Queen's University - Accessibility Guide - 18 Site Furnishings & Amenities
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18 Site Furnishings & Amenities   PDF version

18.1 General

This section is important for everyone  Site furnishings such as benches should be designed with the appropriate arm rests and backs so that they accommodate all users. Amenities such as trees and shrubs enhance the landscape but must be selected, located and maintained so that they do not compromise the safety, comfort and accessibility of the campus.

18.2 Maintenance

Site furnishings and amenities shall be maintained in good working order. Inspections should be carried out at regular intervals. Maintenance staff should be aware of the function of the barrier-free components so that they are not compromised and do not fall into disrepair.

18.3 Benches

This section is important for people with mobility impairments  Benches located along frequently travelled routes are appreciated by everyone but particularly by people with disabilities.

A selection of benches for general use shall:
a) have back and arm supports and be securely mounted;
b) be provided in sheltered, shady areas where conditions permit; and
c) be setback a minimum of 600 mm from the edge of the pathway to the front edge of the bench.

18.3.1 Seating areas shall be designed so that:
a) adequate space for wheelchairs is provided beside benches adjacent to the level pedestrian route; and
b) This section is important for people with visual impairments  a change in the surface texture or pattern in front of the seating areas used consistently, will orient persons who are visually impaired.

18.3.2 Throughout the campus, a variety of bench arrangements is preferred. See Figure 3.5 for recommended layouts.

18.4 Picnic or Outdoor Tables

In an outdoor eating area, a selection of accessible tables should be provided. Where conditions permit some tables should be located in sheltered and shaded areas.

All accessible outdoor tables shall be constructed so that:
a) the structural elements do not act as an obstruction. Specifically, table legs/ supports shall not interfere with someone while sitting or getting into a sitting position. See Figure 18.1.
b) the clearance from grade to the underside of the table shall be a minimum of 680 mm to a maximum of 750 mm.
c) the table top is a minimum of 750 mm in width.
d) the accessible portion or overhang provides at least 480 mm leg space.

PDF image - Figure 18.1  accessible picnic table

18.4.1 This section is important for people with mobility impairments  A variety of table designs is preferred to give the users options in choosing seating arrangements; ie. at the end of the table and/or along the side creating 2 or 3 settings. Some variation on site is preferable in the height of the table top from grade (680 mm minimum clearance, 750 mm maximum) to accommodate the varying needs of wheelchair users.

18.4.2 Accessible tables shall be sited:
a) on firm level ground or surfaces conforming to Section 3 Sidewalks and Walkways.
b) so that a minimum 2000 mm manoeuvring space is provided around the table.

18.5 Litter Receptacles

Open top units are one of the easiest for people with disabilities to use. However, in locations where covered litter receptacles are required to keep out moisture and insects, a hinged, spring loaded door or cover that can be easily opened with one hand should be provided.

Litter receptacles shall be designed so that:
a) This section is important for people with mobility impairments  the lowest portion of the opening for litter disposals shall not exceed 1000 mm from grade; and
b) This section is important for people with visual impairments  the receptacle is identified with a colour contrasting marking such as a symbol, text or brightly coloured band. This will assist someone with a visual impairment to identify the litter receptacle.

18.5.1 Receptacles shall be placed along frequently used walkways, preferably near intersections. They shall be set back (no further than 300 mm) and should not protrude into the pedestrian route.

18.6 Bicycle Racks & Storage Areas

This section is important for people with visual impairments  Bicycles are frequently stored inappropriately, locked to utility poles, signs, or railings where they may protrude or interfere with pedestrians. These can be an obstacle for people with disabilities who require a consistent, unobstructed route free of hazards.

Storage of bicycles should be accommodated along frequently used bicycle routes, preferably near intersections and commonly used buildings and facilities. Storage systems shall be located in such a way as to minimize the tendency of cyclists to ride across pedestrian sidewalks and pathways or lock bicycles to handrails, etc.

The flat type of bicycle rack which provides support for the wheel only at grade is not recommended unless it is located out of the pedestrian route.

18.6.1 Acceptable storage systems shall be cane detectable; the bottom portion being a maximum of 680 mm from grade.

This section is important for everyone  18.6.2 Storage systems shall be setback from the edge of the pedestrian route so that they do not protrude into the pedestrian route when bicycles are placed in the rack.

18.7 Vegetation Considerations

This section is important for everyone  Tree species that have tendencies towards dropping debris or breaking under heavy wind or snow loads should be avoided in situations where they will overhang places where people travel or congregate.

Trees with shallow or surface root systems can cause walkway surfaces to heave or crack. Root systems are approximately equal in spread to the diameter of the tree canopy. Trees with an undesirable rooting characteristic should be avoided or kept an appropriate distance (a minimum of 1/2 the diameter of the breadth of the tree canopy at maturity) from hard surfaces and areas where people walk or congregate.

18.7.1 Vegetation shall be selected, located and maintained so that:
a) a minimum of 2400 mm vertical clearance over walkways, sitting areas, etc., is maintained.
b) the efficiency of lighting systems is not compromised.
c) hazardous or nuisance plant materials are not located adjacent to walkways or sitting areas. (Additional considerations are contained in Table 18.1).
d) creeping ground covers, vines and other invasive materials are kept away from walkways, doorways, steps, ramps, signs and light fixtures.

PDF image - Table 18.1  vegetation considerations

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