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Clearing Our Path

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Design Needs

Design Basics

Exteriors and Interiors

Exterior Design Elements

Interior Design Elements

Construction Sites

Construction sites should be completely closed to the public.

Install barricades that are detectable to long cane users in a colour that contrasts with the surroundings. When chain-link fencing is used, construction grade tarpaulin fabric should be used on the walkway side of the fence, to a height of 500 mm. This will prevent mobility canes from getting stuck in the chain-link fencing.

The temporary path of travel is separated from the construction by a hoarding, which is a non-permanent structure of solid construction, erected around the perimeter of a construction site. The path of travel is separated from traffic by a temporary concrete barrier.

Ensure all construction equipment is safely placed behind the barricades.

Construction barricades should be at least 1,070 mm high. Snow fencing is not an effective barricade because it’s not solid and it can entangle long canes.

The erection of scaffolding or hoarding on pavements and public rights of way can narrow the walking space and can, unless properly protected, increase the risk of collision with protruding objects.

Where scaffolding is positioned over the pavement, clear headroom of 2,300mm should be maintained. An overhead platform should be erected to the full width and length of any pavement to protect people below from falling objects.

The use of cross-bracing should be avoided below 2200mm, unless it is located away from the route of pedestrian travel. Where cross-bracing is used, a tapping rail or board should be provided.

Depiction of hoarding construction and specifications. See accompanying text for details.

Scaffolding, placed onto a pedestrian path of travel, should always be enclosed within a hoarding as this reduces the potential for collision. The hoarding should have no protruding parts, sharp edges or outward opening-doors and be well illuminated during darkness.

Any scaffolding that is not enclosed should be highlighted in a contrasting colour or tone so that it is clearly visible to all pedestrians.

Where a hoarding or scaffolding is erected on the footpath, and passage is restricted, an 1800mm unobstructed width should be maintained in busy areas or a recommended width of 1200mm in less populated areas to enable pedestrians to pass safely. Protruding parts such as pole ends should be minimized, but where they do occur, should be sleeved or boxed in. Hoardings should be highlighted with a contrasting band, at least 150mm deep, and positioned 1400mm to1600mm above ground level.

The provision of a continuous handrail 900mm to 1000mm above ground level will assist pedestrians who are blind in finding a safe route through scaffolding and to locate any public entrance.

If it is not practical to provide a safe route through the scaffolding, an alternative route should be provided.

Erect a barrier between pedestrian paths of travel and vehicular traffic and ensure that, at minimum, the temporary path of travel is at least 1200mm wide.

If cycle lanes need to share the temporary path of travel, ensure that a barrier not less than 51 mm separates pedestrian from cycle traffic.

The barrier should be colour contrasted to the ground surface, ideally being yellow and black.

If pedestrians need to step off a sidewalk to enter a temporary path of travel, ensure that these access and egress points have appropriate cut-curbs and that these are clearly marked with colour contrasted tactile warning surface indicators.

When temporary paths of travel are erected to mitigate risks from construction sites, ensure that TWSIs are installed at the entry point; otherwise, pedestrians who are blind will have no means by which to detect a path of travel. This could potentially result in their walking into unprotected areas such as adjacent lanes of traffic or where heavy equipment is being operated.

Some of these guidelines are taken from:
National Disability Authority’s Centre for Excellence in Universal Design Ireland,

More information on installing hand rails.