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Cold climates and pedestrian accommodations

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
OK all you Miinnesotans and Canucks, this one's for you... ;)

In designing cold climate pedestrian plazas boulevards and other outdoor spaces where people not only assemble, but are expected to travel extensively by foot, what are some of the design considerations you utilize. The site I'm dealing with is over a mile in length and links major attractions. Underground tunnel or full enclosure are not an option.

Here's what I can think of off the top of my head, please add to the list:

-Frequent places of interest to stop and warm up out of the elements. (Indoor kiosk type coffee stands, local culture or history exhibits, etc)

-Using outdoor public art spaces to double as wind breaks, bearing in mind prevailing wind patterns and snow drifting implications

-Recognize that building shadow lines can leave shaded spaces icy in freeze thaw cycles. Where space permits, use visual cues (pavers, art, light) to direct foot traffic to areas away from where building shadow lines are likely to fall.

-Landscape design that is multiseason, and not just a bunch of junipers.

-Transition landscape design themes to give visual cues that the person is making progress from one end to the other.

What else in genreal would you think of trying?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,187
Points
47
Who've got a good list already.

I'd add:

Use landscaping as wind-breaks in addition to the public art.

Make transit stops, if present, double as cold weather shelters.

Encourage adjacent business owners to accomodate the shelter of pedestrians, when needed.

Sufficient barriers/distance between the street gutters and the peds. on the sidewalks, to reduce any water/slush spray on peds. from passing vehicles.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I know the engineering sometimes doesn't work and usually the economics make it impossible, but I have seen it before....heated sidewalk/walkway.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
I think most of the major points have been hit. I'm not sure how much leeway you have with the design, but you might want to consider

1) A semi-enclosed pedestrian arcade (perhaps along your retail frontage), or at least some canopies, etc.

2) Create or take advantage of micro-climates were it might be possible to have more passive outdoor uses (such as sidewalk cafes) during the shoulder seasons.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Snow storage! Even if they plan to truck it offsite, there will still be a temporary need to store snow where it can be conveniently pushed off the walks. The second snow concern is to design curbless and flat profiles where the sidewalk meets the street. You might even consider raising the walkway across the intersection. This eliminates stepping off into several inches of slush, and makes it easier to eliminate the huge piles of snow left by the plows.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
mike gurnee said:
Pedestrian connectivity (doors between stores).
.
This is what Disney does on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom and some of its other shopping areas. Only it's to provide a haven from the heat.
 
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