7 Principles of Universal Access

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Steven Goodridg, May 15, 2003.

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  1. The seven Principles of Universal Access are intended to guide the development and regulation
    of transportation facilities according to legal, logistical, and social requirements for the
    widest diversity of road users, without mandating specific implementation details. Please feel
    free to comment.

    -Steve Goodridge, Webmaster, http://humantransport.org


    Principles of Universal Access

    1. Universal Access to Destinations All destinations served by the public road system shall be
    accessible by pedestrians and by drivers of all vehicles (including bicycles), except that
    vehicle operation may be restricted for reasons of excessive weight, noise or size, or
    extraordinary potential for damage to the property or person of others.

    2. Equal Rights of Use People's right to use that portion of a street designed for travel is not
    diminished by less weight, less size, or less average speed associated with their travel mode.
    The adequate accommodation of heavier, larger, faster travel modes by a road's design must not
    imply its inadequacy for or unintended use by smaller, lighter, or slower modes. Demand-actuated
    traffic signals must detect and serve a diversity of users including bicycle operators in the
    roadway and pedestrians using crosswalks.

    3. Integration of Modes Travel by different modes shall not be segregated by law or facility design
    without compelling, objective, scientifically valid evidence of operational advantages of
    segregation that outweigh the disadvantages. Segregation of pedestrian from vehicle traffic may
    be warranted on busy roads due to the different maneuverability and nighttime visibility
    characteristics of pedestrians and vehicles. Segregation of different vehicle types is
    undesirable, as this segregation almost always creates increased conflicts at junctions, forces
    users of some vehicle types to use inferior facilities, or stigmatizes users who violate the
    segregation policy for safety reasons.

    4. Uniformity and Simplicity Transportation systems should be simple and intuitive. Designs and
    regulations should be uniform across facilities. Similar traffic situations should be treated in
    a similar manner, enabling more rapid and reliable user behavior. Vehicle-type-specific
    exceptions to the Rules of the Road are undesirable because such exceptions make traffic
    movements less predictable and traffic negotiation less reliable.

    5. Accessible Surfaces To the extent practicable, travel surfaces should accommodate travel on foot
    with minimal trip hazards and via common assistive devices such as wheelchairs. Roadway surfaces
    should be as clear as possible of hazards for narrow tires such as bicycle wheels.

    6. Crossable Roadways Crossing distances at non-signalized access locations must not exceed the
    distance that can be covered at walking speed before traffic may arrive from beyond sight
    distance, or during reasonable gaps in roadway traffic. Refuges provided to reduce crossing
    distances should be large enough to store assistive devices such as wheelchairs and strollers.
    Traffic signal timing should provide adequate clearance intervals for safe crossing by
    pedestrians and slow vehicles.

    7. Appropriate Space for Use Adequate space for maneuvering and recovery should be incorporated for
    all vehicle operators and for pedestrians including wheelchair users. If it is desirable to
    accommodate faster speeds for some modes while slower modes are present on the same road, the
    road may be designed to facilitate easier overtaking between modes. Overtaking activities should
    take place at distances appropriate for the difference in speed, maneuverability of modes, and
    vulnerability of users.

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