Guide to Best Practices

Universal Design (Including Access for People with Disabilities)

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4. Universal Design (Including Access for People with Disabilities)

It is important that public facilities be accessible to the greatest number of people including those with disabilities. This is called “universal design.” A variety of universal design guides and standards are available.

Accessible Design

The Access Board (800-872-2253; is a U.S. federal agency that develops policies and recommendations for accessible design. Publications include Accessible Rights of Way: A Design Manual, 1999; ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, 1998; Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards; and Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part One.

American Council of the Blind (1155 15th Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20005; 202- 467-5081; supports programs to help people with visual impairments, including pedestrian improvements.

Beneficial Designs, Inc. et al., Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access; Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices, USDOT, Publication No. FHWA-HEP-99-006, 1999.

Access Exchange International (San Francisco; is a non-profit organization that provides resources and coordination to develop cost-effective handicapped access in developing as well as developed countries.

Institute on Independent Living ( serves self-help organisations of disabled people. Full-text online library including access and transport issues.

Access Management Publications, U.S. National Transportation Library (

E. Gallagher and V. Scott, Taking Steps; Modifying Pedestrian Environments to Reduce the Risk of Missteps and Falls, School of Nursing, University of Victoria (, 1996.

Pedestrian Access Guidelines, City of North Vancouver, (, 1998.

PLAE, Inc., Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation: A Design Guide, 1993, MIG Communications, 1802 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. (510) 845-0953.

Recommended Street Design Guidelines for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. American Council of the Blind (, (202) 467-5081.

US Federal Highway Administration Accessibility Website (

U.S. Department of Justice ADA Homepage ( provides information on implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pedestrian Planning

America WALKs ( is a coalition of walking advocacy groups.

FHWA, A Walkable Community; Your Town USA, FHWA-SA-00-010, USDOT (, 2000.

ITE, Design and Safety of Pedestrian Facilities, Institute of Transportation Engineers (Washington DC;, publication RP-026A, 1998, US$38.

National Transportation Week Pedestrian Website ( provides information and links to pedestrian planning websites.

Pedestrian Planning Guidebook; Incorporating Pedestrians in Washington’s Transportation System, Washington State DOT (

Partnership for a Walkable America, ( promotes the benefits of walking and supports efforts to make communities more pedestrian friendly.

Pedestrian Crossing Control Manual, Transportation Asso. of Canada (, 1998.

Pednet’s International Pedestrian Lexicon (glossary) (

Rhys Roth, Getting People Walking: Municipal Strategies to Increase Pedestrian Travel, WSDOT (Olympia;, 1994.

UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions ( publishes Road Safety Education in Schools - Good Practice Guidelines that describe how to create a safer pedestrian environment.

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s pedestrian program ( provides pedestrian safety information and resources.

Portland Office of Transportation, Portland Pedestrian Design Guide and Pedestrian Master Plan, City of Portland (, 1998.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (1-877-WALKBIKE; provides a variety of technical information on nonmotorized transport planning and programs.

Walkable Communities, Inc. ( works with communities to create more people-oriented environments.

Walkability Checklist, Partnership for a Walkable America ( is a survey that allows children and parents assess how “walkable” their neighborhood is.

Walking Steering Group, Developing a Walking Strategy, Dept. of the Environment Transport and the Regions, downloadable at, 1996.

Walk Tall; A Citizen’s Guide to Walkable Communities, Rodale Press (Emmaus) and Pedestrian Federation of America (Washington DC;, 1995.

WSDOT, Pedestrian Facilities Guidebook: Incorporating Pedestrians Into Washington’s Transportation System, Washington State Department of Transportation (Olympia;, 1997.

WSDOT Pedestrian website ( provides extensive information.

5. Pedestrian Safety Programs

Pedestrian safety training is particularly important for children. A number of resources are now available to assist parents, teachers, and traffic agencies develop suitable programs based on a realistic appreciation of children’s learning and behavior comprehension.

Pedestrian Education for Children

Khaled Abbas, Ibrahim Mabrouk, and Khaled El-Araby, “School Children as Pedestrians in Cairo: Proxies for Improving Road Safety,” Journal of Transport Engineering, July/Aug. 1996, pp. 291-299.

Marvin Aoki and Lawrence Moore, “KIDSAFE: A Young Pedestrian Safety Study,” ITE Journal, Sept. 1996, pp. 36-45.

Children on the Move site on children and transport:

Mayer Hillman (editor), Children, Transport and the Quality of Life, Policy Studies Institute (London), 1993.

Mayer Hillman, “Foul Play for Children: A Price of Mobility,” Town and County Planning, Oct. 1988, pp. 331-332.

Kerbcraft; Smart Strategies for Pedestrian Safety, UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (, 1998. A curriculum for teaching children how to cross streets where there is no traffic signal.

NHTSA, Pedestrian Safety Toolkit, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (, 1999.

Perils for Pedestrians ( is a cable television series promoting awareness of issues affecting pedestrian safety. Their website includes advocacy tips and links to other pedestrian organizations.

Problems of Attention and Visual Search in the Context of Child Pedestrian, Behaviour, UK DETR, (, 1999.

Pedestrian/Bicyclist Resource Kit, FHWA (

Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Analysis Tool, FHWA-RD-99-192, FHWA (202-493-3315;

Ian Roberts, Robyn Norton and Binki Taua, Child Pedestrian Injury Rates, “The Importance of ‘Exposure to Risk’ Relating to Socioeconomic and Ethnic Differences, in Auckland, New Zealand,” Health, Journal of Epidemiol Community, Vol. 50, 1996, pp. 162-165.

R.A. Schieber and N.J. Thompson, “Developmental risk factors for childhood pedestrian injuries” Injury Prevention, Vol. 2, 1996, pp. 228-236.

Speed Kills, The Benefits of Slower Speeds, and Why Reduce Speeds, UK Anti-speed Campaign (

Study Addresses Safety Of Children On Their Way To And From School, CUTR, (, 1998.

University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (

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