Overview of Proposed Guidelines

The proposed guidelines apply to pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. The proposed guidelines define the public right-of-way to mean "public land or property, usually in interconnected corridors, that is acquired for or dedicated to transportation purposes" (see R105.5). The proposed guidelines ensure that the following facilities for pedestrian circulation and use located in the public right-of-way are readily accessible to and usable by pedestrians with disabilities:

  • Sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, and other pedestrian circulation paths, including requirements for pedestrian access routes, alternate pedestrian access routes when pedestrian circulation paths are temporarily closed, and protruding objects along or overhanging pedestrian circulation paths;
  • Pedestrian street crossings, medians, and pedestrian refuge islands, including requirements for curb ramps or blended transitions, and detectable warning surfaces;
  • Pedestrian street crossings at roundabouts, including requirements for detectable edge treatments where pedestrian crossing is not intended, and pedestrian activated signals at multi-lane pedestrian street crossings;
  • Pedestrian street crossings at multi-lane channelized turn lanes at roundabouts and at other signalized intersections, including requirements for pedestrian activated signals;
  • Pedestrian signals, including requirements for accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian pushbuttons;
  • Transit stops and transit shelters for buses and light rail vehicles, including requirements for boarding and alighting areas at sidewalk or street level, boarding platforms, and route signs;
  • Pedestrian at-grade rail crossings, including requirements for flangeway gaps;
  • On-street parking that is marked or metered, and passenger loading zones;
  • Pedestrian signs, including requirements for visible characters on signs and alternative requirements for audible sign systems and other technologies;
  • Street furniture for pedestrian use, including drinking fountains, public toilet facilities, tables, counters, and benches; and
  • Ramps, stairways, escalators, handrails, doors, doorways, and gates.


The proposed guidelines require a pedestrian access route to be provided within sidewalks and other pedestrian circulation paths, pedestrian street crossings, and pedestrian overpasses or underpasses (see R204).18 A pedestrian access route is a continuous and unobstructed path of travel provided for pedestrians with disabilities within or coinciding with a pedestrian circulation path in the public right-of-way (see R105.5). Pedestrian access routes in the public right-of-way ensure that the transportation network used by pedestrians is accessible to pedestrians with disabilities. Pedestrian access routes in the public right-of-way are analogous to accessible routes on sites in that they connect to accessible elements, spaces, and facilities in the public right-of-way, including accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian pushbuttons, accessible street furniture, accessible transit stops and transit shelters, accessible on-street parking spaces and parking meters and parking pay stations serving those parking spaces, and accessible passenger loading zones. Pedestrian access routes in the public right-of-way also connect to accessible routes at building and facility site arrival points.19

The proposed guidelines were developed for new construction work. However, most of the improvements in the public right-of-way involve alterations to existing facilities. Where elements, spaces, or facilities are altered, each altered element, space or facility within the scope of the project is required to comply the applicable requirements for new construction (see R202.3). 20 The proposed guidelines permit flexibility in alterations to existing facilities. Where existing physical constraints make it impracticable for altered elements, spaces, or facilities to fully comply with the requirements for new construction, compliance is required to the extent practicable within the scope of the project (see R202.3.1). Existing physical constraints include, but are not limited to, underlying terrain, right-of-way availability, underground structures, adjacent developed facilities, drainage, or the presence of a notable natural or historic feature.