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Proposed Access Guidelines for Beaches

The Regulatory Negotiation Committee reached conceptual agreement on the scoping and technical provisions for trails, outdoor recreation access routes, beaches, camping areas, and picnic areas at their January 1999 meeting. Staff have further refined the language to be more consistent with ADAAG.

photo of people on boardwalk

Typical beach access situation

Definition: 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.

Scoping: Newly Constructed Beach/Accessible Route

B.1 Accessible Beach Route/Newly constructed (man-made) beach. Where a beach is newly constructed, an accessible route complying with BB.1 through BB.9 shall be provided;

Option 1 - Into the water every _____ linear feet.

Option 2 - Into the water.

Option 3 - Into the water every _____ square foot of new beach created.

The accessible beach route shall extend to the mean high tide level, mean river bed level, or the normal recreation pool level.

EXCEPTION 1: Site impracticability (to be developed)

Scoping: New Construction of Beach Access Route/Existing Beach (natural Beach)

B.2 Accessible Beach Route/Existing Beach. Where pedestrian access is provided from a developed site to an existing beach surface, an accessible beach route complying with BB.1 through BB.9 shall be provided over the beach. The accessible beach route shall and shall extend to the mean high tide level, mean river bed level, or the normal recreation pool level.

EXCEPTION 1: A temporary accessible beach route shall be permitted.

EXCEPTION 2: Routes provided solely for shoreline maintenance shall not be required to comply with B2.

EXCEPTION 3: Routes provided solely as public easements shall not be required to comply with B2 [provided that beach access is provided within X feet.]

EXCEPTION 4: Site infeasibility (to be developed)

EXCEPTION 5: An accessible beach route shall not be required provided that an accessible beach route is within _ mile and is under the [same] jurisdiction.

B.3 Alteration/Accessible Beach Route. Where pedestrian access is altered on an existing beach, the route shall comply with BB.1 through BB.9 to the maximum extent feasible.

EXCEPTION: Where existing beaches are replenished with sand for beach nourishment, the alterations provisions shall not apply. (Still under discussion)

Technical provisions for Accessible Beach Route

BB.1 Surface. The surface of the accessible beach route shall be firm and stable.

BB.2 Clear Width. The clear width of accessible beach route shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum.

BB.3 Openings. Openings in the surfaces of the accessible beach route shall be of a size that does not permit passage of a _ inch (13 mm) diameter sphere. Elongated openings shall be placed so that the long dimension is perpendicular to the dominant direction of travel.

BB.4 Protruding Objects. Protruding objects shall comply with ADAAG 4.4.

BB.5 Passing Space. Where the clear width of the accessible beach route is less than 60 inches (1525 mm), passing spaces shall be provide at intervals of 200 feet (61 m) maximum. Passing spaces shall be either a 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum by 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum space, or an intersection of two walking surfaces which provide a T-shaped space complying with ADAAG 4.2.3 provided that the arms and stem of the T-shaped space extend at least 48 inches (1220 mm) beyond the intersection.

BB.6 Running Slope. The maximum running slope of an accessible beach routes shall comply BB.6.

BB.6.1 Average Slope. The average running slope shall be 5 percent maximum.

BB.6.2 Maximum slope. The maximum running slope of beach access route segments shall comply with BB.6.2.1, BB.6.2.2, BB.6.2.3 or BB.6.2.4.

BB.6.2.1 The maximum running slope of outdoor recreation access route segments shall be 5% maximum for any distance. EXCEPTION: The maximum running slope shall be permitted to be 8 percent maximum [where it is not feasible to comply].

BB.6.2.2 The maximum running slope of trail segments shall be permitted to be 8% for an interval of 50 feet maximum.

BB 6.2.3 The maximum running slope of trail segments shall be 10% for an interval of 30 feet maximum.

BB.6.2.4 Where the slope of an accessible beach route exceeds 1:10, handrails complying with ADAAG 4.8.5 are required.

BB.7 Cross Slope. The cross slope of an accessible beach route shall be 3 percent maximum.

BB.8 Changes in level. Obstacles in the accessible beach route shall be 1 inches (25 mm) high maximum.

BB.9 Water entry. If an accessible beach route is designed to provide access into the water, the technical provisions for access into the water (to be proposed) shall apply.

To be resolved:

  • further refine beach definition
  • decide on scoping options for new beaches
  • further discuss alteration trigger for beach replenishment
  • further discuss other proposed scoping exceptions
  • reconcile differences between technical provisions for outdoor recreation access routes and accessible beach routes
  • develop exception for site impracticability or site infeasibility
  • water access entry point

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