools to create a high-quality feature-rich map of their country, their states, their communities, and their neighborhoods.

However, most maps do not contain relevant accessibility information. Tags and keys are missing. OpenStreetMap aims to be the best world map for disabled users – by keeping track of important tags like wheelchair accessibility with Wheelmap, and by creating accessible versions of the map. It is important that OpenStreetMap’s data is open in full because it makes these things possible – to process a world map into a guidance app for the blind, or a map of only wheelchair-accessible places. 

The OpenStreetMap Wiki page about disabilities shares advice and good practice to create accessible maps. It gives tagging principles for disabilities. 

For blind or visually impaired people, mapping should include following information:

⊗  Tactile paving,

⊗  Accessible pedestrian signals (APS) with sound or vibrating indications,

⊗  Pedestrian crossings with islands,

⊗  Public transportation stops with platforms,

⊗  Audio signage,

⊗  Elevators with or without braille writing or embossed printed letters,

⊗  Handrails with braille writing or embossed printed letters,

⊗  Tactile maps,

⊗  Meeting locations of organizations of the blind and visually impaired,

⊗  Shops for optical glasses, eye doctors and hospital departments for eye diseases,

⊗  POIs that offer special products for the blind,

⊗  POIs that offer special accommodations for the blind like cinemas with audio description, museums with audio guides, restaurants with audio or braille menus, etc.

Keep in mind that accuracy is essential. If you indicate a public facility, precisely indicate the entrance and not the middle of the building.

For wheelchair users, people with reduced mobility or walking impairments or pushing strollers, mapping should include:

⊗  Access ramps,

⊗  Steepness of slopes and superelevation, 

⊗  Accessible restrooms, 

⊗  Handrails,

⊗  Elevators,

⊗  Accessible shops and businesses,

⊗  Accessible transit stations,

⊗  Accessible parking spaces,

⊗  Accessible accommodations: extra-wide cash desks, lowered counters, special shopping carts, fitting rooms, etc.,

⊗  Location of play equipment for disabled children, etc.

Keep in mind that wheelchair users have different abilities to go long distances and up slopes whether they use a manual or a power wheelchair. Information about distances and steepness of slopes should therefore be very precise. A user should have the possibility to avoid routes above a certain percentage grade.

For people who are deaf or have hearing impairments, mapping should include:

⊗  Induction loops,

⊗  Locations where there is sign language translation or cued speech,

⊗  POIs with special accommodations for deaf people: cinemas where movies are subtitled, theaters with special headphones, sound amplification systems, etc.

Maps designed for deaf people do not exist yet.

OpenSidewalks, a project to share data on the built environment in the US

Since 2015, Dr. Anna Caspi, director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology at the University of Washington (UW), and Nick Bolten, a Postdoctoral fellow in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, have been working with stakeholders on the OpenSidewalks project to improve the collection, organization and sharing of data on the built environment to promote equity and inclusivity in transportation. The project aims to establish consistent and detailed standards for monitoring data on pedestrian pathways and their connectivity within multimodal transport networks.

Using data collected from sidewalks, ramps, and traffic lights, Caspi and Bolten developed AccessMap, a web application launched in 2017 that provides personalized routes to pedestrians based on their mobility profile. Maps are available for three Washington cities: Seattle, Bellingham, and Mount Vernon, and Expansion is underway for Austin, Texas and San Jose, California.

The data collected as part of the OpenSidewalks project is not only useful for people with disabilities but also for city planners and mobility authorities who are responsible for ensuring fair mobility for all. This pedestrian-centric approach is part of a revolution in designing the city.

Pedestrians have a wide variety of needs and preferences. This is the reason the AccessMap application not only offers the choice of a static profile but also other characteristics specific to each of us. Labeling a path as “wheelchair accessible” would not make sense if we do not consider the variety of abilities among wheelchair users. 

Because pedestrian data has typically been so neglected, the OpenSidewalks project needs to tackle many issues at once: defining data schemes, creating data organization and applications, and proving their utility. 

NeTEx, a European standard for data about public transport networks

The accessibility data collection is indeed a global issue. Now let us look at how it is treated in Europe. 

NeTEx stands for “Network Timetable Exchange.” It is a European technical standard (CEN) for exchanging Public Transport Network, schedules, and related data. It covers three topics: the Public Transport Network topology, Scheduled Timetables, and Fare information.

NeTEx schema can be used to exchange Data about the Accessibility of services, stops and vehicles to passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility (passengers traveling with young children, elderly people, or passengers carrying heavy luggage).

The NeTEx public transport network model can be used to describe accessibility of all modes of transport: rail, bus (urban, suburban and regional), metro, ferry, etc. Accessibility data includes physical limitations, facilities, and assistance services. This data is aimed to enrich trip planners and offers the possibility to plan a route compatible with one’s abilities. Some member countries of the European Union have mandatory requirements to collect and harmonize accessibility data. 

The data can be classified into four categories:

Accessibility of sites, e.g., stations and stop places, including buildings and parking areas.
Data include for example elevator dimensions and controls, step heights, handrails, number of steps in a staircase, ramp gradients, etc.

Accessibility and connections: this set of data considers the fact that people with reduced mobility may need extra time to change services, either because they move more slowly, or because they must take a different path. This information is crucial for journey planners.

Accessibility of navigation paths: several navigation paths can be associated with the same connection. A navigation path is made of path links recording the characteristics of a path section. This can include elevators, tactile ground surface indicators, stairs, lighting, handrails, etc.

Accessibility of journeys: this category includes facilities and vehicles. Data related to vehicles are for example wheelchair access equipment such low floor access, on board wheelchair, and even assistance services. 

In this article, we wanted to show you the initiatives in favor of the collection of accessibility data around the world. This is a major issue and that the standardization of data is crucial. But it is also a huge challenge for cities and transport networks to succeed in this collection. This must undoubtedly go through participatory solutions involving all citizens, as the mountain to be climbed is so high.

Want to know more about issues related to the mobility of people with disabilities? Check out these articles:

Removing Traffic Lights vs Pedestrian Safety: a Guide to Inclusive Streets

How Can Multimodal Transit Centers Be Accessible for People with Disabilities?

How to Maintain Pedestrian Accessibility When Carrying Out Street Works?

Published on 29th November, 2021

media

A blind person using a cane is walking towards a staircase

Manual wheelchair users do not have exactly the same needs as power wheelchair users. People with low vision do not have the same needs as blind people. Every kind of disability has its specifications, and every person their preferences.

writer

Lise Wagner

Lise Wagner

Accessibility Expert

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

share our article!

more articles

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs

Hearing Impaired People: a Multitude of Profiles for Different Needs  Did you know that hearing impaired people have several profiles and that the way they identify themselves is important? You may be familiar with deaf and hard of hearing people but for each of...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.