Accessibility is a key ingredient to revitalizing historic Main Streets. Even though we are seeing a trend of millennials living and working in urban cores, Boomers, who have the most discretionary income, are also retiring to places that feel like a “hometown.” The faster our world becomes, the more we are all looking for places with a soul.
This week I attended the 2016 Florida Main Street Conference in DeLand, where I discovered a disability-smart solution that needs to be shared with historical downtowns everywhere!!! To solve the ADA problem of raised steps at each existing storefront, DeLand raised the sidewalks to create flush accessible entrances. This eliminated costly renovations to existing historical structures. Towards the ends of each commercial block, the sidewalks slope down to the intersection.
Two other disability-smart solutions in this photo are the landscape barrier between pedestrian and automobile traffic and highlighting the ground level surface with both color and texture changes.
I will continue posting Smart Solutions for disability concerns. Until then, please share these solutions with your downtown partners.