22 April 2012

Stairs incorporating a wheelchair/bicycle ramp

Clever design, or safety hazard?  The arguments are discussed at Reddit.


  1. If the person in the wheelchair and their entourage were the only ones on the stairs, it should be reasonably safe. The slope looks shallow enough that a runaway wheelchair shouldn't be a problem.
    But add in other people who are just trying to go straight up and down and you have problems. My mom was in a wheelchair and you wouldn't believe how many people try to squeeze in ahead of the infirm because they think they have time/don't care when the person pushing really doesn't appreciate losing the momentum going uphill to accommodate their inconsiderateness.

  2. I've lived in places that had this (or similar) type of stair/ramp combinations. They never seemed to cause any problems for pedestrians or wheelchair users, but they ARE a magnet for skateboarders/BMX cyclists, etc. That always seemed to be the biggest concern, for some reason!

  3. I can imagine this working really well anywhere where people have sufficient respect for others. Anywhere else, it'd be a nightmare.

    One of the problems is perceptions. My wife is very unsteady on her feet, and her spatial perceptions make people approaching at speed very scary - no matter whether the person approaching at speed thinks they're going to hit her or not, she may well try to move out of the way and come unstuck all on her own. We live near The Wrekin, and from time to time walk up it. There are speedy cyclists coming down who are very unlikely to actually knock her over but she manages to fall over on her own by trying to avoid them. They are, in a sense, blameless, but in other senses very much to blame. It's no use telling her not to flinch, it's like trying telling someone not to blink when something flies at their face - it's hardwired.
    These stairs would seem to be a perfect setting for this kind of misunderstanding.

  4. While interesting it it's design, and I applaud the creative aspect, it doesn't meet the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...