RE: landscape design/pedestrain paths
From: truddick [at] earthlink.net (truddickearthlink.net)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 08:00:42 -0800 (PST)
Everyone should consider that there are federal ADA guidelines for
accessibility, and your cohousing community might be covered by those as
regards common areas.

As I read this discussion it's clear that we're once again witnessing a
debate between utiliarians and aesthetes.  The first group doesn't care if
it looks/sounds/feels bad so long as it works efficiently; the second group
doesn't care if it's clumsy/inefficient/marginally dangerous so long as
it's pleasing to the perceptions.

Without taking sides, note that concrete may be color-tinted,
surface-treated, edge-trimmed with other materials (pea gravel?), and in
other ways installed so that there's a balance between concerns.  People
who must use wheelchairs and walkers, people who want to use wheels for
sport or utility, and clumsy people who tend to fall over minor
irregularities in surface--all of these would be served by the smooth hard
pathway (and BTW, any of you who think you'll never need to use wheels to
get around or move things--please come carry my refrigerator!).  The
aesthetes can appreciate how the path doesn't look so bad if it's tinted
green to blend with the grass (or pale orange to provide visual contrast,
or yellow to evoke the wizard of oz), or how the borders of gravel finings
provide a nice absorbent zone for rainwater run-off.

Good compromise?  Your mileage may vary.

T
R


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