Provide equitable multimodal access for those who do not drive due to age, disability, expense, or choice.
Mobility, social interaction, and physical activity enhance the quality of life of children, the aging population, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged. The removal of barriers to independent travel reduces the need for more costly alternatives such as paratransit, private transportation services, and ‘hazard’ busing for school students. Accessibility to transportation options is an equity issue; designing streets for only one user group assumes that everyone has access to that mode of transportation. A multimodal approach is preferable, because it allows people of all means and abilities to have viable and connected transportation opportunities.
A successful transportation network connects people to places. Some areas still lack sufficient connections between public streets and building entrances. This inadequacy in meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements can affect the ability of some residents to be independent. All new developments and modifications to existing facilities should be designed with these users in mind. Some important considerations in addressing equity:
- Streets should be designed such that they are safe, enjoyable, accessible and comfortable for ages 8-80 and those with limited mobility.
- Incorporate design elements that enhance walkability, which include sidewalks wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side, shade from street trees, and short, direct, connected routes.
- Commercial and mixed-use areas should incorporate narrower streets lined with buildings that have little to no setback, frequent and safe crossings, pleasing furnishings, store fronts, pedestrian scale lighting, and buildings oriented toward and adjacent to the street and sidewalk.
- Horizontal and vertical scale should be proportioned to the pedestrian when designing streets.
- The 2018 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan has a design matrix to help with establishing the minimum starting point to inform the decision making process on necessary transportation infrastructure.