When creating active transportation projects, it's imperative they are accessible to everyone, especially community members who are disabled. This page serves as a starting point for those interested in learning how to create projects that serve everyone in the community.
Just starting to learn about accessibility?
- Resources on Disability, Ableism, and Audism (Senior and Disability Action): This resource guide is intended to provide supplemental material to continue personal learning on disability, ableism and audism. These materials are a starting point for those new to these topics.
Upcoming and Past Events
- November 1, 2023 (webinar): What's Next for PROWAG? Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals. Recently, the U.S. Access Board issued a final rule on the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG). This session will address the requirements in these guidelines, specifically highlighting changes from the proposed draft that was published in 2013. Presenters will review various provisions in PROWAG, including the minimum technical requirements for various spaces and elements in the public right-of-way, such as pedestrian access routes, pedestrian signals, curb ramps and blended transitions, roundabouts, transit stops, and parking spaces. Implementation of the new rule will also be discussed. Learn more and register for this free event.
- October 25, 2023 (webinar): Complete Streets Power Hour - Advocates Spotlight. Smart Growth America. This series of virtual webinars explores advocacy strategies to advance Complete Streets in your community. In this webinar, state and local advocates are invited to join to talk about the first element of the Complete Streets Policies Framework: establish a commitment and vision. This discussion will be led by Anna Zivarts (Director, Disability Mobility Initiative) and participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the tools and policies advocates need to succeed. Learn more and register for the event.
- October 5, 2023 (webinar): Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way. Great Lakes ADA Center. Pedestrians with disabilities throughout the United States continue to face major challenges in travel because many sidewalks, crosswalks, and other pedestrian facilities are inaccessible. Recently, the U.S. Access Board issued a final rule on the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG). This session will address the requirements in these guidelines, specifically highlighting changes from the proposed draft that was published in 2013. Presenters from the Access Board will review many aspects of PROWAG, including how federal, state, and local government agencies can make their pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, shared use paths, and on-street parking, accessible to people with disabilities. Presenters will also cover the minimum technical requirements for various spaces and elements in the public right-of-way, such as pedestrian access routes, pedestrian signals, curb ramps and blended transitions, detectable warning surfaces, transit stops, and street furniture. This webinar will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Watch the recording of the webinar.
Research and Articles
- The Road to Transportation Equity: Listening to Non-Drivers (Deborah Myerson, Shelterforce, July, 2023): In this article, author Deborah Myerson outlines how "laying the groundwork for transportation equity can start with listening to disabled people’s experiences of infrastructure for non-drivers."
- Evaluating Accessibility for Transport Planning: Measuring People's Ability to Reach Desired Services and Activities (Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2022): This paper discusses the concept of accessibility and how it can be incorporated in transport planning. Accessibility refers to people’s ability to reach desired services and activities, which is the ultimate goal of most transport activity. Many factors affect accessibility, including mobility (physical movement), the quality and affordability of transport options, transport system connectivity, mobility substitutes, and land use patterns. Accessibility can be evaluated from various perspectives, including a particular group, mode, location or activity. Conventional planning tends to overlook and undervalue some of these factors and perspectives. More comprehensive analysis of accessibility in planning expands the scope of potential solutions to transport problems.
- Accessibility Measures in Practice (Transportation Research Board, 2022): With an accessibility perspective, land use changes can bring transportation improvements by bringing activity locations closer together. If incorporated into transportation performance management, accessibility has the potential to highlight projects that would otherwise be overlooked because of their congestion-related impacts. The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 330: Accessibility Measures in Practice documents research on accessibility measures that is the basis for NCHRP Research Report 1000: Accessibility Measures in Practice: A Guide for Transportation Agencies.
- Pedestrian Wayfinding Under Consideration of Visual Impairment, Blindness, and Deafblindness: A Mixed Method Investigation Into Individual Experiences and Supporting Elements (National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), 2022): Navigating an unfamiliar place is uniquely challenging for people with disabilities. People with blindness, deafblindness, visual impairment or low vision, as well as those who use wheelchairs, can travel more independently in urban areas with the aid of effective wayfinding technology. A new report from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) explores how to leverage low-cost methods to enable people to more easily move through public, urban indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Transportation Access for Everyone: Washington State (Disability Mobility Initiative, 2021): In November 2020, the Disability Mobility Initiative began interviewing disabled nondrivers from every legislative district in Washington state. From these interviews, they created a Transportation Access for
Everyone story map. This report advances this work, and compiles the expertise, identified barriers and needs, and key recommendations for policymakers.
- Crip Mobility Justice: Ableism and Active Transportation Debates (Aimi Hamraie, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2021): This essay is part of the IJURR's Spotlight On collection, which explores the connections between urban studies and critical disability studies. Author Aimi Hamraie "shows how urban planning aimed at transforming car-centric cities into people-centric, “healthy cities” can result in exclusionary built environments."
Toolkits and Guides
- Mobility Toolkit (City of Long Beach): This Mobility Toolkit is a comprehensive list of best practice roadway treatments that address a variety of transportation challenges. The toolkit is categorized into bicycle, walkability, traffic calming, and traffic control treatments. However, many of these treatments benefit a variety of road users. Please note that some of these treatments - like continental crosswalks - are used throughout Long Beach, while others - such as raised crosswalks - have not yet been implemented, but may be considered in the future.
- Designing for Small Things With Wheels (NACTO, 2023): This design guide explores the strategies planners and engineers are employing to ensure that people riding the evolving variety of "small things with wheels" like pedal bikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, cargo bikes, sit-down scooters and powered skateboards can comfortably and safely can comfortably ride in urban bikeways. It provides an overview of design considerations and new approaches like understanding bikeable width for riding space and passing space, designing space for people to wait at intersections, allowing turning maneuvers and lane shifts at appropriate operating speeds, and providing smooth surfaces for devices with small wheels.
- Transportation Equity Toolkit (University of South Florida’s (USF) Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), 2022): The Transportation Equity Toolkit is a resource for MPOs, transportation agencies, and communities as they work to advance equity in traditionally underserved communities and more equitably distribute transportation investments. The toolkit was developed by a research team at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida with funding from the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions, and Dollars at the University of Texas at Arlington. It provides a framework for a transportation equity needs assessment and an equity-based project identification and prioritization process.
- A Capitol Region Guide to Community Quick-Builds for Complete Streets (Capitol Region Council of Governments, 2020): This guide provides an introduction to the Quick Build methodology, overview of typologies and interventions, and guidance on how to get started with project planning.
- Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities (FHWA, 2017): This document reviews notable practices and considerations for accommodating pedestrians with vision disabilities on shared streets. It focuses on streets where pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles are intended to mix in the same space.
- Tactical Urbanist's Guide and Materials (The Streets Plan Collaborative, 2016): This website is intended to serve as a hub of information about Tactical Urbanism, focusing on the information from the Tactical Urbanist's Guide to Materials and Design, and highlighting additional resources by Street Plans and other partners.
- Quick Build for Better Streets - A New Project Delivery Model for U.S. Cities (People for Bikes, 2016): This report draws on the experiences of Austin, Chicago, Denver, Memphis, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle to create a general guide for adding this exciting, effective new form of project delivery into your city’s toolbox.
- What is Quick-Build? (MOVE Culver City): MOVE Culver City is a city-led effort that envisions a reimagining of our streets as public spaces and prioritizes moving people more efficiently and safely in the design of the street. The effort involves the creation of physically separated bus and bike lanes on three corridors around the city by converting a single vehicle travel lane in each direction to a mobility lane. As part of the project, a webpage has been created to provide an overview of the Quick-Build Methodology and examples of project materials and methods.
- Residential Traffic Calming Program, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA): The SFMTA’s Traffic Calming Program is a resident-driven, application-based program to address mid-block speeding on residential streets in San Francisco. The program seeks to enhance neighborhood livability by reducing the adverse impacts of vehicular traffic on residential streets and creating safer and more comfortable streets for people walking, bicycling, and driving alike. Program resources include Vision Zero Quick-Build Projects, Safe Streets Evaluation Program, Slow Streets Program and more.
- LCTI: South Los Angeles Universal Basic Mobility Pilot Program (Los Angeles Department of Tansportation, June 2021-March 2025): The South Los Angeles Universal Basic Mobility Pilot Program expands fare payment subsidies, integrates fare payment across existing and new transportation options, introduces new shared mobility options for residents and workers, and expands electrification to advance Universal Basic Mobility for South LA residents. The project components include a mobility wallet and transportation subsidy pilot; an e-bike lending library; a year-long, on-demand electric shuttle pilot; an expansion of the BlueLA electric carshare program into South LA; new public charging infrastructure; CicLAvia events in South LA; stakeholder outreach and engagement activities led by SLATE-Z; quick-build active transportation demonstration projects; and bike and pedestrian improvements on a future Rail-to-Rail active transportation corridor. The program focuses on serving the most vulnerable users, including youth, older adults, women, and people who are disabled or homeless.
- Universal Design Elements (NACTO): This webpage provides an overview of universal design features that make it possible for any street user to comfortably and conveniently reach every transit stop.
- Disability, Transportation, and Accessibility: New Trends and Longstanding Challenges in the US (Prashanth S. Venkataram, UC Davis ITS, 2023): ITS Davis postdoctoral researcher Prashanth S. Venkataram presented Disability, Transportation, and Accessibility: New Trends and Longstanding Challenges in the US at the UC Berkeley ITS Transportation Seminar on Feb. 24, 2023. Watch the video recording of the event to learn more about his research to understand transportation challenges facing people with disabilities, and how disability may affect the choices & desires that people have for transportation.
- Enhancing Mobility, Access and Safety for Pedestrians (Part 1 and Part 2) (FHWA, PBIC, 2020): Communities across the country are working to integrate the needs of pedestrians into transportation decisionmaking. As agencies shift toward adopting roadway design practices and safety countermeasures that enhance the pedestrian experience, attention should also be given to the mobility and accessibility needs of pedestrians of all ages and abilities. In particular, pedestrians who are blind or have low vision have different needs to be considered when deploying safety countermeasures. In this webinar series, we will showcase strategies that can be used to enhance accessibility at crossing locations and along separated bicycle lanes at sidewalk level. Our panelists will share their research and the unique perspective of pedestrians who are not always considered when making transportation decisions.