Newly Constructed Tabled Intersections That Contain Pedestrian Street Crossings with Yield or Stop Control

Cross slope is the slope perpendicular to the direction of pedestrian travel (see R105.5). Cross slope impedes travel by pedestrians who use wheeled mobility devices since energy must be expended to counteract the perpendicular force of the cross slope. Cross slope makes it more difficult for pedestrians who use wheelchairs to travel on uphill slopes and to maintain balance and control on downhill slopes. Cross slope also negatively affects pedestrians who use braces, lower limb prostheses, crutches, or walkers, as well as pedestrians who have gait, balance, or stamina impairments. The proposed guidelines specify a maximum cross slope of 2 percent for pedestrian access routes, including pedestrian access routes within sidewalks and pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control where vehicles slow or stop before proceeding through the intersection (see R204.3 and R302.6).37

In new construction, where pedestrian access routes within sidewalks intersect at corners, the 2 percent maximum cross slope requirement will result in level corners (i.e., the slope at the corners will not exceed 2 percent in each direction of pedestrian travel). The level corners will provide a platform for providing level spaces for curb ramps and blended transitions, pedestrian street crossings, and accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian pushbuttons. The cross slope of the pedestrian access route within the pedestrian street crossing is the longitudinal grade of the street being crossed, and the 2 percent maximum cross slope requirement will impact the vertical alignment of streets in the vicinity of the intersection. In new construction, street intersections in hilly urban areas are typically cut-and filled to produce relative flat or tabled intersections. Where pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control are provided at newly constructed tabled intersections, the tabling would be extended to the pedestrian street crossings to comply with the 2 percent maximum cross slope for pedestrian access routes within the pedestrian street crossings.

Governmental Units Affected

The 2 percent maximum cross slope requirement for pedestrian access routes in the proposed guidelines will affect state and local transportation departments that do not extend the tabling of newly constructed intersections to pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control.

Question 14 in the preamble to the proposed guidelines seeks information on the current design policies and practices of state and local transportation departments with respect to the tabling newly constructed intersections in hilly urban areas, particularly with respect to extending the tabling to pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control.

Costs to Extend Tabling to Pedestrian Street Crossings with Yield or Stop Control

In new construction, extending the tabling of intersections to pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control involves additional costs for site preparation, grading, and earthwork. The Volpe Center roughly estimated the additional costs for extending the tabling to pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control are $60,000 per intersection based on information provided by a transportation official to the Access Board. The costs will vary by site.

Questions 15 and 16 in the preamble to the proposed guidelines seeks information on the additional costs to extend the tabling of newly constructed intersections to pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control, and the number of tabled intersections which contain pedestrian street crossings with yield or stop control that are newly constructed in hilly urban areas on an annual basis by state and local transportation departments.