836 views • posted 07/28/2020 • updated 08/15/2023
Design, Management, Ethical, and Legal Considerations
This manual reviews Best Management Practices (“BMPs”) to utilize when planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining pedestrian trails for universal accessibility.
This manual reviews Best Management Practices (“BMPs”) to utilize when planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining pedestrian trails for universal accessibility—for providing trails usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without separate or segregated access for people with disabilities. These BMPs, which derive from federal regulations, are mandatory for federal entities and those working on their behalf but voluntary for all others.
This manual also discusses accessibility BMPs applicable to shared use paths (including rail-‐‑trails). These BMPs derive from proposed federal regulations, which will, if and when finalized, be mandatory for all government entities but not for private organizations.
Neither of these sets of BMPs applies to trails or paths not intended for pedestrian use—for example, ATV, mountain biking or horseback riding trails.
Also discussed are the federal accessibility rules applicable to the pedestrian routes that connect parking lots, trails, shared use paths, and other accessible facilities to each other.
All trails and shared use paths—indeed, any areas open to pedestrians—that are owned or operated by a public or private entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are subject to federal regulations on Other Power-‐‑Driven Mobility Devices (“OPDMDs”). These rules potentially greatly expand the types of vehicular devices that must be permitted on trails, shared use paths, other routes, and other areas open to the public. This publication discusses ways to manage access by these vehicles.
The manual also highlights as case studies several state-‐‑of-‐‑the-‐‑art trails among the many trails that provide universal access, as well as providing practical advice on technical standards, policies, and offering other helpful resources.
In summary, the manual:
Explores who are the likely users of trails and shared use paths that provide universal accessibility;
Identifies which entities are legally bound by the federal accessibility rules governing trails and the ones being developed for shared use paths, and which entities should regard these rules as BMPs;
Reviews accessibility laws, regulations, exceptions, and BMPs relating to trails, shared use paths, and other pedestrian routes used in outdoor settings;
posted Nov 14, 2023
These case studies reveal a number of lessons learned that will be valuable in future winter travel management planning efforts.
posted Oct 3, 2023
Inclusive design can address functional needs arising from dementia.
posted Feb 14, 2023
Horses are prey animals and naturally can be afraid of unfamiliar people and objects. Horses have natural "flight“ survival instincts and prefer to move their feet towards an exit route. Therefore, people with horses should pass at a walk while other trail users remain STOPPED until passed.
posted Jul 15, 2022
Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings.