Re: drivable emergency access. was RE: "Cohousing Overlay" asZoning Regulation
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 15:08:35 -0700 (PDT)
Our grass pavers have a honeycomb grid, with two-inch(?) cells. The
manufacturer says they are ADA compliant and will support 97,000 lbs per sq
ft. I've seen photos of them used for dirt trails (hiking, bike, riding).

"we have discussed constructing occasional parallel pulloffs for same
although these parking spaces will feel like they are encroaching on lawns
and other open space"

Design the pull-offs as multipurpose social space. 

- Paint them for games: hopscotch, four-square, fox-and-geese, or "roads"
for toy cars. As a child I was horridly frustrated by the fact that the
chalk hopscotch grids I drew for myself at home were small and misshapen,
not at all like the ones at the school playground. 

- Furnish with lightweight or wheeled patio furniture and a grill, or
plastic toddler play equipment, to be moved to the edge when the pad is
needed for, say, a carpet cleaning service truck. 

- Create a labyrinth. Inset pebbles, marbles, or tiles in the cement for the
outline: prettier and more permanent than paint.

- Put a basketball hoop at the side.  

- Benches or hedges or other low barriers (even knee-high) would give a
psychological separation from resident's yards.

I've wished that our community had half a dozen small patios scattered
through, one for every three or four units to share. Our community's spaces
are either public or private, mostly with no intermediate; we need areas
that are semi-private yet socially accessible.

Christopher Alexander's book A Pattern Language discusses gradations of
privacy and the elements of design that can encourage people to use an area
or turn it into a no man's land (among many other concepts useful for
creating livable buildings and communities).



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