Sidewalk Designs And Mobility: Three Things To Keep In Mind

14 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

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Sidewalks alongside private paths and maintenance roads on a commercial property don't have to look like your typical plain municipal sidewalk; you can make the pathways a little fancier or more eclectic if you desire. But the design of the sidewalk still needs to remain practical for everyone, including those who may have mobility issues or who have to do things like transport items in wheeled trolleys or backpacks. As you design your unique sidewalk, remember the following.

Path Shape

Your typical sidewalk follows the edge of the roadway with maybe a few diversions around plants or decorative rocks. For sidewalks on private property, though, you can make the sidewalks more meandering or lay them out in patterns. However, ensure that anyone trying to use the sidewalks, including people on crutches, in wheelchairs, and in front of or behind things like wheeled carts can safely and efficiently use the sidewalk. If you create a tight zig-zagging pattern, for example, where staying on the path would require a lot of back and forth movement but stepping off the sidewalk would land you in a bunch of mulch, that could be too frustrating for someone to try to maneuver on crutches. You want whoever is on the path to be able to use it without making too many changes to how they would normally move.

Surface Material

Keep the surface of the sidewalk smooth. Concrete is fantastic for this, as are pavers that are laid out carefully and evenly. While cobblestones and other rougher surfaces can be a nice addition visually, keep the material used for these surfaces on the small side so that people aren't at risk of tripping. Be aware of who has to use the surfaces. Large stones, for example (not very large, but noticeable when you walk on them), can make it difficult for someone with an injured foot to walk comfortably.

Tree Root Proximity

A problem that all sidewalks face is the dreaded aggressive tree root that literally uproots the pavement. Be aware of how far out the roots from nearby trees will spread in the coming years, and place the sidewalk well out of range. You'd have to do this with even the plainest of sidewalks if you wanted to avoid cracked pavement a few years from now, but it's particularly important with sidewalks that will have an eccentric design because it's very easy to forget as you transfer this dreamy pattern from your head to the sidewalk plans. Map out tree root circumference when you plan your sidewalk.

Meeting with a good concrete contractor can solve a lot of problems up front. You get to choose from very smooth, long-lasting materials, and you get the benefit of years of experience working around tree roots and with accessibility laws. You can have a wonderful private sidewalk system on your property if you plan it well, and a concrete contractor can help you. To learn more, contact a company like E &  H  Concrete.