How Towson, Md., tackled ADA sidewalk issue

By Anita McKelvey
For PlanPhilly
Recently  I had dinner with a friend in Towson, Md., north of Baltimore. At the intersection of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue there was a very extensive brick and American With Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk design that would be perfect for Society Hill and other areas of Philly.

Unfortunately, neither my friend or I had a digital camera with us and her cell phone could not get a good shot of the brick work
pavement.  But Goggle maps has a great view of it.


Here’s a description:

The brick sidewalks are broader than what’s typically found in Society Hill, but the ADA nubbed inserts were not limited to a
small 2×3′ patch (or whatever size Philly is using). In fact, the nubbed patches were the same sizes as the bricks and were
laid in a wide pattern on all four corners of the intersection so that the upper areas had a walking strip and there was another
full wrap at the base of the inclined pavement to the curb. A far more effective ADA ramp if ever I saw one!

The current protocol in place in Society Hill is ugly and lousy! Also, how effective is the revised ramp egress when the belgian block street surface hasn’t been maintained since 1976? The streets are treacherous in many spots. Of course, if it was up to me, all the
streets in Old City, Society Hill and Washington Square nabes would be restored with trolley lines and belgian block surfaces.

Meanwhile, I hope a better resolution to the current design is forthcoming.

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