RIGHT OF WAY PATIO REVIEW SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC SIDEWALKS

RIGHT OF WAY PATIO REVIEW SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC SIDEWALKS ottawa.ca May 2016 3-1-1 TTY 613-580-2401 This page has been intentionally left bl...
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RIGHT OF WAY PATIO REVIEW SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE PUBLIC SIDEWALKS

ottawa.ca

May 2016

3-1-1 TTY 613-580-2401

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Safe and Accessible Public Sidewalks

Contents Safe and Accessible Public Sidewalks ................................................................................................................. 4 Pedestrian clearway ........................................................................................................................................ 4 What is the pedestrian clearway? .............................................................................................................. 4 Current regulation....................................................................................................................................... 5 Pedestrian clearway requirements ............................................................................................................. 7 Inner and outer boulevard and the pedestrian clearway ........................................................................... 8 Design rationale .......................................................................................................................................... 9 Pedestrian clearway requirement in other cities ....................................................................................... 9 Recommendation options for the pedestrian clearway ............................................................................. 9 Umbrellas that extend beyond a patio perimeter ........................................................................................ 10 Current regulation..................................................................................................................................... 10 Recommendation options for umbrellas that extend beyond a patio perimeter .................................... 11 Definitions / Glossary .................................................................................................................................... 12 Document 1 Province of Ontario and City of Ottawa Design Guidelines ..................................................... 14 Document 2 Pedestrian clearway practices in other cities........................................................................... 16

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Safe and Accessible Public Sidewalks Right of way (ROW) patios can contribute to the character and vibrancy of public spaces, but their location on the sidewalk can also affect the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians. The RETHINK! ROW Patio Review is an opportunity to remind business owners to consider safety and accessibility for pedestrians adjacent to a ROW patio. This paper discusses two key topics that have emerged as important for maintaining safe and accessible public sidewalks adjacent to ROW Figure 1 There is high demand for space on the right of way. patios – maintaining the required pedestrian clearway and the regulation of umbrellas that extend beyond the patio perimeter.

Pedestrian clearway The new ROW Patio By-law will establish a required pedestrian clearway width that is functional, safe and comfortable for all users of the public sidewalk. Five possible options are proposed for the pedestrian clearway. What is the pedestrian clearway? The pedestrian clearway is the area of sidewalk reserved for pedestrian traffic. The term ‘pedestrian clearway’ represents the purpose of this area of the sidewalk more clearly than the term ‘unencumbered sidewalk width’ that is currently used in the Encroachment By-law. The term ‘pedestrian clearway’ is used in this discussion and proposed to be adopted in the new regulations.

Figure 2 The edge of the tree grate is the limit of the pedestrian clearway.

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Current regulation Every existing approval for a ROW patio in Ottawa includes a condition for a specific minimum width of pedestrian clearway that must be unencumbered at all times. For most ROW patios, the required minimum pedestrian clearway is 1.8m. A clearway of 2m has been required in several locations with high pedestrian volume at the busiest hours of the day - for instance, the Elgin Street area near City Hall and in the Byward Market.

Figure 3 The Byward Market has pedestrian volumes that require a wider pedestrian clearway.

CURRENT REGULATION - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY Schedule ‘C’ of the Encroachment By-law sets out a required minimum unencumbered sidewalk width for a ROW patio based on peak pedestrian volume. The requirement ranges from 2.4m to as wide as 3.65m.

In practice, existing ROW patio locations do not meet Schedule ‘C’. Factors that have contributed to pedestrian clearways that differ from Schedule ‘C’ requirements include: 1. Locations that were approved before Schedule ‘C’ was created Many of the existing ROW patio were approved with a pedestrian clearway of 1.8m before the requirements of Schedule ‘C’ were added to the Encroachment By-law in 2003. Other locations were approved with a pedestrian clearway width to match existing, adjacent patios. A subsequent application for a patio located adjacent to an existing location with an 1.8m pedestrian clearway was also approved with a pedestrian clearway of 1.8m, in order to maintain a straight, consistent pedestrian path of travel.

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2. Unachievable Schedule ‘C’ values Only the Byward Market and a limited number of other locations have sidewalks with total width of 2.4m, the lowest Schedule ‘C’ required unencumbered sidewalk width. The application of even the minimum Schedule ‘C’ requirement would eliminate almost every existing ROW patio location. 3. Approvals provided with special considerations Operators may request waiver of by-law provisions. A waiver requires a technical review by City staff and approval of the City’s Transportation Committee. In these instances, special conditions may be applied that relax by-law requirements, including the required width of the pedestrian clearway. 4. Locations where sidewalk conditions are altered after approval In some existing patio locations, the width of the pedestrian clearway has been affected by tree planting or the relocation of fire hydrants, pay and display machines, or other municipal infrastructure, and the patio size has not been altered to accommodate the change. OPTION 1 - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY Set a standard minimum width of 2m for the pedestrian clearway adjacent to a ROW patio, with a reduction to 1.8m in approved locations with low pedestrian volume, and a wider pedestrian clearway on streets with high pedestrian volumes and in the Byward Market.

OPTION 2 - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY Create a table similar to Schedule ‘C’, where the required minimum pedestrian clearway is based on the amount of peak pedestrian volume, starts at 1.8m and increments up to 2.4m.

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Pedestrian clearway requirements Any area of sidewalk with a suitable surface for pedestrian travel may be included as part of the pedestrian clearway, including the inner or outer boulevard. A safe and comfortable pedestrian clearway is:   

A minimum of 1.8m wide, to meet the requirements of the City of Ottawa’s Accessibility Design Standards and Sidewalk Technical Design Guidelines Straight, so that the pedestrian does not weave around objects or from one side of the sidewalk to another, and Continuous and not obstructed in any way.

The sidewalk is a public space, and should be usable and safe for everyone in the community. Persons with a disability are a substantial group of users that can’t be overlooked. The best approach is universal design that provides barrier free travel for all users. For instance, a straight path should be considered because it is safer and easier to follow for all users, but a straight path is especially important for pedestrians with vision loss.

Figure 4 The pedestrian clearway must not be encumbered by A-frame signs.

A-frame signs or a lineup of patrons waiting to enter an establishment can be additional encumbrances into the pedestrian clearway. A-frame signs can create major obstacles for people with vision loss, making independent travel unnecessarily difficult. If deemed necessary, they should be placed well outside the path of travel. OPTION 3 - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY A-frame signs to be specifically prohibited in the pedestrian clearway adjacent to a ROW patio.

Pedestrians have a strong tendency to walk in the middle of the pedestrian clearway, and shy distance refers to the first 0.61m of the sidewalk nearest a wall or other obstruction that the pedestrian tends to avoid1. In order to accommodate shy distance, a wider pedestrian clearway may be considered for a ROW patio that uses a platform. Similarly, a wider pedestrian clearway might be needed for a ROW patio 1

Planning and Urban Design Standards Student Edition, American Planning Association, Fredrick R. Steiner, Kent Butler

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that has no perimeter railing or barrier, in order to separate the pedestrians from the patrons. Note that, in addition to the required pedestrian clearway, extra space is required for pedestrians manoeuvring and pooling at intersections. A loading area of 2.4m by 1.5m is also required adjacent to bus stops. OPTION 4 - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY Carry out street assessments and define the pedestrian clearway requirements based on pedestrian volume and street design for each street or street segment.

Inner and outer boulevard and the pedestrian clearway Sidewalk surface treatments can be used to create a distinction between different sidewalk zones – between the inner boulevard or frontage zone, the pedestrian clearway, and the outer boulevard or utility zone. In practice, there are often no distinct boundaries between these areas of the sidewalk, and any available sidewalk area may be used for patio or pedestrian use where appropriate. Nevertheless, a ROW patio is a temporary and seasonal use that must be planned to maintain a distinct pedestrian clearway that fits with existing street design. The outer boulevard often includes amenities and permanent installations such as trees, utility poles, traffic control devices, newspaper boxes and road signs, and also serves as a safety buffer from traffic. The outer boulevard can look very different from street to street, depending on the width of the sidewalk, the type of street – arterial mainstreet, traditional mainstreet, bus route, etc., or the streetscape design. Changes to the outer boulevard area are also not uncommon with street tree replacements or changes to on-street parking, and the ROW patio may have to alter its size to accommodate the changes.

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Figure 5 Sidewalk Zones

OPTION 5 - PEDESTRIAN CLEARWAY Add a pedestrian clearway section to every annual ROW patio permit that specifies the required minimum width of the pedestrian clearway and any other pedestrian clearway conditions in a prominent area of the permit. Include a requirement that the approved patio area is subject to change, and must be adjusted to provide the required pedestrian clearway should there be changes to the sidewalk, including the addition of municipal infrastructure.

Design rationale The movement of pedestrians is the primary use on the public sidewalk. ROW patios must accommodate minimum pedestrian clearway requirements to maintain safe and efficient pedestrian movement. City of Ottawa design and planning guidelines recommend a minimum of 1.8m for a pedestrian clearway width. A summary of guidelines is attached as Document 1. Figure 6 The pedestrian clearway is between the fire hydrant and the patio railing.

Pedestrian clearway requirement in other cities A best practice review of patio regulations in other Canadian cities shows a wide difference in requirements for minimum pedestrian clearway width - from the narrowest requirement of 1.5m in Montréal, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Kamloops to a 2.4m minimum width required in Windsor, Cobourg and Vancouver. A summary of pedestrian clearway practices in other Canadian and North American cities is included as Document 2. Recommendation options for the pedestrian clearway The options presented in the previous section are summarized here. OPTION 1: Set a standard minimum width of 2m for the pedestrian clearway adjacent to a ROW patio, with a reduction to 1.8m in approved locations with low pedestrian volume, and a wider pedestrian clearway on streets with high pedestrian volumes and in the Byward Market. Safe and Accessible Public Sidewalks

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OPTION 2: Create a table similar to Schedule ‘C’, where the required minimum pedestrian clearway is based on the amount of peak pedestrian volume, starts at 1.8m and increments up to 2.4m. OPTION 3: A-frame signs to be specifically prohibited in the pedestrian clearway adjacent to a ROW patio. OPTION 4: Carry out street assessments and define the pedestrian clearway requirements based on pedestrian volume and street design for each street or street segment. OPTION 5: Add a pedestrian clearway section to every annual ROW patio permit that specifies the required minimum width of the pedestrian clearway and any other pedestrian clearway conditions in a prominent area of the permit. Include a requirement that the approved patio area is subject to change, and must be adjusted to provide the required pedestrian clearway should there be changes to the sidewalk, including the addition of municipal infrastructure.

Umbrellas that extend beyond a patio perimeter Freestanding umbrellas, table umbrellas, or awnings that are attached to a building face are both decorative and functional elements of a ROW patio. Umbrellas on a ROW patio add a welcoming feel and provide shelter from the elements. Current regulation Currently, the regulations prohibit a permit holder from placing a retractable awning or patio umbrella outside the area of a patio at any time. In practice it’s common for operators to fix an umbrella or sunshade to the secure perimeter railing of a patio. The umbrella canopy then extends over the railing into the pedestrian clearway.

Figure 7 ROW patio umbrellas secured to the perimeter railing.

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CURRENT REGULATION - UMBRELLAS A permit holder is prohibited from placing a retractable awning or patio umbrella outside the area of a patio at any time.

In practice, the City has tolerated umbrellas that extend over the perimeter of a ROW patio if the umbrella is more than 2.2m above the surface of the sidewalk. Permit holders often attach umbrellas to a railing as a safety measure, because table umbrellas can be unstable and may require a significant footing for support, even in calm conditions. Figure 8 Umbrellas are secured to the railing, but don’t overhang the pedestrian clearway.

Recommendation options for umbrellas that extend beyond a patio perimeter OPTION 1 - UMBRELLAS No canopies or umbrellas may extend outside the area of the patio into the pedestrian clearway.

OPTION 2 - UMBRELLAS Umbrellas may overhang the patio railing at a height at or over a required height - from 2.1 to 2.4m. Umbrellas must be closed and secured when the patio is not in use and during rain events, in order to prevent water from dripping onto the sidewalk and to avoid conflict with pedestrians using umbrellas. Umbrellas must be entirely located on the patio when closed.

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Definitions / Glossary “amenity zone” means the section of sidewalk that is set aside for the placement of street furniture (e.g., benches, utility poles, vending machines and post boxes), to ensure that it is located away from the pedestrian path of travel “boulevard” means all parts of the highway save and except the roadway, shoulder or sidewalk “inner boulevard” means that part of the boulevard lying between the property line and the edge of the sidewalk nearest to the property line. Where there is no sidewalk it means that part of the boulevard lying between the property line and the roadway “frontage zone” means the area of sidewalk adjacent to buildings “outer boulevard” means that part of the boulevard lying between any sidewalk and the roadway “pedestrian” means a person on foot; a person in a wheelchair; or a child in a carriage, stroller or play vehicle “pedestrian clearway” means a clear, straight, unobstructed area of sidewalk reserved for pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as “unencumbered sidewalk width” or “sidewalk zone” “right of way” means municipal land reserved for transportation purposes “shy distance” means the area of sidewalk that pedestrians tend to avoid to protect themselves from obstructions “sidewalk” means all parts of a highway set aside by the City for the use of pedestrians “sidewalk zone” means a clear, straight, unobstructed area of sidewalk reserved for pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as “pedestrian clearway” or “unencumbered sidewalk width” “traffic control devices” means a sign, traffic control signal or other device placed for the purpose of regulating or directing vehicular, pedestrian or other traffic within the highway and includes the utility pole, post or other supporting members, control boxes and other ancillary elements “tree grate” means the grate that covers a tree well and surrounds a tree, usually constructed of metal “unencumbered sidewalk width” means a clear, straight, unobstructed area of sidewalk reserved for pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as “sidewalk zone”, or “pedestrian clearway”

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“utility pole” means a pole installed on a highway by the City or a public utility and includes a decorative lamp post, streetlight pole and traffic control signal pole “utility zone” means the section of sidewalk that is set aside for the placement of street furniture (e.g., benches, utility poles, vending machines and post boxes), to ensure that it is located away from the pedestrian path of travel. Also referred to as “amenity zone”

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Document 1 Province of Ontario and City of Ottawa Design Guidelines Ottawa’s 2013 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Update recommends a Complete Streets approach to design, and includes policies and actions for providing safe and efficient roads by designing and building for the safety, comfort and mobility of all street users. A complete street approach considers the Level of Service (LOS) for several transportation modes, including the pedestrian. Ottawa’s Complete Streets Plan ... pedestrian section builds on important pedestrian safety and accessibility legislation such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and City of Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards. The AODA is provincial legislation that governs accessibility issues in the public realm. It requires all public sidewalks to have minimum clearway widths to ensure that all persons can navigate the public realm safely. The AODA requires an exterior path of travel to have a minimum clear width of 1.5m. A width of 1.8m is required for two wheelchairs to pass each other from opposite directions, and also the width required for a wheelchair to turn around, if needed. The City of Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards help to further refine public realm design standards for the Ottawa context. The standards set out the minimum required width for an exterior path of travel, including public sidewalks, as 1.8m (see Figure 30a from the City of Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards).

Figure 30a: Minimum Clear Width of Exterior Path of Travel 1800 mm (min.)

The pedestrian clearway is also discussed in the urban design and transportation study Downtown Moves: Transforming Ottawa’s Streets2. This study more specifically identifies ways to create more vibrant, inclusive, safe and accessible streets across Ottawa’s Central Business District – some of Ottawa’s busiest pedestrian streets. Notwithstanding the total width of the sidewalk and the arrangement of elements within the sidewalk, an absolute minimum unencumbered pedestrian clearway of 1.8m is proposed on every downtown sidewalk.

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The Downtown Moves study was approved by Transportation Committee on 4 March 2013 with broad public support.

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Downtown Moves also sets a target for the design of complete streets in Ottawa’s downtown to accommodate peak pedestrian volumes. A Level of Service ‘C’ is considered as acceptable for Ottawa’s downtown streets. At this level, pedestrians will need to frequently adjust their path to avoid conflict, but the speed and ability to pass slower pedestrians is not restricted. At the pedestrian volume of most Ottawa sidewalks, this level of service can be achieved with a 1.5m sidewalk width. The minimum sidewalk width in the City’s Standard Tender Documents3 is 1.8m. Ontario provincial standards4 recommend a standard of 1.5m, increased to 2.4m at schools, bus stops and other high pedestrian areas. The City’s Outdoor Patio Design Guidelines propose an optimum clear width of 2.4m, reduced to a minimum of 1.8m where site constraints don’t provide the optimum width. The guidelines also recommend a straight alignment of the pedestrian clearway. These guidelines are not binding regulation.

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City of Ottawa Design Guideline SC1.4 Concrete Barrier Curb with Sidewalk; SC2 Monolithic Concrete Curb and Sidewalk; SC4 Typical Concrete Sidewalk in Boulevard; SC9.1 Concrete Curb & Gutter With Interlocking Sidewalk

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http://applications.roadauthority.com/Standards/?Id=D50435DB-45C8-45F9-BD7C-D1497882ED5A

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Document 2 Pedestrian clearway practices in other cities Country Province City Canada ON Cobourg Guelph

Pedestrian Clearway Required 2.4m 1.83m

Hamilton Toronto

1.5m 1.7 on local street 2.1m on arterial or collector street 2.4m min pedestrian clearway. No patio for sidewalk < 3.7m total width 1.5m 1.82m 2.5m in heavily used pedestrian areas 1.9m, with reduction to 1.5m for low pedestrian activity and where separated from the curb 1.5m 2.4m 50% of sidewalk width for wide sidewalks Total sidewalk < 4m: 1.83m never less than 1.5m Total sidewalk > 4m: half of sidewalk width

Windsor

USA

QU AB

Montreal Edmonton

MB

Winnipeg

BC

Kamloops Vancouver

Philadelphia

Seattle San Francisco

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Total sidewalk < 2.49m: no patio 1.83m 1.83m

Safe and Accessible Public Sidewalks

Source City of Guelph Downtown Streetscape Manual

City of Toronto Café Design Guidelines

Philadelphia Complete Streets Design Hand Book

Seattle Sidewalk Café Standards SF Better Streets Plan