Design of streets is an essential and difficult part of urbanism, as it is an space shared by pedestrians, cars, bycicles and different kinds of means of transport, what may suppose a risk, if they are not properly managed. Thus, properly designing of sidewalks, lanes, parking and green areas using different strategies can result in safe spaces where the different elements are able to live together. In achieving this inclusive environment, needs of people with disabilities can´t be forgotten, and a good example of it are Complete Streets.
To this purpose, requirements like enough width, lighting, clearly defined spaces with resting, areas separated from the moving ones, good signage, attenuated acoustic environment, a good multi-modal combination, contrast, and textures in pavement all hazards should be minimized and informed, all installations must be able to accommodate different needs and people conditions, as well as reserving spaces for each transportation mode. An article about this was published by the American Society of Landscape Arquitects where some guidelines are provided.
An element to be specially taken into account, are bike lanes. When designing streets, all the users and the interaction between them and with the different elements has to be considered, in order to and to get a good development of each one´s mobility. An analysis to determine which is the better way of organization has been captured in an interesting guide which describes the different possibilities and the best ways that fit all the population in a safe and comfortable way. This is the Guide developed by the Senior & Disability Pedestrian Safety Workgroup of San Francisco.
Finally, we would like to share a practical tool which allows you to design and visualize streets, placing the different elements that may interact in it, establishing the measures and spaces available for each. This is Streetmix.