Central Geelong Public Realm Framework - Accessibility recommendations

The streetscape, like other built forms, may not always be able to incorporate every aspect of ‘accessible’ design and compromises may be required. 

Less accessible designs can be improved and the impact mitigated.

4.1 Ground surfaces

The emphasis on this section is surfaces. Grates and utility covers are commonly integrated within the surface finish affecting surface tolerances. Types of surfacing affects textures and tolerances. Service access covers take many forms depending on the utility provider.

Key Design Features

Ground surfaces

  • Slip resistant texture for use by wheelchair user, person with ambulant or visual impairment
  • Surface abutments
  • +/-3 millimetres square edged
  • +/- 5 millimetres bevel/round edge
  • Paving joints 1-12 millimetres
  • Paving texture <2 millimetres


  • ≤13 millimetres diameter, long dimension perpendicular to path of travel
  • Slot ≤150 millimetres long

Summary of recommendations

  • The aesthetic impact of utility access points/trenches can be significant. With substantial proposed investment in infrastructure upgrade and streetscape renewal, this represents a significant risk to the aesthetic and entire new streetscapes can be reduced to patchwork. This is a matter for high level policy making to work with the utilities to develop innovative specifications and protocols for make good, trenching, stylised covers etc.
  • Renewal of surfaces, such as overpaving asphalt, to consider interface with service covers to maintain required surface tolerances.
  • Heritage is an important part of our culture, but where conflicts occur, alternative access ways to be provided.
  • Maintenance of pavings is crucial to avoid slip/trip risk
  • Specification of asphalt mix to ensure appropriate texture is achieved
  • Specification of paving joints can achieve a ‘heritage’ look and still be accessible.

4.2 Tactile surface ground indicators

Tactile surface ground indicators (TGSIs) are used to assist people with a vision impairment navigate the environment. There are 2 basic types of TGSI; hazard and directional. TGSIs are required to be used in stairways, ramps, escalators, moving walkways, carriageways, and to warn of hazards. In a transport setting, TGSIs are also deployed at bus/tram stops, stations, wharves and so on.

AS1428.4.1 states

“…in the absence of any indication or warning to the contrary, there will be a clear, safe continuous path of travel in front of them 2000 millimetres high, a minimum of 1200 millimetres in width and a depth of 900 millimetres before the hazardous situation.”

One of the most important features of the use of TGSIs, is that they should be predictable. For this reason, it is important to conform to the relevant Australian Standard. The relevant standard can be confusing as the Australian Standard appendices have multiple scenarios and this often leads to variable implementation. This is especially so at road crossings.

Further confusion can arise as in transport settings, the prescribed standard is AS1428.4, whereas in all other settings, it is AS1428.4.1. Finally, to add another layer of compliance, there are 3 main styles of construction of TGSIs and each has a different requirement for achieving a minimum standard of luminance contrast.

Key design features

Hazard TGSIs required for:

  • Stairways
  • Ramps
  • Escalators
  • Moving walkways
  • Required top and bottom, 300 millimetres from hazard
  • At landings if >3000 millimetres, depth of 600- 800 millimetres
  • At landings if < 3000 millimetres, depth of 300- 400 millimetres
  • If handrails provided both sides AND continuous, NO TGSI
  • Overhead hazard
  • Depth of 600-800 millimetres, allows 300 millimetres splay
  • Carriageways
  • Depth of 600-800 millimetres

TGSI style and luminance contrast:

  • Integrated: 30%
  • Discrete: 45%;
  • Composite: 60%

Hazard TGSI

  • 300-400 millimetres = 6no studs/600-800 millimetres = 12no discrete studs
  • 25 millimetres dia top, 35 millimetres max base/ 4-5 millimetres height
  • Placement = perpendicular to direction travel
  • Set back 300 millimetres +-10 millimetres edge hazard
  • If angled approach 600-800 millimetres required

Directional TGSIs

  • Parallel with and along centreline path of travel
  • 300-400 millimetres wide if in line path of travel
  • 600-800 millimetres if across path of travel

Summary of recommendations

  • Discrete and composite type TGSIs require maintenance if damaged, missing or dirty.
  • For areas where directional TGSIs are considered important, adequate lighting should also be provided.
  • Planning policy should provide building owners guidance on whether TGSIs can be provided on the footpath.
  • Bus stops to provide TGSIs to meet DDA Transport Standards.
  • Application of TGSIs requires careful planning to ensure safe wayfinding in the environment.
  • For upgrade works to pedestrian crossings, hazard TGSIs should also be provided to adjoining (nonupgraded) areas to create a

4.3 Pedestrian paths/walkways

In this section pedestrian paths / walkways are considered in terms of their dimensions and geometry. Key words are width, height, cross falls and obstructions, all of which can adversely affect accessibility.

Key Design Features

  • Gradient shallower than 1:33, crossfall shallower than 1:40min (or 1:33 asphalt)
  • Walkways to have:
  • Kerb/Kerb rail minimum 65 millimetres high or >150 millimetres
  • Wall >450 millimetres high
  • Or, different material 600 millimetres horizontally (To assist shorelining)
  • Height - minimum 2000mm
  • Width - min 1000 millimetres; 1200 millimetres preferred
  • Passing space 1800 x 2000 millimetres
  • If path of travel <1800 millimetres wide every 6 metres
  • Circulation space
  • 60 degrees – 90 degrees turn = 1500 x 1500 millimetres
  • 90 degrees - 180 degrees turn = 2070 x 1540 millimetres
  • 360 degrees turn = 2250 millimetres diameter
  • If width of path of travel < 1200mm, for 300- 600 turn, add 500 x 500 millimetres splay

Summary of recommendations

  • Geelong benefits from wide footpaths which allows for minimum widths to be achieved on most streets. The exception is in the laneway precinct where challenges from poles, bins, etc may reduce the accessible path of travel.
  • Add TGSI’s/other protection such as a significant visual aid where reduce height hazard.
  • Regular maintenance required to footpaths adjacent planted areas.
  • Potential policy consideration regarding building owners planting and designs to avoid/minimise potential damage.

4.4 Pedestrian road crossings

Pedestrian road crossing points are a crucial part of the urban infrastructure.

Pedestrian crossings may be controlled, for example: at traffic lights, or non-controlled, with a suggested crossing point provided by a kerb ramp, median and so on.

Common forms of crossing are:

  • kerb ramp with TGSIs at traffic light crossing; with push button assembly (PBA);
  • kerb ramp at traffic light crossing with push button assembly, no TGSIs;
  • kerb ramp with TGSI;
  • kerb ramp;
  • footpath graded to carriageway with TGSIs at traffic light crossing and PBA; and
  • footpath graded to carriageway.

Push button assemblies (PBAs) are either mounted to the side of the path of travel, that is: the side of a pole with a horizontal arrow indicating direction of travel, or facing the path of travel and fitted to the front of the pole with a vertical arrow indicating direction of travel. Vic Roads guidelines indicate that a horizontal arrow should be used. Both arrow positions are clear, however future upgrades will adopt a consistent approach.

The geometry of kerb ramps requires achieving a level sharp transition to provide a gradient of 1:8 – 1:8.5, with splayed sides at an angle of 450. The ramp itself needs to be in the direction of travel and must line up with the crossing point on the other side. A compliant kerb ramp of gradient 1:8 will have a length of 1.52 metres. If the distance from the top of the kerb ramp to the building line is >3 metres, TGSIs are also required, (that is: TGSIs required if the footpath is >4.52 metres wide). Many footpaths are more than 4.52 metres wide and thus where kerb ramps are provided, compliant TGSIs are required too. For footpaths less than 4.52 metres wide, a compliant kerb ramp at a single crossing point, provides sufficient information and TGSIs are not required.

Key Design Features

  • Types kerb ramp: Inserted/ Attached / Inline
  • Aligned in direction travel
  • Top and bottom of kerb ramp at 900 to direction travel
  • Sharp transition gradient
  • Rise 190mm, max grad 1:8, length 1520 millimetres
  • Slip resistant Kerb ramp landings
  • No change direction = 1200 millimetres
  • T junction = 1500 x 2000mm
  • Single change direction = 1500 x 1500 millimetres
  • TGSIs required if >3 metres from top of ramp to building line, that is: 4520 millimetres wide (3000 millimetres + 1520 millimetres), for single entry crossing Crossings
  • Single entry, single crossing point
  • Dual entry, single crossing point
  • Dual entry, separate crossing point
  • Time delay not more than 0.4m/s Push Button Assembly (PBA)
  • Height 1000 +-100 millimetres
  • Zone of common reach 300-400 millimetres from APT
  • Audio/tactile device
  • >2 metres from another audio/tactile device
  • Horizontal arrow direction travel

Summary of recommendations

  • It is recommended that a detailed audit is undertaken of pedestrian crossings within the Central Geelong area.
  • Push button assemblies (PBAs) are mounted either on the face of the pole with a vertical arrow indicating direction, or are side mounted with a horizontal arrow mounted on the approaching face of the pole, ie facing accessible path of travel. Vic Roads guidance refers only to the side mounted PBA and horizontal arrow. Both styles may be acceptable, but this should be clarified with Vic Roads.
  • Where a conflict arises with utility cover, a graded transition to the carriageway could be provided with appropriate TGSIs.
  • A common conflict in TGSI placement occurs from the width of the crossing and arc of the road. The road line markings the pedestrian crossing need to align with the footpath so that TGSIs can be placed correctly.

4.5 Vehicle crossovers/loading bays

Vehicle crossovers to loading bays and car parks arise in various locations. The conflict here is to preserve the rights of the building owner to access their property (over the footpath) but protect the needs of pedestrians.

In the context of accessibility, key issues are the width of the crossover, cross falls, visibility and luminance contrast, hazard warning. Vehicle users may also have reduced visibility, creating hazard for driver and pedestrian alike.

Key Design Features

  • Gradient shallower than 1:33,
  • Cross fall shallower than 1:40min (or 1:33 asphalt)
  • Hazard warning TGSIs for path of travel crossing ‘carriageway’
  • Width - minimum 1000 millimetres; 1200 millimetres preferred
  • Surface abutments
  • +/-3 millimetres square edged
  • +/- 5 millimetres bevel/round edge
  • Paving joints 1-12 millimetres
  • Paving texture <2 millimetres

Summary of recommendations

  • Wide crossovers at grade represent a significant hazard to pedestrians and adequate warning should be provided.
  • Definition of carriageway usually considered to be public road between kerbs. Planning guidance to consider width of vehicle crossovers and the width at which they are deemed ‘carriageways’ to provide guidance on when TGSIs should be applied.
  • Heritage - heritage and accessibility requirements are often in conflict. If a heritage feature, such as a cobbled driveway, cannot be suitably mitigated, then alternative accessible route will need to be provided.
  • It is harder to provide ‘accessible’
  • crossovers across narrow footpaths.
  • Planning policy to provide building owners guidance on acceptable outcomes.

4.6 Parking

Angled parking

  • Between 45 and 90 degrees, comprising:
    • Dedicated space 2400 x 5400 millimetres, line marked, and
    • Shared space to the side 2400 x 5400 millimetres; line marked; and
    • Shared space to the end of dedicated space, 2400 x 2400 millimetres, not line marked.
  • Kerb ramp provided at end corner (if required)
  • Bollard in shared space 800 millimetres +/- 50 millimetres from front

Parallel parking

  • Dedicated space 3200 x 7800 millimetres long
  • Shared space (to non-trafficked side) 1600 x 7800 millimetres, may be at higher level, but kerb ≤190 millimetres high and include kerb ramp
  • Kerb ramp provided at end corner Parking meters Parking in designated bays is free with a displayed disability badge Surface Dedicated and shared spaces to be at same level; maximum cross falls 1:40 (1:33 bitumen); slip resistant.

Space identi?cation

  • White symbol for access on blue background, centred and 500-600 millimetres from entry point
  • Dedicated parking – unbroken lines
  • Shared walkways – unbroken longitudinal lines
  • Vacant non-trafficked areas (capable of obstruction) unbroken diagonal stripes.


  • For vehicular path of travel 2200 millimetres
  • Above dedicated space AND shared area 2500 millimetres (may reduce for angled space)

Summary of recommendations

  • The display screen on parking meters to have anti-glare properties, so the screen can be read in bright light conditions
  • Consistent specification to be applied to on-street parking spaces, as far as practicable.
  • On-street parking spaces at grade with the footpath may encourage ‘shared space’ thinking which is of benefit to pedestrians, but needs to be kept under review, as vehicle users may have a different expectation. It is recommended that these spaces are formally designated as shared spaces to ensure all users share the same
    expectation of mutual respect.

4.7 Signage and information

Signage and information are crucial to wayfinding and is beneficial to all users, especially visitors.

Key Design Features

  • Use of International symbol disability/deafness
  • Use of Braille
  • Use of tactile
  • Size of symbols/viewing distance
  • Height of letters
  • Illumination of signs
  • Style, Consistency, Font
  • Symbols
  • Intuitive
  • Talking maps
  • Information points
  • Avoid reflections,
  • 30% luminance contrast letters/background

Summary of recommendations

  • Inset name strips set into footpath should not be a substitute for wall or pole mounted street names.
  • Maintenance required to maintain good legibility of inset strips to and to emphasise the feature
  • Specification considerations inset street
  • names -
    • Visibility and slip resistance of inset name strips compared to footpath material
  • Specification considerations for signage and information -
    • Anti-reflective covers, printing inks, maintenance, renewal of information sheet, ease of removal of graffiti; contrast of map features, avoid visual ‘clutter’/too much information on maps
  • A wayfinding audit is recommended to gather information to inform a wayfinding strategy. This is important to ensure good wayfinding outcomes when multiple infrastructure projects are planned and delivered separately.
  • Provide audible information points
  • Embrace new technology, including use of wayfinding apps.

4.8 Street furniture

Street furniture may include items such as seats, drinking fountains, bins, bicycle stands and repair.

Key Design Features

  • Seats set back 500 millimetres from APT
  • Seats to be provided with arms and without
  • Seat heights varied
  • Spaces for wheelchairs or prams adjacent to seating
  • Objects achieve 30% luminance contrast with background
  • Prefer street furniture on one side path of travel only
  • Locate on areas with minimal cross falls, ie shallower than 1:40
  • Achieve minimum AS1428.1 circulation spaces
  • Seating at max 60 metres intervals

Summary of recommendations

  • Street furniture requires careful siting to ensure it is accessible.
  • Luminance contrast of new street furniture should be considered against the proposed surface finishes to ensure min 30% contrast is achieved.

4.9 Staircases

The proximity of staircases to the building line and footpath can create unnecessary hazards.

Key Design Features


  • Set back 900 millimetres from path of travel
  • Opaque risers
  • Nosing not project beyond riser
  • Nosing profile 5 millimetres radius/chamfered
  • Nosing strip 50-75 millimetres / full width/maximum 15 millimetres from edge/30% Luminance Contrast
  • If nosing not set back, ≤ 10 millimetres down riser
  • TGSIs
  • Rise 150-165 millimetres; going 275-300 millimetres preferred

Stair handrails

  • Continuous
  • Both sides
  • Follow angle of stairway
  • Extend 1 tread depth parallel nosing line +300 millimetres horizontally
  • Extend 300 millimetres past top riser
  • Extension NOT required for continuous handrail at intermediate landing
  • Not encroach
  • 30-50 millimetres cross section circular/elliptical
  • Top of handrail 865 – 1000 millimetres
  • Handrail ends returned to wall, floor, post
  • 50 millimetres clearance between handrail and adjacent surface
  • No obstruction to hand movement
  • If handrail not continued, ‘dome button’ 150 millimetres from end
  • Handrail achieve 30% luminance contrast from wall

Summary of recommendations

  • Deterring anti-social use with handrail rings conflicts with accessibility. It can be addressed by providing handrails on each side of the staircase which are continuous. The handrail proximity to the side should prevent anti-social use as there is no room to slide.
  • If buildings are refurbished, building owner may seek to place TGSIs on the footpath and project handrails over the footpath. If no policy exists, then a policy should be made with regards to placement of TGSIs on footpaths, for features such as stairs and ramps. TGSIs can pose a trip hazard and placement in trafficked areas, such as footpaths should be discouraged, with the onus placed onto the building owner to provide a compliant building.
  • For public realm stairs and ramps, if TGSIs (and/or compliant handrails) cannot be provided, it is important to include as many accessible features as possible to mitigate risk. Contrasting handrails with a dome button and contrasting nosings can assist, as can good colour contrast of surfaces and lighting. Design decisions should be documented with justifications to support nonconforming design outcomes. This may be important in the event of a claim under the DDA.
  • Shadows on steps can create visual confusion for users. Whilst shadows cannot be avoided, it is a reminder of the importance of luminance contrast for nosing strips, handrails etc, for safety in use.
  • Mitigation strategies are also necessary where there are accessibility/ heritage conflicts.

4.10 Entrances

Many buildings are entered from entrances built at, or close to, the building line.

For many heritage buildings, this means there will be a step up from the footpath into the building. The following photographs show how footpaths have accommodated entrances to provide a ‘level’ entry. In larger (typically retail) buildings, there is more street frontage within which to provide an alternative accessible entrance. Smaller units on sloping footpaths and with narrow frontage have considerable constraints trying to provide ‘level’ access. Footpath upgrades offer potential to improve accessibility into individual buildings.

Key Design Features

  • The principal pedestrian entrance to a building shall be accessible

Summary of recommendations

  • Footpath and streetscape upgrades offer potential to improve accessibility into individual buildings. This is especially important for narrow frontage (typically small) retail units. Activating laneways requires buildings to be accessible. Policy and streetscape design to include this.

4.11 Bus stops

Bus stops and features associated with bus stops, such as bus shelters, seating, bus timetable information etc, are covered by the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT or Transport Standards). Design features such as ground surfaces, circulation spaces are as covered in earlier sections.

The design of TGSIs to comply with the Transport Standards is required to be to AS1428.4 (1992), which is slightly different to AS1428.4.1 (2009). Often, disability interest groups express a preference for the newer TGSI standard to be utilised, however this is not strictly compliant with DSAPT, and should be a policy level decision, made with relevant stakeholder consultation, including disability groups.

Streetscape upgrade works adjacent bus stop works should be carried out in consultation with the Bus Operator.

Key design features

  • Designs requirements are the same as for other design elements; the exception is TGSIs

Summary of recommendations

  • All streetscape works in and around bus stops to be carried out in conjunction with the travel operator
  • DDA Transport Standards apply to bus stops.
  • TGSI design to be to AS1428.4:1992 unless policy level decisions made to use the

Page last updated: Monday, 7 October 2019