Accessible parking: are users voices heard within the built environment sphere?

  • YEAR
    Jackson, Mary Ann
    Green, Ralph
    2015 Conference Papers
    Architecture and Social Research
    Conference Papers


People with disabilities are frequently excluded from public space, including public transport,
due to accessibility issues. Those who are ambulant often cannot walk far nor carry routine weekly
shopping purchases. The resultant reliance on private vehicles has historically been accommodated
through the provision of Disabled Parking along with permits issued by local government authorities.
However, such schemes have evolved organically with little, if any, input from people with disabilities. Additionally, urban design and infrastructure architecture with current emphases on pedestrianisation, public transport facility enhancement, ‘bicyclecture’ and ‘shared space’ provision, rarely considers accessible parking, relegating it instead to the domain of traffic engineers. Often though, accessible parking is a poorly understood concern in traffic engineering, with little guidance readily available. What do permit holders have to say about accessible parking? Are the voices of the users of these bays being heard in current inner-city urban design dialogues that favour ‘street activation’ and ‘active transport’? By exploring the disconnect between users voices, urban design and traffic engineering this paper attempts to answer these questions. The findings of a research project investigating accessible parking in an inner-Melbourne local government area is presented as a Case Study.


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