standards for pathways?

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    suzanne copan


    Anyone know where I can find standards/guidelines for pathway curvature?  Placing a path lengthwise through a space that is approx. 300 ft by 70 ft and would like to have it meander.  I can find guidelines for width and slope but not what makes for a comfortable degree of curvature over a specific length.



    Jordan Lockman

    That is a very subjective thing to decide. I know that I like larger/broader curves than some designers install. The best thing would be to layout it out on your plan and try different radii until you find one that works.


    Thomas J. Johnson

    It depends on what you want the experience to be. Fast movement = larger radius curves. Slower movement = tighter radius curves. If it’s private property you could make the curves as tight as you want. If it’s public then you would most likely need to meet ADA or local design guidelines.

    Les Ballard

    Do you know about paths folk make on their own across land?  Too much meander they make more to achieve a beeline.  You may have to make departing from the path impossible with other features (and see below).

    Do you know police categorise roads and paths for reports cos they are made a certain width to allow for traffic?  In the event of a crash they know how much space you had and, preferably, the camber.  Also, it is often impractical to facilitate paths wide enough to drive along for fear of travellers camping, being used as rat-runs for local residents and others and so on.  To ensure pedestrians only it may be necessary to introduce bollards, etc.  Google the design of the new Amercan embassy in Battersea, London to view their anti terrorist measures to kettle, bottle or minimally direct folk.  To allow access for baby buggies, horses, disability scooters, etc. it may be necessary to have more than one path and all need maintenance consideration.  For example, turf needs to be mown without blades touching the path surface and drains below the surface may allow use of a water tank for irrigation of the area the path traverses. 

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I don’t know of any standards, but you can create contect to make just about any curve seem to be correct. People make their own paths as an alternative to the one provided when the alternative makes more sense than what is provided. You either have to provide a logical path from the get go, or build the logic into the design once you’ve laid out the path. I hope that makes sense to somebody.

    William Douglas

    To be real honest with you, a path that girthy I would suggest you stick with a softer curve. If it were my project, I would think of it as a slow moving river. 

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