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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality
Theme: Accessibility :
Accessibility for the Disabled - A Design Manual for a Barrier Free Environment
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Long and narrow corridors creating orientation difficulties.


To provide well-dimensioned corridors to facilitate the passage and maneuvering of a wheelchair.


3.1 General

*Wide corridors are useful for wheelchair users, service equipment, high traffic areas, etc.

3.2 Width

*The unobstructed width of a low-traffic corridor should not be less than 0.90 m. This also allows maneuverability in 90 turns (fig. 1).

*The unobstructed width of a public corridor should not be less than 1.50 m. The recommended width is 1.80 m (1) (fig. 2).

*To allow maneuverability in 180 turns, the minimum circulation space should be as shown in figure 3.

*The corridor width should allow maneuverability through the doors located along its length (fig. 2) (fig. 4).

3.3 Obstructions

*Obstacles protruding into the corridor, such as drinking fountains or public telephones, should be placed outside the circulation path, in alcoves or cul-de-sacs (fig. 5).

*Overhanging signs and obstacles should be mounted at least 2.00 m high (fig. 6).

3.4 Surface

*Changes in surface level of more than 13 mm should be ramped.

*Floor surfaces should be non-slip and even. Carpets should be securely fastened.


*Narrow corridors should be widened along their full length if feasible; otherwise, passing areas should be located at appropriate intervals along the corridor length.

*The minimum width of the passing area should be 1.50 m and the minimum length should be 2.40 m.

*In highly restricted spaces, the height of an obstacle or sign can be dropped to 1.95 m.


(1) 1.50 m is the minimum width for two wheelchairs to pass each other or for one wheelchair to make a full turn.

Unobstructed width of low-traffic corridor at 0.90 m allows 90 degree turns.
Fig. 1


Unobstructed width of public corridor at 1.50 m; recommended 1.80
Fig. 2


Minimum circulation space of 1.20 m for 180 degree turns.
Fig. 3


Allowance for maneuverability for doors along length of corridor at 1.20 m.
Fig. 4


Protruding obstacles should be placed outside circulation path or in cul-de-sacs.
Fig. 5


Overhead signs or obstacles at least 2.0 m high.
Fig. 6

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development