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Onsite Patient Movement and Main Pedestrian Circulation Routes

In this article, we evaluate public pedestrian access for all in-patients and staff at the hospital.
Elderly couple on a narrow public footpath
Photo Design Features
  • Pedestrian access to Tallaght Hospital is supported due to proximity to Tallaght Town centre and public transport stops served by the Luas and Dublin Bus.

Photo Design Tip

  • The footpath should be wider to allow the safe and comfortable passing of pedestrians without having to step onto the grass which may result in a slip or fall.
  • Seating should be placed along the entrance road to provide a rest point or the opportunity to stop and orientate.

Design Considerations and Awareness

Section xx addressed many aspects of pedestrian movement in relation to the main external and internal patient route, and the importance of a coherent, legible and orientating public realm to help people navigate to their destination.

Given the scale and complexity of many acute hospitals, travel distances can become problematic for many older people, or people with physical or sensory impairments. Where feasible external pedestrian travel distances should be minimised by locating the main public facilities, and building entrances as close as possible to public roads or public transport stops. While this reduces pedestrian travel distances it also helps to integrate the hospital with the local community as argued in Section xx

Excessive travel distances can be compounded by the need to cross busy junctions, particularly service routes or ambulance routes and access roads leading to the Emergency Department where vehicles may be traveling at higher speeds. In this regard, the external pedestrian circulation path should be segregated from emergency vehicles and service traffic.

To ensure these pedestrian routes are accessible and usable for all people, they should be flat, even and sufficiently wide to allow the safe and comfortable passage of groups of pedestrians. In addition, surfaces should be non-slip, non-glare, and avoid strong patterns or sharp tonal or colour contrast.

Furthermore, where footpaths transverse vehicle routes ensure there are appropriate pedestrian crossing points with dropped curbs, blister tactile paving surface, and road crossing markings to safely guide people across the road. Careful consideration should be given to the use of pedestrian barriers and railings as these can be obstacles and sometimes force or misdirect people on to the road.

UD Dementia Friendly Design Guidance

  • Overall, the campus should create a calm, legible setting with careful use of planting to produce a therapeutic environment both outside and inside the building.
  • Consider how urban spaces can engender a sense of familiarity by the provision of human-scale, informal spaces inspired by traditional urban patterns, building design and features. This does not preclude innovative design but instead challenges the designer to employ recognisable spaces, features and functions which are consistent with users’ expectations.
  • Provide calm spaces that avoid excessive acoustic disturbance through design that reduces traffic volume and speed, and orientates noise generating activities away from patient and key amenity spaces.
  • Consider how external pedestrian circulation paths can be segregated from emergency vehicles and service traffic.
  • Ensure pedestrian routes are accessible and usable for all people, by ensuring they are flat, even and sufficiently wide to allow the safe and comfortable passage of groups of pedestrians. In addition, surfaces should be non-slip, non-glare, and avoid strong patterns or sharp tonal or colour contrast.
  • The wayfinding strategy should extend into the building from the campus and provide clear, consistent, and easily read signage, and supported by distinct paths and internal spaces, along with recognisable visual cues such as colour, building elements, artwork or planting.
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Dementia Inclusive Hospitals from a Universal Design Approach

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