Drive-throughs and the disabled
- Anyone know of any research or position papers on the topic of
drive-through banks and the disabled?
I started writing about how two drive-through banks in my local
village commercial center detracted from the pedestrian experience. I
was quite surprised by the quick -- and angry -- response from
advocates for the disabled.
I would have thought that, on balance, a more human-scaled streetscape
would appeal to the disabled and their advocates. Am I wrong? Anyone
with any experience with this issue?
Many disabled people who have mobility impairments have difficulty with pedestrian environments as there is often a long way to walk – and rarely adequate resting places. Also, depending on the design, people with visual impairments, especially those relying on a long cane for direction, find a large open space with no kerbs or similar directional indicators to be a barrier. Inclusive design practices, in consultation with disabled people and their organisations, can overcome at least some of the problems, but this is a rare experience, and many of us find it easier to resist the changes than to try to make our voices heard by designers and planners who invariably have other agendas to attend to. I suspect that may have been behind some of the anger you experienced. It’s worth engaging with people to explore how you can meet the various, sometimes conflicting, objectives of all parties.
And yes, a more human-scaled accessible and inclusive streetscape would appeal to disabled people – access doesn’t have to be unwieldy or ugly, and some transport environments are even beginning to reflect that!