Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way

Public comment period closed February 2, 2012 on the new "Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way"

The guidelines cover pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets, Including crosswalks, curb ramps, and, pedestrian signals.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board is proposing accessibility guidelines for the design, construction, and alteration of pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. The guidelines ensure that sidewalks, pedestrian street crossings, pedestrian signals, and other facilities for pedestrian circulation and use constructed or altered in the public right-of-way by state and local governments are readily accessible to and usable by pedestrians with disabilities.

When the guidelines are adopted, with or without additions and modifications, as accessibility standards in regulations issued by other federal agencies implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Architectural Barriers Act, compliance with the accessibility standards is mandatory.

The Board held public hearings on the proposed rule in Dallas, Texas on September 12 and Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2011. The public comment period ended on February 2, 2012.

Authority and Application of the Guidelines

The proposed guidelines are developed specifically for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way and address conditions and constraints that exist in the public right-of-way. As discussed below under the Major Issues, the requirements in the proposed guidelines make allowances for typical roadway geometry and permit flexibility in alterations to existing facilities where existing physical constraints make it impractical to fully comply with new construction requirements. The proposed guidelines also include requirements for elements and facilities that exist only in the public right-of-way such as pedestrian signals and roundabouts.

The Department of Transportation is responsible for issuing regulations to implement the public transportation parts of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.6 The regulations issued by the Department of Transportation include accessibility standards for the design, construction, and alteration of facilities used in the provision of public transportation covered by the public transportation parts of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. See 49 CFR 37.9 and Appendix A to 49 CFR part 37.

The Department of Justice is responsible for overall enforcement of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Justice has designated the Department of Transportation as the federal agency responsible for investigating complaints and conducting compliance reviews “relating to programs, services, and regulatory activities relating to transportation, including highways.” See 28 CFR 35.190 (b) (8).

Contact the U.S. Access Board

Scott Windley, Office of Technical and Information Services, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111. Telephone (202) 272-0025 (voice) or (202) 272-0028 (TTY). E-mail: [email protected].

Published February 2012

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