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Salt Lake City is surrounded by mountains and valleys.

It has an average elevation of 4,327 feet

(1,320 m) above sea level and is attributed by uneven topography; there is a frequent rise and fall
in elevation in many parts of the city. Hence, navigating through this city is supposed to be a
challenge for the people with physical disabilities. I live near 100 South 900 East; the arterial
roads going through 900 East to 1200 East are quite steep, which is almost impossible for
wheelchair users to navigate from their own. The pathway adjacent to 100 South 1100 East are
designed with spatially segregated slabs with wide spaces between them, which might be
hazardous for a wheelchair user as there is every chance of wheel getting stuck in between the
slabs. Moreover, some public places, e.g., Bonneville Shoreline and Parley's Canyon trails, pose
difficulty for those physically challenged people.
If we consider the University of Utah campus, with some exceptions, it provides excellent
accessibility for the wheelchair users. Although there exists some variation in elevation in
several parts of the campus, pathways are designed in a way that allow gradual rise and fall,
which subsequently makes it easier for the wheelchair users to navigate. However, there are
some anomaliespathway leading from the arterial road to Joseph Merrill Engineering Building
and pathways around Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building are highly elevated and
therefore, difficult to navigate. Again, it is also difficult for a person with physical challenge to
reach the Rice-Eccles Stadium using wheelchairs. The most striking obstacle for a physically
challenged person around the campus is, perhaps, entries and exits of buildings. Majority of the
buildings is devoid of automatic sliding doors, which creates discomfort and inconvenience to
the wheelchair users. As a resolution to this problem, wide and automatic sliding doors providing
equal access to everyone would be a useful technique to make life easier for those handicapped
people. Apart from enhancing accessibility this technique might have some other perksif all
people irrespective of physical condition use the same doors or gates, the people with physical
disabilities will not feel segregated from the able-bodied people and have ample opportunities for
social exchange with them. This notion is even more valid for public places, stores, and public
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) provides paratransit for the physically challenged people
TRAX and buses also deliver services to those people; these modes use carefully designed ramps
to make a convenient entry and exit. Following my earlier argument, I would say that later
modes are more efficient and welcoming for the people with a wheelchair.
I have found quite a few problematic aspects of the city streets and related facilities. Some streets
have long crossing distance but short signal timing. Owing to this, even able-bodied man has to
hurry to cross the road. Although curb ramps are abundant within the city streets, some of those
are lacking level landing or the level landing space is so narrow that a person with a disability
might find it hard to move through this space. Furthermore, most of the mid-streets I have
observed does not have any signaled crossing. At worst case, there are no medians to facilitate
crossing the street. Bus stops sometimes pose a few inconveniences. Some designated bus stops
do not have adequate spaces behind the curb, while some curbs end directly onto the street
without any ramp or some have ramps which are located in inconvenient locationall these are
discouraging scenarios for a person with a disability.
Crosswalks and pathways should be given special consideration to make easy navigation of the
wheelchair users. Medians at midblock crossings, curb extensions, and highly visible crosswalks
may enhance the experience of those