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Proposed Technical Specifications for New and Reconstructed Trails to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act

From: REGULATORY NEGOTIATION COMMITTEE ON ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR DEVELOPED AREAS, FINAL REPORT, SEPTEMBER 1999

Following is the portion of the report dealing with trails:

16. OUTDOOR DEVELOPED AREAS

Outdoor developed areas covered by this section shall comply with the applicable requirements of section 4 and the special application sections, except as modified or otherwise provided in this section.

16.1 General. All newly designed and constructed pedestrian trails or altered portions of existing pedestrian trails connecting to designated trailhead or accessible trails shall comply with 16. All newly designed and constructed camping facilities, picnic areas, and beach access routes or altered portions thereof shall comply with 16.

16.1.1 Extent of Application. Departures from specific technical provisions of this section shall be permitted where specified, and where at least one of the following conditions is present. The conditions in this section do not obviate or limit in any way obligations to comply with 16 at any point that the conditions are not present.

1.Where compliance would cause substantial harm to cultural, historic, religious, or significant natural features or characteristics; or,

2.Where compliance would substantially alter the nature of the setting or the purpose of the facility, or portion of the facility; or,

3.Where compliance would require construction methods or materials that are prohibited by federal, state, or local regulations or statutes; or,

4.Where compliance would not be feasible due to terrain or the prevailing construction practices.

Definitions.

Trail: A route that is designed, constructed, or designated for recreational pedestrian use or provided as an pedestrian alternative to vehicular routes within a transportation system.

Designated Trailhead: A designated point of access that may contain a parking area, information kiosks, restrooms, water hydrants, and may be reached by vehicular or pedestrian access.

Tread width: The path or visible trail surface perpendicular to the direction of travel. The clear tread width of the trail is the width of the useable trail tread, measured perpendicular to the direction of travel and on or parallel to the surface of the useable trail tread. The minimum clear tread width is the narrowest measurement on the useable trail tread.

16.2 Trails. Where trails are provided, the trail shall comply with 16.2. Where provided, elements located on accessible trails shall comply with 16.5 through 16.21. Elements are not required to be connected by an outdoor recreation access route.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Where one or more of the conditions in 16.1.1 exists, and where one or more of the conditions in this exception exists, the provisions of 16.2 shall not apply after the first point of departure. The segment of the trail between the trailhead and the first point of departure shall comply with 16.
2 unless the trail segment is 500 feet (150 m) or less in length. Where there is a prominent feature less than 500 feet (150 m) from the trailhead, the trail segment between the trailhead and the prominent feature shall comply with 16.2.

The conditions of this exception are:

(a) The combination of running slope and cross slope exceeds 40 percent for over 20 feet (6100 mm); or

(b) A trail obstacle 30 inches (760 mm) or more in height across the full tread width of the trail; or

(c) The surface is neither firm nor stable for a distance of 45 feet or more; or

(d) A clear width less than 12 inches (305 mm) for a distance of 20 feet (6100 mm) or more

2. Where one or more of the conditions in 16.1.1 are met resulting in departures from the technical provisions in 16.2 for over 15 percent of the length of the trail, 16.2 shall not apply after the first point of departure. The segment of the trail between the trailhead and the first point of departure is required to comply with 16.2 unless the trail segment is 500 feet (150 m) or less in length. Where there is a prominent feature less than 500 feet (150 m) from the trailhead, the trail segment between the trailhead and the prominent feature shall comply with 16.2.

16.2.1 Surface. The trail surface shall be firm and stable.

EXCEPTION. The provision shall not apply where a firm and stable surface can not be provided because at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.2 Clear Tread Width. The clear tread width of the trail shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum.

EXCEPTIONS 1. The clear tread width shall be permitted to be reduced to no less than 32 inches (815 mm) minimum where at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 apply.
2. The provision shall not apply where 32 inches (815 mm) minimum clear tread width can not be provided because at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.3 Openings. Openings in trail surfaces 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 or diagonal to the dominant direction of travel.

EXCEPTIONS 1. Elongated openings are permitted to be parallel to the dominant direction of travel where the opening does not permit passage of a 1/4 inch (6.5 mm) diameter sphere.
2. Openings shall be permitted to be of a size that do not permit passage of a 3/4 inch (19 mm) diameter sphere where at least one of the conditions in 16.1.1 apply.
3. Where openings that do not permit passage of a 3/4 inch (19 mm) diameter sphere are not feasible, because at least one of the conditions in 16.1.1. applies, the provisions of 16.2.3. shall not apply.

16.2.4 Protruding Objects. Protruding objects on trails shall comply with ADAAG 4.4.1.and shall have 80 inches (2030 mm) minimu clear head room.

EXCEPTION. Where vertical clearance of a trail is reduced to less than 80 inches (2030 mm) where one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies, a barrier to warn blind and visually impaired persons shall be provided.

16.2.5 Tread Obstacles. Where tread obstacles exist, they shall not exceed 2 inches (50 mm) high maximum.

EXCEPTIONS. 1. Tread obstacles shall be permitted to be 3 inches (75 mm) maximum where running and cross slopes are 1:20 or less.
2. The provision shall not apply where tread obstacles greater than 3 inches (75 mm) exist, because at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.6 Passing Space. Where the clear tread width of the trail is less than 60 inches (1525 mm), passing spaces shall be provided at intervals of 1000 feet (300 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.

EXCEPTION. The provision shall not apply where passing space cannot be provided because at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.7 Slopes. Slopes shall comply with 16.2.7.1 and 16.2.7.2.

EXCEPTIONS 1. For open drainage structures, a running slope of 14 percent is permitted for 5 feet maximum (1525 mm) with a cross slope of 1:20 maximum. Cross slope is permitted to be 1:10 at the bottom of the open drain, where clear tread width is 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum. 2. The provisions of this section do not apply where one or more conditions in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.7.1 Cross Slope. The cross slope shall not exceed 1:20 maximum.

16.2.7.2 Running Slope. Running slope of trail segments shall comply with one or more of the provisions of this section. No more than 30 percent of the total trail length shall exceed a running slope of 1:12.

16.2.7.2.1 Running slope shall be 1:20 or less for any distance.

16.2.7.2.2 Running slope shall be 1:12 maximum for 200 feet (61 m) maximum. Resting intervals complying with 16.2.8 shall be provided at distances no greater than 200 feet (61 m) apart.

16.2.7.2.3 Running slope shall be 1:10 maximum for 30 feet (9150 mm) maximum. Resting intervals complying with 16.2.8 shall be provided at distances no greater than 30 feet (9150 mm) apart.

16.2.7.2.4 Running slope shall be 1:8 maximum for 10 feet (3050 mm) maximum. Resting intervals complying with 16.2.8 shall be provided at distances no greater than 10 feet (3050 mm) apart.

16.2.8 Resting Intervals. Resting intervals shall be 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum in length, shall have a width at least as wide as the widest portion of the trail segment leading to the resting interval, and have a slope not exceeding 1:20 in any direction.

EXCEPTION. The provision shall not apply where resting spaces cannot be provided because at least one of the four conditions specified in 16.1.1 applies.

16.2.9 Edge Protection. Where edge protection is provided along a trail, the edge protection shall have a height of 3 inches (75 mm minimum.

16.2.10 Signs. Newly constructed and altered trails and trail segments complying with 16.2 shall be designated with a symbol* at the trail head and all designated access points. Signs identifying accessible trail segments shall include the total distance of the accessible segment and the location of the first point of departure from the technical provisions.

OUTDOOR RECREATION ACCESS ROUTES

Definition.

Outdoor Recreation Access Route: A continuous unobstructed path designated for pedestrian use that connects accessible elements within a picnic area, camping area, or designated trailhead.

16.3.1 Surface. The surface of the outdoor recreation access route shall be firm and stable.

16.3.2 Clear Tread Width. The clear tread width of outdoor recreation access routes shall be 36 inches (915 mm) minimum.

EXCEPTION. The minimum width shall be permitted to be no less than 32 inches (815 mm) minimum for a distance of 24 inches (610 mm) maximum where at least one of the conditions in 16.1.1 applies.

16.3.3 Openings. Openings in the surfaces of outdoor recreation access routes 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 or diagonal to the dominant direction of travel.

EXCEPTION. Openings are permitted to run parallel to the dominant direction of travel so long as, the opening does not permit passage of a 1/4 inch (6.5 mm) diameter sphere.

16.3.4 Protruding Objects. Protruding objects on outdoor recreation access routes shall comply with ADAAG 4.4

16.3.5 Tread Obstacles: Where tread obstacles exists, obstacles on the outdoor recreation access route shall be 1 inch (25 mm) high maximum.

EXCEPTION. Tread obstacles of 2 inches (50 mm) high maximum shall be permitted where beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2 and where at least one of the conditions in 16.1.1 applies.

16.3.6 Passing Space. Where the clear tread width of outdoor recreation access route is less than 60 inches (1525 mm), passing spaces shall be provided at intervals of 200 feet (61 m) maximum. Passing spaces shall be either 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.

EXCEPTION. Passing spaces shall be permitted at intervals of up to 300 feet (91 m) maximum where at least one of the conditions in 16.1.1 applies.

16.3.7 Slopes. Slopes shall comply with 16.3.7.1 and 16.3.7.2.

16.3.7.1 Cross Slope. The cross slope of outdoor recreation access routes shall be 1:33 maximum.

EXCEPTION. Cross slopes of 1:20 maximum shall be permitted to ensure proper drainage.

16.3.7.2 Running slope. Running slope of trail segments shall comply with one or more of the provisions of this section.

16.3.7.2.1 Running slope shall be 1:20 or less for any distance.

16.3.7.2.2 Running slope shall be 1:12 maximum for 50 feet maximum. Resting intervals complying with 16.2.8 shall be provided at distances no greater than 50 feet apart.

16.3.7.2.3 Running slope shall be 1:10 maximum for 30 feet (9150 mm) maximum. Resting intervals complying with 16.2.8 shall be provided at distances no greater than 30 feet (9150 mm) apart.

16.3.8 Resting Intervals. Resting interval shall be 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum in length, shall have a width at least as wide as the widest portion of the trail segment leading to the resting interval, and have a slope not exceeding 1:33 in any direction.

EXCEPTION. Where the surface conditions require slopes greater than 1:33 for proper drainage, a 1:20 slope is permitted.

16.3.9 Edge Protection. Where edge protection is provided, the edge protection shall have a height of 3 inches (75 mm) minimum.

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