Public Rights-of-Way Guidelines

Public Rights-of-Way Guidelines

New guidelines that will address pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets

pedestrian crossing signSidewalks, street crossings, and other elements in the public right-of-way can pose challenges to accessibility. The Board’s ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines focus mainly on facilities on sites. While they address certain features common to public sidewalks, such as curb ramps, further guidance is necessary to address conditions and constraints unique to public rights-of-way.

The Board is developing new guidelines for public rights-of-way that will address various issues, including access for blind pedestrians at street crossings, wheelchair access to on-street parking, and various constraints posed by space limitations, roadway design practices, slope, and terrain. The new guidelines will cover pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets, including crosswalks, curb ramps, street furnishings, pedestrian signals, parking, and other components of public rights-of-way. The Board’s aim in developing these guidelines is to ensure that access for persons with disabilities is provided wherever a pedestrian way is newly built or altered, and that the same degree of convenience, connection, and safety afforded the public generally is available to pedestrians with disabilities. Once these guidelines are adopted by the Department of Justice, they will become enforceable standards under title II of the ADA.