Minutes of REGULATORY NEGOTIATION COMMITTEE ON ACCESS TO OUTDOOR DEVELOPED AREAS
UNAPPROVED JANUARY 1999 MEETING MINUTES
Minutes by Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, Washington DC
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1999
The meeting was convened at 8:45 a.m. Cindy Cassanova, Recreation Supervisor with the Metro-Dade Parks and Recreation Department welcomed the committee. Metro-Dade Parks and Recreation Department hosted the meeting held at the Botanical Gardens. Diana Richardson, Director of ADA Coordination for Metro-Dade, also welcomed the committee. Her office was responsible for assisting other meeting logistics such as transportation to the meeting site and a field trip on Wednesday afternoon.
Pete Swanson reviewed the process and goals of the regulatory negotiation committee. He also reviewed the tasks completed during the Colorado meeting related to the scoping provisions for newly constructed trails. He also reviewed the agenda and plan for the following three days, which included the presentation of two new proposals from committee members related to trail scoping.
Peggy Greenwell, designated Federal official, reviewed the meeting packet. She also announced that Wilderness Inquiry, Inc. would be assisting the Access Board with the cost analysis of the proposed accessibility guidelines. The cost analysis is a part of the regulatory assessment that will be developed by the Board on the proposed accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas.
Pete Swanson reviewed the unapproved October meeting minutes. Changes were made in the following areas to the minutes.
Page 1 - front country and back country trail definition modified as follows; Front country trail. A front country recreational trail is a pedestrian trail or shared use path not meeting the definition of a back country trail. Back country trail. A back country recreational trail is a pedestrian trail which extends beyond a 3 mile radius from a designated trail head and/or is solely designed to provide access to longer distance trails, remote areas, or rugged terrain.
A discussion followed about some of the numbers and slope percentages used in the technical provisions included of attachment 1 of the October meeting minutes. Some committee members expressed concern that this information was different from what they understood at the conclusion of their work at this meeting. Since these provisions were to be under significant discussion during this meeting, no official changes were made to the numbers.
Based on these changes and notes, the meeting minutes were approved, without the attachment.
Peggy Greenwell provided a summary of comments received from committee members concerning the work developed during the October meeting. Comments to the scoping and technical provisions for the October meeting were received from all but four committee members. The majority of the comments related to the trail definitions and scoping provisions.
Many concerns were raised regarding the trail definitions. Some believed that the "shared-use" and "front country" were too broad and suggested alternatives for narrowing their scope. Many felt that the 3-mile radius was not an appropriate indicator for "back country" trails. Others were concerned with the lack of "setting" as a consideration within the defiintions.
A large number of committee members believed that the scoping level was too high for trails, especially, "shared-use" trails. There was concern that terrain and other constraints were not adequately considered. Several individuals suggested lower percentages to be used.
Some general notes of the review of the "other scoping provisions" follow.
Comments on the technical provisions
At this time, Peggy Greenwell reviewed some options for the committee should they not be able to reach consensus on some of the issues before them. In these circumstances, the committee could submit non-consensus material in the form of recommendations as a part of their report. There may be issues that do not get addressed due to time constraints.
Jim Bedwell and Ruth Doyle presented another proposal for addressing scoping and technical provisions for trails. Their proposal is based on the work from a proposal developed in the August 1998 meeting in Albuquerque, NM. They also tried to combine some parts of each of the different approaches discussed to date within the committee.
The basic principles of their proposal follow (see attachment 1).
Alternative Proposal E - E Prime
Some of the basic concepts included in this proposal are:
Phyllis Cangemi presented another proposal (see attachment 2). This proposal is based on the proposal from the more recent committee meeting in October. The overarching goal is of the proposal is to begin with accessibility. Other important differences between this proposal and the previous work are as follows:
The afternoon session began with a review of the two new proposals presented along with the work from the October meeting.
A summary of the main points of Phyllis's proposal follow:
A summary of Ruth and Jim proposal follows:
The main points of the previous proposal from the October meeting in Empire, Colorado include:
A brainstorming session followed. Committee identified other possible concepts or approaches to be considered as scoping provisions for trails.
At this time the committee discussed which proposal they could work with and to identify the parts of each that they wanted to use. Many concerns were raised about each proposal. These included: refining the settings identified in Alternate E prime; dealing with alterations; clearly identifying the environmental triggers;, and using the simplicity of Phyllis's proposal. Further discussion continued on ways to incorporate the strengths of both proposals.
A work group was developed to address the following issues to combine into a new approach:
A work group including Kim Beasley, Peter Axelson, Cindy Burkhour, Christopher Douwes, Ruth Doyle, Phyllis Cangemi, and Peggy Greenwell was established to meet in the evening to further refine the approach.
Sandra Cauthron - Arizona PVA - She expressed concern about user groups and had not heard a discussion about the stakeholders, other than wheelchair users. She developed a video tape for committee members that shows the experience of individuals using other adapted equipment when traversing the various slopes being developed by the committee.
Maureen McCloskey - PVA/Alternate - She wants to make sure that accessibility is another factor considered by architects and planners when designing new trails. Structurally impracticability will be addressed in the exceptions, with the requirement to do the next best thing.
Dave Startzall - Appalachian Trail Conference/Alternate - He expressed concerns about the three trail definitions and that the scoping provisions did not recognize the different settings. Some of the provisions may ignore the real limitation of human resources. In some situations, you cannot meet these provisions.
Terri Cummings - American Hiking Society - He endorses the Alternative E approach. He also believes there is a need for another level of technical specifications that goes beyond wheelchairs and the need to define alterations.
Susan Spain - National Parks Service - She is comfortable with the "to the maximum extent feasible approach". She believes that clearly defined exceptions, triggered by constraints are necessary. There is also a need to define "routine maintenance" and the definition of a trail.
Doug Cogwin - He would like to a see a clear and concise approach of what is maintenance, and what is an alteration. Without this information, it will be difficult to provide adequate guidance to those in the field.
Janet Zellar - U.S. Forest Service - She stressed the importance in maintaining choice for all users when talking about trails.
Wednesday, January 20, 1999
The meeting was convened at 8:30 a.m. The work group charged with further addressing concerns from the previous day presented their findings. Ruth Doyle briefed the full committee on the work group discussion that led to the new proposal. After discussing how and when access is triggered, they began to consider the concept of using the "settings" as an option for departure with the technical provisions. Attempts were also made to streamline the approach and not rely on quotas.
The following proposal was presented.
I. All newly constructed trails or trail segments shall meet the following technical provisions. Departures from the technical provisions are permitted where the following conditions or circumstances exist:
II. General exception: The technical provisions do not apply to newly constructed trails where site infeasibility and structural impracticability prevail.
1. How to address the trail segments that are altered in the "middle of nowhere".
2. Concerns about legal constraints (i.e. deed restrictions)
3. How to address situations where there has been significant departures from the technical provisions and it may not make sense to follow any of the remaining technical provisions.
1. A trail would be considered "accessible", even if you depart and use the "exceptions". There is also an option to depart from the provisions if you are dealing with "site infeasibility". Because of this, there is the concern that at some point a trail should not be considered "accessible". Further development of this concept could lead to a prioritizing of features that are critical to providing access for MOST people with disabilities.
2. Requiring trail signage that would identify the characteristics of the trail was discussed as a way to address those trails where certain provisions were not meet. This was not fully discussed, but considered as an option.
Further discussion revealed general support for this approach provided that certain issues were addressed.
A work group was established to work on the "conditions" for departing from the technical provisions and a work group to work on the "technical provisions".
Francine provided a brief review of the beach proposal regarding the proposal from the beach. The proposal distinguishes between newly constructed beaches or man-made beaches and natural beaches. It also bases the trigger for an accessible beach route when pedestrian routes are provided. The accessible beach route may be permanent or temporary.
Roger Schmidt - Bureau of Land Management - He explained that there is limited money to allot to trails and encouraged the group to focus on what were the important issues. He endorseS the current direction of the group and encouraged them to keep it simple.
At this time, the committee and public members departed for a field trip to several beaches in the Miami Beach area for the remainder of the afternoon.
THURSDAY, JANUARY, 1999
The meeting was convened at 8:45 a.m. Diana Richardson - ADA coordinator of Metro Dade provided an overview of the beach access issues. She also discussed several of the beaches visited by the committee on the previous day and identified the following issues regarding beach access for the committee.
Francine Wai responded to questions and concerns regarding the proposal put forward by the work group. Concerns raised included:
At this time, the committee continued meeting in work groups, with a progress report from each.
Jim Bedwell reported on the work group on "conditions for departure". He mentioned that they did not get to the "to be resolved list".
Newly constructed trails or trail segments shall meet the following technical provisions. Departure from the specific provisions is permitted where it can be demonstrated that compliance with the provision would cause substantial harm to:
Syd Jacobs reported on the findings on the work group charged with developing technical provisions for outdoor recreation access routes.
Definition: Paths that connect the primary accessible elements that are basic to the recreation experience. Excludes accessible elements along a trail. (scoping is the same as trails)
Rest areas on the route - recommend - 400', 900', and 1200'
Dave Startzell - Appalachian Trail Conference - He encouraged those who have concerns about the "wiggle room" to fully consider the implications. Even though there is no requirement for documentation, many planners will keep track of their decisions. He wants to be make sure that the guidelines are broad and also inclusive and is concerned that the cost may outweigh the benefits.
Janet Zellar - U.S. Forest Service - She expressed concern that the outdoor access route, connecting the key elements on a site had not been dealt with. She encouraged the group to make this work a priority.
Patti Longmuir - She wants to make sure the group considers the maintenance factor when setting standards. Some elements may be difficult to maintain to the standard.
Bill Von Korff - Redd Team, Inc. - His company provides manufactured access ramps, steps, and walkways.
***The meeting was adjourned at 5:00. Several work groups continued to meet during the evening to complete their tasks.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 1999
The meeting was convened at 8:30 a.m. A discussion followed about the transportation and distance between the meeting site and lodging. PVA was offered as a potential site for the April meeting. Staff were directed to select a meeting site with lodging in close proximity for the April meeting.
Francine reported on the new definition for beaches and a new scoping provision based on the committee discussion on the previous day.
Designated beach area at the shore of a body of water providing pedestrian entry for the purposes of water play, swimming, or other water shoreline related activities.
An accessible beach route is not required if another accessible beach route exists within a _ mile.(as long as it is within the beach of the same jurisdiction).
A report from the technical committee followed and was discussed. This material has been included in the attachment 3. Committee members reached conceptual consensus on the material in the attachment 3.
Maureen McCloskey presented on some new scoping provisions. These were developed by a work group to refine the scoping provisions and exceptions of the new proposal.
1. Option A - The trail/segment is located such that the cost and scope of building a connecting route to an accessible trail or trail head is disproportionate to the cost. (20%)
Option B - The trail segment is not connected to an accessible trail or trail head
2. The trail segment cannot comply with technical provision (T.1 - T.11), due to departure conditions above (i.e. protruding objects) running slope, (agreed to conceptually).
They did not reach agreement on this issue and discussed the need for legal discussions on the deed restrictions.
Peter Axelson reported on some of the results of the Accessible Exterior Surfaces Research project. Statistics on wheelchair work per meter test sessions for a variety of surfaces were provided. Comparisons of surfaces in relation to energy consumption were also included. He announced that a meeting is to be held on March 18 - 20, 1999 at Beneficial Designs. The purpose of the meeting is to gather all those entities and organizations engaged with surface research to discuss options for standardizing testing procedures to increase their subject pool and provide additional data.
It was decided that several work group would further examine the issues. These include:
1. Issues related to activities considered alterations or maintenance. - Group: Terry Cummings, Ruth Doyle, Jim Bedwell, Peter Jensen, Maureen McCloskey, Kim Beasley
2. A editorial work group to work on the final report. - Group: Syd Jacobs, Ruth Doyle, Christopher Douwes, and Pat Hittmeir
3. A work group to develop a section on the background on the development of the different approaches.- Group: Joan, Rory Calhoun, Christopher Douwes
4. A work group to discuss a trail information requirement. - Group: Peter Axelson, Cindy Burkhour, and Rory Calhoun
5. Conditions work group to further discuss remaining issues and options. - Group: Cindy Burkhour, Peter Axelson, Rick Fenton, Maureen McCloskey, Jim Bedwell, and Marilyn Golden
6. Beaches work group - Group: Francine Wai, Ray Bloomer, Rory Calhoun, Dave Park
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street, NW ¥ Washington, DC 20004-1111 ¥ 202-272-5434 (Voice) ¥ 202-272-5449 (TTY) ¥ 202-272-5447 (Fax) Info@Access-Board.gov (E-Mail) ¥ http://www.access-board.gov/ (Website)
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