Public fixtures are the various objects and equipment that serve public functions and are installed in public spaces such as roads, streets, and other shared communal zones. As public fixtures are kept up-to-date and replaced regularly as cities grow and change, outdated and non-functional public fixtures can inspire nostalgia, and as a result, they aide in the construction of the identity of a place. Further, public fixtures can also serve as public advertising amenities, as they have high potential for exposure and influence as well as the ability to arrange and control pedestrian circulation and flows. Examples of everyday public fixtures include benches, drinking fountains, street signs, bus stops, street lamps as well as others.
Common fixtures found in public spaces are benches, drinking fountains, street signs, waste containers, covered bus stops, and street lamps. Other fixtures commonly found in public spaces are fire hydrants, phone booths, emergency telephones, newspaper stands, and mail collection boxes.
All public spaces are required to be ADA compliant and accessible to people with disabilities. The American with Disabilities Act applies to any places that are open to the public and includes theaters, shopping centers, doctor’s offices, courtrooms, schools, government offices, and restrooms in public areas. Buildings constructed after the 1990 Act must be fully compliant with the ADA requirements.
According to the ADA a public accommodation are private companies and businesses that are open to the public and provide goods or services to the public. Examples of public accommodations include restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt from the requirements for public accommodations.