Streets and Roads to be more Barrier-Free: Access Board Proposes New Guidelines for Public Rights-of-Way—Comments due Nov 23!
By Julia Feinberg, AAPD Policy Intern
On the 21st Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Access Board presented new proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way. These guidelines include new proposed regulations for Pedestrian Access Routes (sidewalks, street crossings, curb ramps), Detectable Warning Surfaces, Multi-Lane Roundabouts, Transition Stops and Shelters, Pedestrian Signals, On-Street Parking and Passenger Loading Zones, and Street Furniture and Other Elements. The proposed guidelines would only be applicable to newly constructed areas or areas undergoing alterations.
All Pedestrian Signals that have visual signs for when it is safe to cross the street also must have audio and tactile warnings. This will be hugely helpful for people with visual and other disabilities. Similarly, Detectable Warning Surfaces, which alert pedestrians to street crossings and open drop-offs, would now be required. Of great interest to those of us that drive, 4% of parking spaces would be required to be accessible, but this may vary depending on the number of total parking spaces in the area. Street Furniture such as drinking fountains, toilet facilities, and benches must also be made accessible per the updated requirements.
Send in your comments and thoughts directly to the US Access Board by November 23rd, 2011!
Other Advocacy Steps...
- Read the proposed regulations at www.access-board.gov/prowac/nprm.htm.
- Attend public hearings on the proposed rules if you are in Dallas TX on Sept. 12th or Washington DC on Nov. 9th. Visit Access Board website for the locations, at http://www.access-board.gov
- Listen in on the Access Board webinar on August 9th, via website www.accessibilityonline.org, to learn more about these proposed regulations.
- Submit comments and thoughts on these proposed regulations by November 23rd, 2011 online at http://www.regulations.gov (ID is ATBCB-2011-0004), via Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Fax 202-272-0081, or snail mail Office Of Technical and Informational Services, Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20004.