By Michael David
The research was done as part of ENVS 6128, Urban Transportation Planning in the Winter 2023 semester. Dr. Mahtot Gebresselassie was the course director. The aim of the study was to examine disability accessibility on York University's Keele Campus. This summary highlights some of our findings. Our group focused on safety and security and obstructions in exterior paths of travel.
Our subject area was approximately bordered by Keele Street from the north, William Mclean Walkway from the west, Sentinel Road from the south, and Ottawa Road from the east. The area included significant places of interest for the school such as the exteriors of Osgoode Hall, the Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies building and the building that contains Curtis Lecture Hall and Scott Library. In conducting our audit, we followed the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Design Guidelines (ADG) regarding exterior paths of travel.
We divided our duties so that each of us would be responsible for 2-3 of the 12 guidelines contained in the exterior paths of travel sections. Then, we took a long walking tour around our entire study area to look for compliant and non-compliant points of interest. Our study area was found to be compliant for the majority of the space it holds.
One point of interest that we found to be compliant was the emergency response kiosks. These kiosks enhance security by providing two-way communication systems in certain locations that are controlled from a central monitoring station. Section 1.1.12 of the ADG: 'Safety and Security' calls for emergency response kiosks to be located in prominent entrances and exits. This is important in providing accessible spaces as they allow for quick communication when someone may be in distress. An example of the kiosk as can be seen in the photo.
We also found non-compliant features. For example, on the west side of the Osgoode Hall building, we observed trees that were hanging too low and did not meet requirements of Section 1.1.11 of the ADG: 'Obstructions and Overhead Objects'. The guideline specifies a 2100 mm overhead clearance in exterior paths of travel. This is important for accessibility to ensure a barrier-free path for everyone, especially those who may not be able to easily move certain objects out of their path.
As the photo shows, this was not met on the west side of Osgoode Hall. One recommendation would be to implement measures to ensure that this type of outward growth does not infringe on the clearance required in the future. However, we recognize the importance of keeping greenery from an environmental standpoint. Routine walkthroughs are recommended to ensure accessibility guidelines are upheld.
Group D members
Michael David is a Master’s of Environmental Studies student specializing in Urban and Regional Planning studying Transportation Planning.
TJ Bamonte is a Master’s of Environmental Studies student specializing in Urban and Regional Planning studying Transportation Planning.
Tony Jeung is a Master’s of Applied Science student in Civil Engineering studying Transportation Engineering.
Tricia Martinez is a Master’s of Applied Science student in Civil Engineering studying Transportation Engineering.
Mohammad Ghanbari is a Master’s of Applied Science student in Civil Engineering studying Transportation Engineering.