Admittedly great examples of accessible design are much easier to find in warm weather climates. Snow and ice can quickly bury colours and textures in the sidewalk which are some of the simplest strategies to improve navigation. So what do you do to assist people in cold weather climates? Well there are certainly some solutions and some issues.
Proper snow clearing should be a priority. This may mean giving priority to certain paths of travel where low vision people are know to visit. Ensure that snow and ice are cleared back from corners, texturing and paints are in a good state of repair so that they stand out. Signal buttons at intersections should also be clear of snow and easy to access. Far too often snow is plowed up against the light standard making access to signaling devices (audible or otherwise) impossible as seem in one of the photos below!
Winter is one instance where design may not be sufficient and some coordination with social services and transit systems may be required to help people navigate by other means. Enforcement of proper sidewalk clearing by area businesses and residents will also be critical.
In any case making area streets clear and navigable is of benefit to everyone.
Trained in town planning, an avid traveler and legally blind myself I write on issues and opportunities is see along my travels that could improve our cities from a visual perspective.