Design of Public Spaces Procedure

Purpose statement

This procedure addresses the Design of Public Spaces Standards (accessibility standards for the built environment) requirements of Ontario Regulation 191/11 for the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Scope

This procedure applies to new construction and redevelopment of elements in public spaces owned, operated or leased and maintained by the town, designed or constructed by the town as well as by volunteers, agents, contractors (personnel) or any individual representing or performing any function on behalf of the town.

This procedure does not require forced changes (retrofits) to meet the standards and does not apply to emergency repairs. It also does not apply where it is not practicable to comply with the requirements, or some of them, because existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features.

Ontario’s Building Code (OBC) regulates accessibility features in buildings as well as walkways or ramps that connect to building entranceways.

The town’s Oakville Universal Design Standards for town facilities (OUDS) integrates universal design best practices with current Ontario regulations and its use is mandatory for all new construction, additions, renovations and capital replacements at town owned buildings, including leased buildings and temporary structures. The OUDS often goes above the minimum requirements of the Ontario Building Code and the Design of Public Spaces Standard so town facilities are inclusive and user-friendly for residents and visitors of all abilities. This procedure reflects the requirements of the OUDS where applicable.

Procedure

1. Recreational trails

A recreational trail is a public pedestrian trail intended for recreational and leisure purposes.

Exceptions
The standard does not apply to the following types of trails:

  • Trails solely intended for cross-country skiing, mountain biking or the use of motorized snow vehicles or off-road vehicles
  • Wilderness trails, backcountry trails and portage routes

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped recreational trails maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Minimum clear width
  • Minimum head room clearance
  • Trail surface
  • Openings in the surface
  • Edge protection
  • Trail entrance
  • Signage
  • Boardwalks
  • Ramps

Consultation
Prior to constructing new or redeveloping existing recreational trails, the town shall hold consultations with the public, persons with disabilities and the Accessibility Advisory Committee on the following:

  1. The slope of the trail
  2. The need for, and location of, ramps on the trail
  3. The need for, location and design of
    • Rest areas
    • Passing areas
    • Viewing areas
    • Amenities on the trail
    • Any other pertinent feature

2. Beach access routes

Beach access routes are constructed for public pedestrian use that provide access to public beaches. These include permanent or temporary routes that provide access from a parking lot, recreational trail, sidewalk or walkway, or an amenity.

Exceptions
The standard does not apply to beach access routes created through repetitive use and without formal authorization.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped beach access routes maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Minimum clear width
  • Minimum head room clearance
  • Surface and surface area
  • Changes in level
  • Openings in the surface
  • Maximum cross slope
  • Maximum running slope
  • Entrances
  • Boardwalks
  • Ramps

Recreational Trails and Beach Access Routes – Common Exceptions
The standard does not apply where the town can demonstrate a requirement would:

  • Likely affect the cultural heritage value or interest of a property identified, designated or otherwise protected under the Ontario Heritage Act
  • Affect the preservation of places set apart as National Historic Sites of Canada under the Canada National Parks Act
  • Affect the national historic interest or significance of historic places marked or commemorated under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Canada)
  • Damage, directly or indirectly, the cultural heritage or natural heritage on a property included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage List of sites under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
  • Adversely affect water, fish, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, species at risk, ecological integrity or natural heritage values, whether the adverse effects are direct or indirect
  • Not be practicable to comply with because existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features

3. Outdoor public use eating areas

Outdoor public use eating areas consist of tables that are found in public spaces, such as public parks, and are specifically intended for use by the public as a place to consume food.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped outdoor public use eating areas that are maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • At least 20 per cent, but not less than one table must be accessible
  • Accessible picnic tables located on an accessible path
  • Depth
  • Height
  • Colour contrast
  • Ground and floor surface

4. Outdoor play spaces

An outdoor play space is an area that includes equipment or features that are designed and placed to provide play opportunities and experiences for children and caregivers.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped outdoor play spaces maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Sensory and active play components, for children and caregivers with various disabilities
  • Ground surface that is firm, stable and has impact attenuating properties for injury prevention
  • Sufficient clearance to provide children and caregivers with various disabilities the ability to move through, in and around the outdoor play space

Consultation
Prior to constructing new or redeveloping existing outdoor play spaces, the town shall hold consultations with the public, persons with disabilities and the Accessibility Advisory Committee on the needs of children and caregivers with various disabilities.

5. Exterior paths of travel

Exterior paths of travel are sidewalks, walkways and multi-use paths, designed and constructed for pedestrian travel and intended to provide a functional service.

Exceptions
The standard does not apply to exterior paths of travel already regulated under Ontario’s Building Code, paths that are intended to provide a recreational experience or unplanned paths that pedestrians may use, such as shortcuts.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped exterior paths of travel maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Exterior paths of travel
    • Minimum clear width
    • Minimum head room clearance
    • Surface and surface area
    • Openings in the surface
    • Changes in level
    • Maximum running slope
    • Maximum cross slope
  • Ramps
    • Minimum clear width
    • Surface
    • Maximum running slope
    • Landings
    • Openings in the surface
    • Handrails
    • Wall or guard rails
    • Edge protection
  • Stairs
    • Treads
    • Riser
    • Runs
    • Tonal contrast markings
    • Tactile walking surface indicators
    • Handrails
    • Guard rail
  • Curb ramps
    • Minimum clear width
    • Maximum running slope
    • Maximum cross slope
    • Tactile walking surface indicators
  • Depressed curbs
    • Maximum running slope
    • Direction of travel
    • Tactile walking surface indicators
  • Accessible pedestrian signals
    • Locator and indicator tone
    • Installation placement
    • Tactile arrows
    • Activation features
    • Audible and vibro-tactile walk indicators

Consultation
Prior to constructing new or redeveloping existing exterior paths of travel, the town shall hold consultations with the public, persons with disabilities and the Accessibility Advisory Committee on the design and placement of rest areas along the exterior path of travel.

6. Accessible parking

Off-street parking
Off-street parking facilities are open area parking lots and structures intended for temporary parking of vehicles by the public, whether or not the payment of a fee is charged and includes visitor parking spaces in parking facilities.

Exceptions
The standard does not apply to off-street parking facilities if the parking facility is:

  • Not located on a barrier-free path of travel
  • One of multiple off-street parking facilities on a single site serving a building or facility and accessible parking facilities are provided elsewhere on the same site
  • Used exclusively for other purposes, such as lots for:
    • Buses
    • Delivery vehicles
    • Law enforcement vehicles
    • Medical transportation vehicles, such as ambulances
    • Impounded vehicles

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped off-street parking maintained by the town at town facilities shall meet the technical requirements under the Oakville Universal Design Standards for town facilities.

All newly constructed or redeveloped off-street parking maintained by the town (except at town facilities) shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Types of accessible parking spaces
    • Type A - minimum width of 3,400 mm and accessible van parking signage
    • Type B - minimum width of 2,400 mm and accessible car parking signage
  • Access aisles
    • Minimum width
    • Extend full length of parking space
    • Tonal contrast markings
  • Signage
    • Space is identified with an accessible permit parking sign, as prescribed
  • Minimum number and type of accessible parking spaces

 

 Total number of parking spaces in parking facility for public use

Total number of accessible parking spaces required (rounded up to nearest whole number)

Type A Spaces

Type B Spaces 

1

1

1

0

 25

1

1

0

75

3

1

2

150

6

3

3

200

7

3

4

500

12

6

6

750

17

8

9

1000

22

11

11

2500

36

18

18

Exceptions
The town is not required to meet the minimum number of accessible parking spaces if it is not practicable due to existing physical or site constraints, for example:

  • Minimum width for parking spaces or access aisles cannot be met because of existing pay and display parking meters
  • Surrounding curb edges, walkways, landscaping or the need to maintain a minimum drive aisle width

Where the town claims an exception to the minimum number of accessible parking spaces it will provide as close to as many accessible parking spaces that meet the requirements and:

  • Where that number is an even number, the number of parking spaces must be divided equally between Type A and Type B parking spaces
  • Where that number is an odd number, the number of parking spaces must be divided equally between Type A and Type B parking spaces, but the additional parking space may be a Type B parking space

On-street parking
On-street parking spaces are designated spaces where vehicles can be parked on a temporary basis, located on a public highway, street, avenue, parkway or similar type of road and provides direct access to shops, offices and other facilities.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped on-street parking spaces that are maintained by the town shall meet the consultation requirements as prescribed in the standard.

Consultation
Prior to constructing new or redeveloping existing accessible on-street parking, the town shall hold consultations with the public, persons with disabilities and the Accessibility Advisory Committee on the need, location and design of accessible on-street parking spaces.

7. Obtaining services

Service counters
Service counters are places where a resident or visitor receives a service and can include information desks, kiosks or counters.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped service counters maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Minimum number of accessible service counters
  • Located on an accessible path
  • Speaking ports
  • Countertop height
  • Knee clearance
  • Toe space
  • Floor space
  • Signage
  • Reach

Fixed queuing guides
Fixed queuing guides are permanent or built-in fixtures that direct people to follow a set path and are often used to organize long customer service lines.

Exceptions
These requirements do not apply to temporary guides, such as moveable posts and ropes.

Application
All newly constructed fixed queuing guides that are fixed to the floor, both indoors and outdoors, maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Minimum width
  • Colour/tonal contrast
  • Floor space
  • Cane detectable
  • Visual and auditory signals
  • Tactile walking surface indicators

Waiting areas
Waiting areas are places where people wait to receive a service and often include fixed seating.

Accessible seating space is an area alongside the other seating locations where a person using a mobility aid can position themselves and/or their equipment.

Application
All newly constructed or redeveloped waiting areas that are maintained by the town shall meet the technical requirements for features including:

  • Minimum number of accessible seating
  • Located on an accessible path
  • Floor space

8. Maintenance

Maintenance includes undertaking activities to keep existing public spaces in good working order and restoring spaces or elements back to their original condition.

Application
The town shall meet the maintenance requirements, as prescribed in the standard, and include maintenance requirements in the town’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, 2012-2017, including procedures for:

  • Preventative and emergency maintenance of the accessible elements in public spaces required by the standard
  • Temporary disruptions to accessible public spaces when accessible elements in public spaces required by the standard are not working

Definitions

Accessible path - a continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces at the exterior of a building and within the interior spaces of a building. Interior accessible paths include corridors, floors, ramps, elevators, and clear floor spaces at fixtures. Exterior accessible paths include parking access aisles, curb ramps, crosswalks, etc.

Amenities - objects placed in public spaces that provide a convenience or service. Examples include (but are not limited to) drinking fountains, benches and garbage containers.

Redeveloped – planned significant alteration to a public space. It does not include maintenance activities, environmental mitigation or environmental restoration.

Rest Area - dedicated space on a recreational trail or exterior path of travel intended for public use that allows a person to stop and rest.

Vibro-tactile walk indicator - push-button signal devices at pedestrian crossings. They vibrate and communicate the walk cycle through the sense of touch.

Responsibilities

Departments are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the design of public spaces procedure is followed

Procedure details

Procedure Number: MS-ACC-001-006
Parent Policy: MS-ACC-001
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Accessibility
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2015 Nov 16
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Dec 12

References

Service Disruption Guidelines
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation - Ontario Regulation 191/11
Ontario Human Rights Code

Town of Oakville multi-year accessibility plan and annual status updates
MS-ACC-001-001 Accessible Customer Service Procedure
MS-ACC-001-002 Planning Accessible Meetings Procedure
MS-ACC-001-003 Accessible Employment Procedure
MS-ACC-001-004 Accessible Information and Communications Procedure
MS-ACC-001-005 Accessible Transportation Procedure
Other accessibility standards as enacted