Sidewalks should be continuous and should be part of a system that provides
access to goods, services, transit, and homes. Well-designed walking
environments are enhanced by urban design elements and street furniture,
such as benches, bus shelters, trash receptacles, and water fountains.
Sidewalks and walkways should be kept clear of poles, signposts, newspaper
racks, and other obstacles that could block the path, obscure a driver’s
view or pedestrian visibility, or become a tripping hazard. Benches,
water fountains, bicycle parking racks, and other street furniture
should be carefully placed to create an unobstructed path for pedestrians.
More information on the requirements for street furniture can be found
in the Draft
Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights of Way.4 Such
areas must also be properly maintained and kept clear of debris, overgrown
landscaping, tripping hazards, or areas where water accumulates. Snow
removal is also important for maintaining pedestrian safety and mobility.
In most areas, local ordinances give property owners the responsibility
of removing snow within 12 to 48 hours after a storm.
Walking areas should also be interesting for pedestrians and provide a secure environment. Storefronts should exist at street level and walking areas should be well lit and have good sightlines.