Chapter 2: Camping and Picnic Areas

 2.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the provisions in the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas that apply to the construction and alteration of camping and picnic areas. The provisions cover the following elements and spaces: picnic tables, fire rings, pedestal grills, trash containers, water hydrants, utility hook-ups, benches, recreational vehicle and tent camping spaces, and outdoor recreation access routes.

2.2 Camping and Picnic Area Projects Covered By Guidelines

The number of camping and picnic areas managed by the Federal land management agencies is shown in Table 2.1.[30]

Table 2.1 – Camping and Picnic Areas Managed by Federal Agencies

 
Agency

Camping Areas

Picnic Areas

Campgrounds

Camp Sites

Picnic Areas

Picnic Sites

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

4,300

122,000

1,496

Not available

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

1,024

17,264

738

3,649

Fish and Wildlife Service

Not available

Not available

Not available

Not available

Bureau of Land Management

1,237

17,510

Not available

Not available

Bureau of Reclamation

350

Not available

Not available

Not available

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

Not available

101,000

Not available

Not available

The Federal land management agencies spend a small portion of their capital improvement funds on the construction and alteration of elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas. The Forest Service reported in its regulatory assessment for FSORAG and FSTAG that $75 million was spent on facilities improvements in the National Forest System in FY 2003, and that $6.9 million of this amount, or 9 percent of the total, was spent on the elements and spaces covered by FSORAG.

The Access Board requested data from the other Federal land management agencies on camping and picnic area projects funded in FY 2004 that included the construction or alteration of elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas. The data provided by the other Federal land management agencies is presented in Table 2.2.[31] Some of the projects included the construction or alteration of general parking areas, restrooms, and other facilities covered by existing accessibility standards, or the construction or alteration of roads and other infrastructure that are not subject to accessibility standards. Thus, the total project costs overstate the expenditures on elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas.

Table 2.2 – FY 2004 Camping and Picnic Area Projects That Included Construction or Alteration of Elements and Spaces Covered by Guidelines

Agency

Number of Projects

Total Project Costs

Department of the Interior

 

 

National Park Service

46

$14.0 million

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

$0.2 million

Bureau of Land Management

6

$1.8 million

Bureau of Reclamation

8

$1.1 million

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

25

Not available

The Access Board reviewed 43 camping and picnic area projects for this regulatory assessment that included the construction or alteration of elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas, as shown in Table 2.3.[32]

Table 2.3 – Camping and Picnic Area Projects Reviewed for Regulatory Assessment

Agency

Projects Reviewed

Total Project Costs

Department of Agriculture

 

 

Forest Service

12

$6.1 million

Department of Interior

 

 

National Park Service

9

$4.5 million

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

$0.2 million

Bureau of Land Management

6

$1.8 million

Bureau of Reclamation

8

$1.1 million

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

6

$2.2 million

Totals

43

$15.9 million

The projects were requested to provide data using the form in Appendix A. The responses from the projects are summarized in Appendix B. If a data field is not filled in, the project did not provide the requested data.

The projects ranged in cost from $1,129 to $4,000,000. As noted above, some of the projects included the construction or alteration of general parking areas, restrooms, and other facilities covered by existing accessibility standards, or the construction or alteration of roads and other infrastructure that are not subject to accessibility standards. The costs for elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas are shown in Table 2.4. The table does not include 15 projects that included work not covered by the guidelines but did not disaggregate the costs for elements and spaces covered by the guidelines. More than half the projects spent under $300,000 on elements and spaces covered by the guidelines, and more than a third of the projects spent less than $50,000.

Table 2.4 – Costs for Elements and Spaces Covered by Guidelines

 Agency

Less than
$50,000

$50,000 –
$99,999

$100,000 –
$199,999

$200,000 –
$299,999

Over
$300,000

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

3

1

3

4

1

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

3

1

 

 

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

3

 

 

 

 

Bureau of Reclamation

4

1

 

 

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

3

 

1

 

 

Total

16

3

4

4

1

Fourteen (14) projects constructed new camping and picnic areas, and the other 29 projects altered existing camping and picnic areas. Twenty-four (24) projects involved camping areas only; 12 projects involved picnic areas only; and 7 projects involved both camping areas and picnic areas. The number of campsites in the camping areas is shown in Table 2.5. The table does not include a park-wide project that altered several existing camping areas.

Table 2.5 – Number of Campsites in Camping Areas

Agency

10 or Fewer

11 - 25

26-50

More than 50

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

 

2

8

 

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

2

 

 

3

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

1

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

1

1

2

 

Bureau of Reclamation

3

 

1

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

 

2

2

1

Total

7

6

13

4

The number of picnic tables in the picnic areas is shown in Table 2.6.

Table 2.6 – Number of Picnic Tables in Picnic Areas

Agency

10 or Fewer

11 - 25

More than 25

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

4

 

1

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

1

2

1

Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

4

 

 

Bureau of Reclamation

3

1

1

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

1

 

 

Total

13

3

3

 

 

2.3 Picnic Tables, Fire Rings and Pedestal Grills

When a new camping area is constructed, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require a certain number of accessible camping spaces to be provided. For camping areas with 100 or fewer camping spaces, the guidelines require at least 2 accessible spaces where 2 to 25 spaces are provided; at least 3 accessible spaces where 26 to 50 spaces are provided; at least 4 accessible spaces where 51 to 75 spaces are provided; and at least 5 accessible spaces where 76 to 100 spaces are provided.[33] If the accessible camping spaces are equipped with picnic tables, fire rings or pedestal grills, the guidelines require these elements to be accessible.

When a new picnic area is constructed, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require at least 50 percent, but not fewer than two, of the picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills provided in the picnic area to be accessible where more than one of each element is provided.[34]

When an existing camping area or picnic area is altered, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require the altered elements and spaces to meet the requirements for new construction.[35] For example, if an existing picnic area with 10 picnic tables is altered and 4 old picnic tables are replaced with 4 new picnic tables, the guidelines require the 4 new picnic tables to be accessible. If the same picnic area is altered the next year and the other 6 old picnic tables are replaced with 6 new picnic tables, the guidelines require only one of the new picnic tables to be accessible to meet the new construction requirement for at least 50 percent of the picnic tables in the picnic area to be accessible.

Picnic Tables

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require accessible picnic tables to have at least one wheelchair space with knee and toe clearance under the table.[36] The wheelchair space can be located at the end of the picnic table without any loss of seating space at the sides of the table. Accessible picnic tables are commercially available. A review of the Federal Supply Schedule in July 2006 shows that 33 manufacturers represent that their picnic tables are accessible.[37]

Forty-one (41) of the projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new picnic tables. The length of the picnic tables ranged from 6 feet to 12 feet. The majority of the picnic tables provided were 8 feet long. Twenty-three (23) projects provided picnic tables from manufacturers on the Federal Supply Schedule.[38] Thirteen (13) projects provided picnic tables from a manufacturer on the Federal Supply Schedule that makes an extra heavy duty picnic table in accessible and non-accessible designs. The picnic table is available in a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, several types of vinyl clad steel, and recycled plastic. Depending on the material, the cost for an 8 foot long picnic table made by the manufacturer ranges from $212 to $668 for the non-accessible design, and from $262 to $718 for the accessible design (or $50 additional cost for the accessible design compared to the non-accessible design made from the same materials) on the Federal Supply Schedule in July 2006.[39]

The 10 other projects that provided picnic tables from manufacturers on the Federal Supply Schedule, got the picnic tables from manufacturers who either make 8 foot picnic tables only in accessible designs, or who make 8 foot picnic tables in accessible and non-accessible designs and sell both designs of the same type picnic table for the same price. The picnic table costs reported by the projects are shown in Table 2.7.[40] The additional costs for accessible picnic tables in the same project cannot be provided for the Fish and Wildlife Service projects and Army Corps of Engineers projects because the same projects did not report costs for accessible and non-accessible picnic tables. Five projects provided custom made picnic tables, and four of the custom made picnic tables ranged in price from $1000 to $1400. Four projects reported that the picnic table costs were the contractor’s price, and included installation. Two projects reported that the picnic table costs included site work costs, and were not able to separate the site work costs and the picnic table costs. With a few exceptions, the additional costs reported by the projects for accessible picnic tables are within the range of additional costs shown on the Federal Supply Schedule and in the manufacturer’s catalogues.

Table 2.7 – Picnic Table Costs Reported by Projects

 
Agency

# Projects Provided Tables

# Projects Reported Costs
Lowest Cost – Highest Cost

Additional Cost
for Accessible
Tables in
Same Project

Accessible
Tables

Non-Accessible
Tables

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

12 Projects

12 Projects
$208 - $1654

8 Projects
$149 - $1400

 
$0 - $200

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

8 Projects

5 Projects
$200 - $1000

6 Projects
$145 - $1000

 
$0 - $139

Fish and Wildlife Service

2 Projects

1 Project
$2050

1 Project
$524

 
Not Available

Bureau of Land Management

6 Projects

6 Projects
$450 - $1000

1 Project
$475

 
$175

Bureau of Reclamation

8 Projects

8 Projects
$178 - $1100

1 Project
$650

 
$50

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

5 Projects

4 Projects
$100 - $320

1 Project
$354

 
Not Available

Thirty-two (32) projects met or exceeded the number of accessible picnic tables required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.8. Two National Park Service projects did not provide sufficient information to determine whether the projects met or exceeded the number of accessible picnic tables required by the guidelines. One Army Corps of Engineers project provided the number of picnic tables with wheelchair spaces required by the guidelines, but the wheelchair spaces did not have sufficient knee clearance required by the guidelines.

Table 2.8 – Projects That Met or Exceeded Number of Accessible Picnic Tables Required by Guidelines

 
Agency

# Projects
Provided Tables

# Projects
Met Guidelines

# Projects
Exceeded Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

12

 

12

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

8

1

3

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

 

1

Bureau of Land Management

6

1

4

Bureau of Reclamation

8

3

4

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

5

2

1

Total

41

7

25

The number of additional accessible picnic tables needed by the other six projects that did not provide the number of accessible picnic tables required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas is shown in Table 2.9. [41]

Table 2.9 – Additional Accessible Picnic Tables Needed by Projects That Did Not Provide Number of Accessible Picnic Tables Required by Guidelines

 Agency Project

# Accessible Tables Provided by Project

# Additional Accessible TablesNeeded by Project

Department of Interior

 

 

National Park Service Project

3

4

National Park Service Project

2

9

Fish and Wildlife Service Project

0

2

Bureau of Land Management Project

2

2

Bureau of Reclamation Project

3

10

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers Project

0

2


Fire Rings

Fire rings are commercially available in various sizes and features. The outside diameter of fire rings ranges from 26 inches to 56 inches, with 30 inches the most common size. The height of fire rings ranges from 7 inches to 24 inches. Higher fire rings are partially filled with aggregate to provide an elevated fire surface. Fire rings have cooking grates that provide about 300 square inches of cooking surface. There are single level and adjustable multi-level cooking grates. Fire rings have one or two walls. Dual walls provide a heat barrier that reduces the outer wall temperature and are safer to operate.

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require accessible fire rings to have a fire surface at least 9 inches above the ground, and a cooking surface between 15 inches and 34 inches above the ground.[42]

Twenty-nine (29) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new fire rings. Nineteen (19) projects provided fire rings from manufacturers on the Federal Supply Schedule.[43] Twelve (12) projects provided fire rings from a manufacturer on the Federal Supply Schedule that makes fire rings in accessible and non-accessible designs. The cost for a 30 inch diameter fire ring made by the manufacturer is $86 for a non-accessible design with a 9 inch height and $140 for an accessible design with an18 inch height (or $54 additional cost for the accessible design compared to the non-accessible design) on the Federal Supply Schedule in July 2006.[44] The additional cost for accessible fire rings made by the other manufacturers ranged from $66 to $178 on the Federal Supply Schedule and in the manufacturer’s catalogues in July 2006.[45]

The fire ring costs reported by the projects are shown in Table 2.10.[46] The additional costs for accessible fire rings in the same project cannot be provided for the Army Corps of Engineers projects because the same projects did not report costs for accessible and non-accessible fire rings. Three projects reported that the fire ring costs were the contractor’s price, and included installation. One project reported that the fire ring costs included site work costs, and were not able to separate the site work costs and the fire ring costs. With a few exceptions, the additional costs reported by the projects for accessible fire rings are within the range of additional costs shown on the Federal Supply Schedule and in the manufacturer’s catalogues.

Table 2.10 – Fire Ring Costs Reported by Projects

 
 
Agency

# Projects
Provided
Fire
Rings

# Projects Reported Costs
Lowest Cost – Highest Cost

Additional Cost
for Accessible
Fire Rings in
Same Project

Accessible
Fire Rings

Non-Accessible
Fire Rings

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

10 Projects

10 Projects
$127 - $600

7 Projects
$106 - $450

 
$0 - $120

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

5 Projects

3 Projects
$125 - $232

3 Projects
$60 - $129

 
$50 - $103

Fish and Wildlife Service

2 Projects

2 Projects
$119 - $675

0 Projects
 

 
 

Bureau of Land Management

4 Projects

4 Projects
$120 - $450

1 Projects
$85 - $400

 
$50

Bureau of Reclamation

4 Projects

4 Projects
$155 - $300

1 Project
$300

 
$0

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

4 Projects

2 Projects
$145 - $225

2 Projects
$50 - $80

 
Not Available

Twenty-four (24) projects met or exceeded the number of accessible fire rings required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.11. Two National Park Service projects did not provide sufficient information to determine whether the projects met or exceeded the number of accessible fire rings required by the guidelines.

Table 2.11 – Projects That Met or Exceeded Number of Accessible Fire Rings Required by Guidelines

 
Agency

# Projects
Provided Fire Rings

# Projects
Met Guidelines

# Projects
Exceeded Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

10

 

10

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

5

2

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

 

2

Bureau of Land Management

4

 

4

Bureau of Reclamation

4

3

1

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

4

2

 

Total

29

7

17

The number of additional accessible fire rings needed by the other three projects that did not provide the number of accessible fire rings required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas is shown in Table 2.12.[47]

Table 2.12 – Additional Accessible Fire Rings Needed by Projects That Did Not Provide Number of Accessible Fire Rings Required by Guidelines

 
Agency Project

# Accessible Fire Rings Provided by Project

# Additional Accessible Fire Rings Needed by Project

Department of Interior

 

 

National Park Service Project

2

6

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers Project

0

2

Army Corps of Engineers Project

0

3

Pedestal Grills

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require the cooking surfaces on pedestal grills to be between 15 inches and 34 inches above the ground.[48] Most pedestal grills have adjustable cooking grates and can be installed so that the highest grate setting is 34 inches above the ground. There is no additional cost incurred by installing pedestal grills so that the cooking surface is at an accessible height.

Nineteen (19) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new pedestal grills. The accessible pedestal grills ranged in cost from $122 to $575. Most of the projects reported no additional costs for the accessible pedestal grills.[49]

Fifteen (15) projects met or exceeded the number of accessible pedestal grills required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.13. The four projects that did not provide the number of accessible pedestal grills required by the guidelines needed to provide two additional accessible pedestal grills to meet the guidelines.

Table 2.13 – Projects That Met or Exceeded Number of Accessible Pedestal Grills Required by Guidelines

 
Agency

# Projects
Provided Grills

# Projects
Met Guidelines

# Projects
Exceeded Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

5

 

5

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

2

1

1

Fish and Wildlife Service

0

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

3

1

1

Bureau of Reclamation

7

3

2

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

2

1

 

Total

19

6

9

 

 

2.4 Other Camping and Picnic Elements

The projects also provided new trash containers, water hydrants, utility hook-ups, and benches.

Trash Containers

Eleven (11) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new trash containers. The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require operable parts on trash containers to be within reach ranges and to meet certain operation requirements.[50] The trash containers provided by 10 projects met the guidelines. One project did not provide sufficient information to determine whether the trash containers met the guidelines. The trash containers ranged in cost from $10 to $3000. Most of the projects reported no additional costs for accessible trash containers.[51]

Water Hydrants

Nine (9) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new water hydrants. The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require water hydrant spouts serving accessible camping spaces and picnic tables to be between 28 inches and 36 inches above the ground, and the controls to meet certain operation requirements.[52] The water hydrant spouts provided by four projects met the guidelines. Three projects did not provide sufficient information to determine whether the water hydrant spouts met the guidelines. Most of the projects reported no additional costs for accessible water hydrant spouts.[53]

Utility Hook-Ups

Six (6) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new electric, water, and sewage hook-ups for recreational vehicle camping spaces. The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require operable parts on electric and water hook-ups serving accessible camping spaces to be within reach ranges and to meet certain operation requirements.[54] The electric and water hook-ups provided by four projects met the guidelines. The projects reported no additional costs for accessible electric and water hook-ups.

Benches

Five (5) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment provided new benches. The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require at least 50 percent of benches provided in an area to meet certain requirements for seat height and back support; and at least 50 percent of the benches meeting these requirements are also required to have at least one arm rest.[55] The benches provided by four projects met or exceeded the guidelines. The projects reported no additional costs for accessible benches.

2.5 Recreational Vehicle and Tent Camping Spaces

When a new camping area is constructed, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require a certain number of accessible camping spaces to be provided in each camping area.[56] For camping areas with 100 or fewer camping spaces, the guidelines require at least 2 accessible spaces where 2 to 25 spaces are provided; at least 3 accessible spaces where 26 to 50 spaces are provided; at least 4 accessible spaces where 51 to 75 spaces are provided; and at least 5 accessible spaces where 76 to 100 spaces are provided.[57] When an existing camping area is altered, the guidelines require the altered camping spaces to meet the requirements for new construction.[58] For example, if an existing camping area has 30 camping spaces and 10 of the camping spaces are altered, the guidelines require 3 of the altered camping spaces to be accessible.[59]

Recreational Vehicle Parking Areas

Recreational vehicle parking areas in camping spaces are typically at least 12 feet to 14 feet wide.[60] The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require recreational vehicle parking areas that are constructed or altered in accessible camping spaces be at least 20 feet wide to accommodate recreational vehicles equipped with a lift or ramp.[61] Where camping spaces are designed for both recreational vehicle and tent camping, the guidelines permit the parking areas in 50 percent of the accessible camping spaces to be at least 16 feet wide.[62] Where general parking areas are constructed or altered for recreational vehicles, the guidelines require at least one accessible parking space that is at least 12 feet wide and that has an adjacent access aisle at least 8 feet wide.[63]

Twenty-two (22) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed or altered recreational vehicle parking areas in camping spaces. In 14 projects, the camping spaces were designed for both recreational vehicle and tent camping. Fourteen (14) projects met or exceeded the number of accessible recreational vehicle parking areas required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.14. Three Bureau of Reclamation projects did not provide sufficient information to determine whether the projects met or exceeded the guidelines.

Table 2.14 – Projects That Met or Exceeded Number of Accessible Recreational Vehicle Parking Areas Required by Guidelines

  

Agency

# Projects Constructed or Altered RV
Parking Areas

 
# Projects
Met Guidelines

# Projects
Exceeded Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

8

2

5

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

1

 

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

 

1

Bureau of Land Management

3

 

3

Bureau of Reclamation

4

 

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

5

3

 

Total

22

5

9

The number of additional accessible recreational vehicle parking areas needed by the other five projects that did not provide the number of accessible recreational vehicle camping spaces required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas is shown in Table 2.15.[64]

Table 2.15 – Additional Accessible Recreational Vehicle Parking Areas Needed by Projects That Did Not Provide Number of Accessible Recreational Vehicle Parking Areas Required by Guidelines

 
Agency Project

# Accessible RV Parking Areas Provided by Project

Additional Accessible RV Parking Areas Needed by Project

Department of Agriculture

 

 

Forest Service Project

2

1

Department of Interior

 

 

National Park Service Project

6

6

Bureau of Reclamation Project

1

1

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers Project

0

2

Army Corps of Engineers Project

0

3

Tent Pads and Tent Platforms

Tent pads and tent platforms in camping spaces are typically at least 12 feet by 12 feet, or 144 square feet. The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require that tent pads or tent platforms constructed or altered in accessible camping spaces have at least 4 feet wide clear space around the tent pads or tent platforms.[65] A tent pad or tent platform that is 12 feet by 12 feet, plus 4 feet wide clear space around the tent pad or tent platform, occupies 400 square feet of ground space.

Seventeen (17) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed or altered tent pads or tent platforms in camping spaces. Fourteen (14) projects met or exceeded the number of accessible tent pads or tent platforms required by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.16. The three projects that did not provide the number of accessible tent pads or tent platforms required by the guidelines needed to provide one additional accessible tent pad or tent platform to meet the guidelines.


Table 2.16 – Projects That Met or Exceeded Number of Accessible Tent Pads or Tent Platforms Required by Guidelines

 

 Agency

# Projects Constructed or Altered Tent Pads or Tent Platforms

# Projects
Met
Guidelines

# Projects
Exceeded Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

Forest Service

9

1

7

Department of Interior

 

 

 

National Park Service

3

 

2

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

 

1

Bureau of Land Management

2

 

2

Bureau of Reclamation

1

 

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

1

 

1

Total

17

1

13

 

2.6 Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

When a new camping area is constructed, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require an outdoor recreation access route to connect the accessible elements and spaces within the area.[66] Where a new picnic area is constructed, the guidelines require an outdoor recreation access route to connect at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the accessible picnic tables, fire rings, pedestal grills, or benches within the area.[67] When an existing outdoor recreation access route is altered, it is required to meet the guidelines.[68]

Twenty-six (26) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed new camping and picnic areas, or altered existing outdoor recreation access routes. All 26 projects provided outdoor recreation access routes that met the requirements of the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas as shown in Table 2.17.

Table 2.17 – Projects That Met Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

 
Agency

# Projects Worked on Access Routes

# Projects
Met Guidelines

Department of Agriculture

 

 

Forest Service

10

10

Department of Interior

 

 

National Park Service

6

6

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

1

Bureau of Land Management

4

4

Bureau of Reclamation

4

4

Department of Defense

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

1

1

Total

26

26

 

 

2.7 Ground Surfaces

As further discussed below, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require ground surfaces at accessible camping and picnic elements, accessible tent pads and tent platforms, and outdoor recreation access routes to be firm and stable.

Accessible Camping and Picnic Elements

When a new camping or picnic area is constructed, or the ground surfaces at an existing camping or picnic areas are altered, the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require clear spaces with firm and stable ground surfaces to be provided at accessible camping and picnic elements.[69]

Thirty-five (35) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed new camping and picnic areas, or altered the ground surfaces at existing camping and picnic areas. All the projects provided pads with firm and stable surfaces in the accessible camping spaces and picnic sites that included space for the picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills as shown in Table 2.18.[70] Ten (10) projects reported data on pad sizes and costs. The pad sizes ranged from 196 square feet to 1200 square feet. The larger pads combined the cooking and eating areas, recreational vehicle parking areas, and tent pads. Some projects included the costs for clearing and grading the site, adding fill, and providing timber or block borders around the perimeter of the pads in the figures.

Table 2.18 – Projects That Provided Pads with Firm and Stable Ground Surfaces at Accessible Camping and Picnic Elements

 

  
Agency

# Projects
Provided
Firm & Stable
Pads

# Projects
Reported
Data on
Pad Size & Cost

 
Pad
Sizes
(Sq. Ft.)

 
 
Pad
Costs

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

12

4

345 - 1033

$960 - $5020

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

5

0

 

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

0

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

5

2

196 – 225

$2256 - $3375

Bureau of Reclamation

6

1

200

$2300

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

6

3

400 -1200

$1000 - $8125

Total

35

10

 

 

Accessible Tent Pads and Tent Platforms

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require accessible tent pads and tent platforms, and the 4 feet wide minimum clear space around the accessible tent pads or tent platforms, to have firm and stable ground surfaces.[71]

Seventeen (17) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed or altered tent pads or tent platforms. All the projects provided accessible tent pads or tent platforms with firm and stable ground surfaces as shown in Table 2.19.[72] Two projects reported data on tent pad or tent platform sizes and costs. Some projects provided larger pads that combined the cooking and eating areas and the tent pads, and did not report separate data on tent pad sizes and costs.

Table 2.19 – Projects That Provided Accessible Tent Pads or Tent Platforms with Firm and Stable Ground Surfaces

 

  
 
Agency

# Projects
Provided
Firm & Stable
Tent Pads or
Tent Platforms

# Projects
Reported Data on Tent Pad or Tent Platform
Size & Cost

Tent Pad or Tent Platform
Sizes
(Sq. Ft.)

 
 
Tent Pad or Tent Platform
Costs

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

9

1

144

$360

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

3

0

 

 

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

0

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

2

0

 

 

Bureau of Reclamation

1

1

388

$1416

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

1

0

 

 

Total

17

2

 

 

Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas require outdoor recreation access routes to have firm and stable ground surfaces.[73]

Twenty-six (26) projects reviewed for this regulatory assessment constructed new camping and picnic areas, or altered existing outdoor recreation access routes. All 26 projects provided outdoor recreation access routes with firm and stable ground surfaces.[74] Three projects reported data on the size and costs of the outdoor recreation access routes as shown in Table 2.20.

Table 2.20 – Projects That Provided Firm and Stable Ground Surfaces at Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

 
 
Agency

# Projects
Provided
Access Routes

# Projects Reported Data on Access Route
Size & Cost

Access Route
Length x Width
(Ft.)

Access
Route
Costs

Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

 

Forest Service

10

0

 

 

Department of Interior

 

 

 

 

National Park Service

6

2

400 x 6
300 x 4

$16,800
$8,244

Fish and Wildlife Service

1

0

 

 

Bureau of Land Management

4

1

75 x 5

$4,890

Bureau of Reclamation

4

0

 

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 

 

Army Corps of Engineers

1

0

 

 

Total

26

3

 

 


Surface Materials Used

The projects used a variety of materials to provide firm and stable ground surfaces as shown in Table 2.21. Some projects did not report data on materials or costs. Some projects included expenses for clearing and grading the site, adding fill, and providing timber or block borders around the perimeter of the area in the figures.

Table 2.21 – Firm & Stable Surface Materials and Costs

 
Materials

# Projects

Costs (Sq. Ft.)

Less than $1

$1 - 2.99

$3 – 4.99

$5 - 10

More than $10

Compacted:
Gravel/aggregate
Crusher/quarry fines
Decomposed granite
Limestone
Gravel/reject sands

 
10
5
2
1
1

 
2

 
4
1
1
 
1

 
 
 
1

 
1

 
 
1

Concrete

13

 

2

2

2

2

Asphalt

3

 

 

 

 

1

Hardened sand

1

 

 

 

 

 

Soil stabilizer

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.8 Costs

The Access Board developed a model based on the project reviews to estimate the additional costs associated with the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas compared to the baselines discussed in Chapter 1.

The model is based on the following assumptions:

  • The number of camping and picnic area projects funded annually by each Federal land management agency that include the construction or alteration of elements and spaces covered by the guidelines is the same as in FY 2004.
  • All projects are new construction.
  • The projects are equally divided between camping areas and picnic areas.
  • Camping areas have between 26 and 50 camping spaces. The guidelines require at least 3 of the camping spaces to be accessible. The camping spaces are designed for recreational vehicle and tent camping. In the absence of the guidelines, a parking area (12 feet by 60 feet) with a hardened surface is provided in each camping space for recreational vehicles and cars. The guidelines require the parking area in at least 2 of the accessible camping spaces to be 20 feet wide, and permit the parking space in the other accessible camp space to be 16 feet wide. In the absence of the guidelines, a firm and stable tent pad (12 feet by 12 feet) is provided in each camping space. The guidelines require a firm and stable clear space 4 feet around the tent pad in the accessible camping spaces. Each camping space has a picnic table, fire ring and pedestal grill. The guidelines require the picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills in the accessible camping spaces to be accessible.
  • Picnic areas have 10 picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills. The guidelines require at least 5 picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills to be accessible.
  • The native surface in the camping and picnic areas is not firm and stable. In the absence of the guidelines, a firm and stable pad is not provided for the cooking and eating or living areas. In the accessible design, a firm and stable pad (20 feet by 30 feet) is provided for the cooking and eating or living areas that provides the clear space at the accessible elements and connects the accessible elements, as required by the guidelines.
  • In the accessible camping spaces, the parking areas, tent pads, and pads for the eating and cooking or living areas adjoin each other.
  • The accessible design does not increase the size of the camping space or require additional site work other than described above.

Additional Unit Costs for Accessible Elements and Spaces

The model uses the following additional unit costs for accessible elements and spaces:

  • Picnic Tables. The additional cost for an accessible picnic table ranges from $0 to $70 on the Federal Supply Schedule and in manufacturers’ catalogues. The model uses the middle of the range ($35).
  • Fire Rings. The additional cost for an accessible fire ring ranges from $54 to $178 on the Federal Supply Schedule and in manufacturers’ catalogues. The model uses the middle of the range ($116).
  • Pedestal Grills. There is no additional cost for an accessible pedestal grill.
  • Parking Areas. The parking area for a recreational vehicle in the absence of the guidelines is 720 square feet (12 feet by 60 feet). The parking area for a recreational vehicle in an accessible camping space is 960 square feet for a 16 feet wide space, and 1,200 square feet for a 20 feet wide space. Thus, the parking area in an accessible camping space is an additional 240 square feet for a 16 feet wide space and 480 square feet for a 20 feet wide space. The projects used a variety of materials to provide a hardened surface for the parking areas, including compacted gravel, asphalt, and concrete. The costs for the materials ranged from less than $1 per square foot to more than $10 per square foot. The model uses the middle of the range ($5 per square foot). The cost for an additional 240 square feet for a 16 feet wide parking area is $1,200; and the cost for an additional 480 square feet for a 20 feet wide parking area is $2,400.
  • Tent Pads. The tent pad in the absence of the guidelines is 144 square feet (12 feet by 12 feet). The 4 feet of clear space around the tent pad in the accessible camping space is 256 square feet. The projects used a variety of materials to provide a firm and stable surface for the tent pads and clear space around the tent pads, including soil stabilizer and crushed stone fines. The costs for the materials ranged from less than $1 per square foot to $5 per square foot. The model uses the middle of the range ($2.50). The cost for 4 feet of clear space around the tent pad is $640.
  • Pads for Cooking and Eating or Living Areas. The pad for the cooking and eating or living area is 600 square feet (20 feet by 30 feet). The projects used a variety of materials to provide a firm and stable surface for the pads, including soil stabilizer and crushed stone fines. The costs for the materials ranged from less than $1 per square foot to $5 per square foot. The model uses the middle of the range ($2.50). The cost for a firm and stable pad for the cooking and eating or living area is $1,500.

Baselines

As discussed in Chapter 1, the Access Board used two baselines for this regulatory assessment. The first baseline assesses the costs associated with the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas compared to the Federal land management agencies current accessibility policies and practices. The second baseline assesses the costs associated with the guidelines if accessibility were not required by the Access Board or otherwise.

Additional Annual Project Costs Associated with Guidelines

Based on the model, the additional annual costs for camping and picnic area projects associated with the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas compared to the Federal land management agencies current accessibility policies and practices are shown in Table 2.22 and range from $0.2 million to $0.4 million.

Table 2.22 – Additional Annual Project Costs Associated with Baseline 1: Guidelines Compared to Agencies' Current Accessibility Policies and Practices

Agency

Camping & Picnic Areas

Department of Agriculture

 

Forest Service

$0

Department of the Interior

 

National Park Service

$126,588 to $244,951

Fish and Wildlife Service

$12,873

Bureau of Land Management

$21,098 to $33,971

Bureau of Reclamation

$21,098 to $42,196

Department of Defense

 

Army Corps of Engineers

$36,000 to $72,000

Total

$217,657 to $405,991

The additional annual costs for camping and picnic area projects associated with the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas if accessibility were not required and the Federal land management’s agencies’ projects do not include any accessible designs are shown in Table 2.23 and range from $0.9 million to $1.2 million.

Table 2.23 – Additional Annual Project Costs Associated with Baseline 2: Accessibility Not Required by Access Board or Otherwise

Agency

Camping & Picnic Areas

Department of Agriculture

 

Forest Service [75]

$0 to $320,000

Department of the Interior

 

National Park Service

$485,254

Fish and Wildlife Service

$21,098

Bureau of Land Management

$63,294

Bureau of Reclamation

$84,512

Department of Defense

 

Army Corps of Engineers

$266,049

Total

$920,207 to $1,240,207

Limitations

The model has the following limitations that may result in overestimating or underestimating the costs:

  • The number of camping and picnic area projects funded each year that include the construction or alteration of elements and spaces covered by the guidelines will vary each year. To reliably predict the number of projects funded each year would require an analysis of hundreds of projects over several years.
  • The majority of projects (67 percent) funded in FY 2004 were alterations to existing camping and picnic areas, and not new construction. Many of these projects only replaced the picnic tables, fire rings or pedestal grills, and did not involve any alterations to the ground surface. The guidelines do not require firm and stable ground surfaces to be provided where elements in existing facilities are replaced and the ground surface is not altered. Modeling costs on new construction is simpler, but overestimates the costs for alterations.
  • The model assumes camping areas have between 26 and 50 camping spaces because 43 percent of the camping projects reviewed were in that size range. Another 43 percent of the camping projects reviewed have 25 or fewer camping spaces. The guidelines require camping areas with 25 or fewer camping spaces to provide one less accessible camping space, which would reduce the additional costs associated with the guidelines by $4,700 per project. Thirteen percent of the camping projects reviewed have more than 50 camp spaces, and the guidelines require these larger camping areas to provide additional accessible camping spaces.
  • The model assumes picnic areas have 10 or fewer picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills because 62 percent of the picnic projects reviewed were in that size range. The other 32 percent of the picnic projects have more than 11 picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills, and the guidelines require these larger picnic areas to provide additional accessible picnic tables, fire rings and pedestal grills.
  • The model assumes that the native surface in the camping and picnic areas is not firm and stable. Some camping and picnic areas have native surfaces that are firm and stable. Other projects construct firm and stable pads for cooking and eating or living areas in camping and picnic areas for customer convenience, resource protection, or sustainability, and the costs for the pads should not be associated with the guidelines. If pad costs are not associated with the guidelines, the project costs are reduced by $4,500 for the camping projects, and $7,500 for the picnic area projects