Rulemaking History

The Access Board began developing accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way shortly after the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990. Proposed guidelines for state and local government facilities, including pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way, were initially issued in 1992. 57 FR 60612 (December 21, 1992). Interim guidelines were issued in 1994. 59 FR 31676 (June 20, 1994). Final guidelines were issued in 1998, but did not include requirements for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way because comments submitted on the proposed and interim guidelines demonstrated a need for additional research, as well as education and outreach. 63 FR 2000 (January 13, 1998).

The Access Board subsequently sponsored research on accessible pedestrian signals and pedestrian pushbuttons, detectable warning surfaces, and pedestrian facilities at roundabouts.13 The Access Board also produced a series of videos, a design guide, and an accessibility checklist for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way, and conducted training programs around the country. The Access Board coordinated its work with organizations representing state and local transportation officials and transportation industry professionals, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Institute of Transportation Engineers, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and Transportation Research Board.

The Access Board established a federal advisory committee in 1999 to recommend accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. The advisory committee included representatives of state and local governments, the transportation industry, disability organizations, and other interested groups.14 The advisory committee provided significant sources of expertise and produced consensus recommendations for accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. The advisory committee presented its recommendations, "Building a True Community: Final Report of the Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee", to the Access Board in 2001.15

The Access Board developed draft accessibility guidelines for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way based on the advisory committee's recommendations, and made the draft guidelines available for public review and comment in 2002.16 67 FR 41206 (June 17, 2002). The Access Board revised the draft guidelines in 2005 and made the revised draft guidelines available for public review to facilitate the gathering of data for the regulatory assessment. 70 FR 70734 (November 23, 2005). The Access Board entered into an interagency agreement with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) to gather data and prepare cost estimates for the regulatory assessment.17