3. Fixing roads and sidewalks for better accessibility
Amid a decline in infrastructure spending, cities and local transportation agencies still pull together funding to address current and future transportation needs — but they could be taking on more ambitious updates, Henry Claypool writes for Axios Expert Voices.
Why it matters: Beyond repairing and improving roads and sidewalks, cities have an opportunity to build infrastructure that could open up alternative mobility options and increase accessibility for all.
The big picture: General infrastructure updates could have ancillary benefits for people with mobility concerns or who commute by bike, for example. These include...
- Energy efficient street lights to increase night visibility.
- Designated ride-hailing pick-up and drop-off zones to keep cars out of bike lanes and crosswalks — including ramps for wheelchair users and those with strollers and walkers.
But, but, but: Basic improvements wouldn't be enough to meaningfully expand accessibility — and municipal governments in many cases already struggle to make basic infrastructure repairs.
What's needed: Communities will also need to make investments specifically designed to improve accessibility like sidewalk ramps and audible signals.
The bottom line: With municipalities stepping up to plan for and invest in an autonomous, electric transportation future, there's an opportunity to implement infrastructure improvements that follow principles of inclusive, accessible design.
Go deeper: Read the full post.
Claypool is a policy expert affiliated with UCSF and AAPD, and a former director of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office on Disability.