The Guardian published my Letter to the Editor this morning:
The Charlottetown area has benefited greatly over the last year from improvements to active transportation infrastructure: there is still much work to be done, but it has never been easier to safely move about the city by foot, wheelchair, or bicycle.
One area that needs much more attention, however, is the last 50 feet of the journey: there’s no point in having a lovely, modern, paved, separated, shared pathway connecting home and destination if the destination isn’t itself barrier-free.
Which means not only bicycle racks, but also includes power doors, step-free access, clear wayfinding, and accessible washrooms.
This is one realm where we citizens can act directly, spending our dollars at businesses that are welcoming to everyone, and reminding those that aren’t that we’re no longer willing to stand idle while some of us are excluded on the other side of needless barriers.
I recently learned of the concept of Continuous Sidewalks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OfBpQgLXUc) and would like to see them deployed more widely in Charlottetown.
The basic idea is that you interrupt the road (for cars) with the sidewalk, rather than interrupting the sidewalk for the road. An ideal continuous sidewalk is raised to the same level as the rest of the sidewalk, visually continuous (same color/pattern/material), even across a roadway. This way a driver feels more like they are crossing through a space for walkers, rather than walkers scrambling across a space made for cars.
Thank you for this, Peter! I can't count how many times I see signs for physically accessible spaces, but when you get to the end of the accessible path, there's stairs, and other such nonsense. This is a great letter!