|Re: Sidewalk material/accessibility||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Design Coalition Inc. (designcoexecpc.com)|
|Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 14:41:23 -0500|
There ARE a number of paving options besides concrete and asphalt that are wheelchair- AND environmentally- friendly. We've used 'choker' for accessible paths and patios. Choker is what it's called locally; it's basically limestone fines. Around here we've got plenty of limestone, and it's crushed to make different sized gravel. The tiny leftover pieces (in a pile, it looks like coarse sand) are actually kind of tetrahedral shaped, and when compacted they lock together nicely to create a reasonably hard, natural paving. Wheels roll well, it's somewhat porous, it has low embodied energy, it's not-toxic. Our parks systems use it for bike paths, and our City accessibility watchperson has given the material an OK for accessible paths. A few caveats: It must be installed correctly, with side containment and good compaction. Prolonged rain will soften it (tho' it dries quickly if installed to drain well), and torrents directly across can erode it. So sometimes it may have to be re-raked and re-graded. It freezes in winter, like unto concrete, and so can be shoveled clean of snow and chipped clear of ice. But it's not the impervious, hard, put-it-in-and-forget-about-it-forever material that concrete is. Of course, not all paved surfaces are equal, nor should they be. A garden path, a terrace with tables & chairs, a fire lane, a main circulation walk, all have different requirements. Use what's appropriate for the intended service. Lou Host-Jablonski, AIA Design Coalition Inc., Architects 2088 Atwood Avenue Madison, WI 53704 LouH-J [at] execpc.com 608/246-8846 (voice) 608/246-8670 (fax)
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