Each time I visit a new city, I make a concerted effort to roll on as many sidewalks as possible. I want to get a very clear understanding of sidewalk accessibility across all areas of the city, but especially those tourists are most likely to encounter. Dallas was no exception, and I believe this section will prepare you for exploring Dallas by wheelchair, “on foot” or “on wheels.”
Downtown is the site of a great deal of construction and revitalization of the city center. Many sidewalks are currently undergoing repairs to make them more accessible to wheelchair users and pedestrians alike. The majority are paved with either cement or a cement mixed with crushed rock. These sidewalks are fairly smooth, though individual slabs are occasionally (or often) uneven, depending on the street. In total, sidewalks in Downtown Dallas are not unlike those found in the majority of other major cities. Because repairs and construction are harder to achieve in urban centers, many sidewalks are in disrepair. Despite these “bumpy” conditions, they remain usable.
Curb cuts or ramps will be found at almost every intersection. During my time in Dallas, across all neighborhoods, I only spotted a few sidewalks without an accessible entryway. Crossing signals mark all of the intersections that have traffic signals for vehicles. Most, but not all, have a pedestrian button that can be pressed. The majority of these are within reach of the sidewalk and easy to use.
Downtown Dallas is, for the most part, flat. This makes rolling in a wheelchair much less stressful for the manual wheelchair user, and better for the battery life of powered chairs. I found some fairly substantial hills in the Arts District and also in the Bishop Arts District. Public transportation is a great way to avoid these barriers, as city buses stop directly in front of popular attractions.
As construction continues, be advised that some sidewalks may be closed or blocked off. Sidewalk closures could add a bit of distance to your walk or roll.
Also understand that my sidewalk review does not take into account the city’s residential areas and suburbs. The purpose of the wheelchair travel guides on this website is not to assess a city’s livability, but to assist wheelchair travelers in planning a temporary visit or tourist itinerary.