Chapter 7: Resources

by Barbara McMillen, Pedestrian Accessibility Specialist, and others

US Department of Justice

website http://www.ada.gov/

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), (Pub. L. 101-336), Title II, implementing regulations for Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services, 28 CFR PART 35, Final rule, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities. http://www.ada.gov/reg2.html

  • ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991). The ADA Standards for Accessible Design are the Access Board's 1991 ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), adopted on July 26, 1991: http://www.ada.gov/stdspdf.htm
  • Title II Technical Assistance Manual (1993) and Yearly Supplements. A 56-page manual that explains in lay terms what state and local governments must do to ensure that their services, programs, and activities are provided to the public in a nondiscriminatory manner. Many examples are provided for practical guidance: http://www.ada.gov/taman2.htm
  • Title II Highlights. An 8-page outline of the key requirements of the ADA for State and local governments. This publication provides detailed information in bullet format for quick reference: http://www.ada.gov/t2hlt95.htm
  • ADA Guide for Small Towns . A 21-page guide that presents an informal overview of some basic ADA requirements and provides cost-effective tips on how small towns can comply with the ADA. FAX # 3307
  • The ADA and City Governments: Common Problems . A 9-page document that contains a sampling of common problems shared by city governments of all sizes, provides examples of common deficiencies and explains how these problems affect persons with disabilities.
  • An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities. A publication that provides guidance on preparing for and carrying out emergency response programs in a manner that results in the services being accessible to people with disabilities: http://www.ada.gov/emergencyprep.htm

US Department of Justice Technical Assistance Letters . Covers state and local government's responsibilities for complying with provisions in the ADA, Title II regulations. Compliance topics:

US DOJ Settlement Agreements . Involve public rights-of-way, State of Delaware, Voluntary Agreement with terms and conditions to bring certain roads under the jurisdiction of the state into further compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/deldot.htm

Project Civic Access. A Title II compliance program that includes:

Precedent-setting Court Cases

Kinney v. Yerusalim, 9 F.3d 1067 (1993) http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/yerusalim.htm

U.S. DOJ amicus to court finding that resurfacing of city streets is an alteration requiring installation of curb ramps to comply with regulations promulgated under ADA: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/pa2.txt

Barden v. City of Sacramento, CA

On January 22, 2004, the court granted final approval of the settlement in Barden v. Sacramento. This case set a nationwide precedent requiring cities and other public entities to make all public sidewalks accessible. As a result of the court's ruling in this case, public entities must address barriers such as missing or unsafe curb cuts throughout the public sidewalk system, as well as barriers that block access along the length of the sidewalks. Following the court victory, the parties reached a settlement addressing all sidewalk barrier issues City-wide. The settlement provides that for up to 30 years, the City of Sacramento will allocate 20% of its annual Transportation Fund to make the City's pedestrian rights-of-way accessible to individuals with vision and/or mobility disabilities. This will include installation of compliant curb ramps at intersections; removal of barriers that obstruct the sidewalk, including narrow pathways, abrupt changes in level, excessive cross slopes, and overhanging obstructions; and improvements in crosswalk access. http://www.dralegal.org/downloads/cases/barden/usca_opinion.txt

Metro Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee

In January 2000, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County voluntarily contacted the United States Department of Justice to discuss its plans for achieving compliance with Title II of the ADA. A formal agreement was reached between the two parties in July 2000. The Final Settlement Agreement was reached in 2004. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County has conducted extensive reviews of their policies and procedures and made substantial changes to ensure the integration of accessibility into the activities conducted in the public rights-of-ways. Processes have been developed that are transferable to any state and other local governments as models for complying with ADA obligations and regulations.

Final Settlement Agreement between the United States of America and Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davison County Tennessee for Structural Changes to Public Buildings and Facilities: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/nashvil2.htm

Final Transition Plan For Achieving Program Access as Required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 1973, as amended December 10, 2003: http://www.nashville.gov/finance/support_services/ada/doj_2047143_final_textonly.htm

Policy and procedure forms for projects in the public rights-of-way: http://www.nashville.gov/gsa/ADA/procedures-forms.htm

US Access Board http://www.access-board.gov

Building a True Community: Final Report (January 2001), PROWAAC's report to the US Access Board: http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/commrept/index.htm

Revised Draft Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Way (HTML Version), November 23, 2005. Second draft of PROWAG—provisions specific to public rights-of-way to supplement the Board's ADA and ABA accessibility guidelines (2004). The guidelines become enforceable when they are adopted by the standard setting agencies—the DOJ and the DOT:
http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/draft.htm

Notice of availability of draft guidelines for the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines; Public Rights-of-Way, Published in the Federal Register on November 23, 2005: http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/noa.htm

FHWA notice of the draft guidelines, January 23, 2006: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/prwaa.htm

Accessible Rights-of-Way: A Design Guide . Developed by the U.S. Access Board in collaboration with the USDOT/FHWA to assist public works and transportation agencies covered by Title II of the ADA in designing and constructing public sidewalks and street crossings: http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/guide/PROWGuide.htm

Interfacing Audible Pedestrian Signals and Traffic Signal Controllers . Provides detailed APS product information specifically focused on the interfacing of APS devices and traffic signal controllers. Information on the various traffic signal controllers used today is also provided. The information is intended for traffic engineers, traffic signal technicians, and others who are implementing APS technologies: http://www.access-board.gov/research/APS/report.htm

Pedestrian Access to Modern Roundabouts . Provides research on improving accessibility of roundabouts to blind pedestrians, suggested approaches, differences in access issues between roundabouts and traditional intersections, and orientation and mobility techniques used by pedestrians who are blind in traveling independently across streets: http://www.access-board.gov/research/roundabouts/bulletin.htm

Detectable Warnings Update : http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/dws/update.htm

Detectable Warnings: Synthesis of U.S. and International Practice. This synthesis summarizes the state-of-the-art regarding the design, installation, and effectiveness of detectable warning surfaces used in the U.S. and abroad: http://www.access-board.gov/research/DWSynthesis/report.htm

Accessible Sidewalks (DVD). A four-part video developed by the Access Board to illustrate access issues and considerations; is available free from the Board on DVD. The DVD contains:

  • Program 1: Pedestrians Who Use Wheelchairs
  • Program 2: Pedestrians Who Have Ambulatory Impairments
  • Program 3: Pedestrians Who Have Low Vision
  • Program 4: Pedestrians Who Are Blind

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Bicycle and Pedestrian Program : http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/index.htm

FHWA program offices have resources that promote pedestrian transportation accessibility, use, and safety.

The Bicycle & Pedestrian Program of Office of Natural and Human Environment: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/index.htm

FHWA POLICY MEMORANDA

The Americans with Disabilities Act Policy promotes universal design and the development of a fully accessible transportation system. This document calls for mainstreaming facilities for people with disabilities in our nation's transportation system: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/atl.htm

Use of 2005 PROWAG draft: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/prwaa.htm

Detectable Warnings: FHWA and the US Access Board encourage the use of the latest recommended design for truncated domes.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/dwm04.htm (2004)
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped /dwm.htm (2002)

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices (signs, signals, and markings) on all streets and highways. The MUTCD is published by the FHWA under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. The MUTCD audience includes the insurance industry, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions, private industry, and construction and engineering concerns: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/kno-2003r1.htm; http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/HTM/2003r1/html-index.htm

Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access Part I of II: Review of Existing Guidelines and Practices : http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/Access-1.htm

Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part II of II: Best Practices Design Guide : http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sidewalk2/index.htm

FHWA two-part guidebook on planning and designing sidewalks and trails for access. Created to provide planners, designers, and transportation engineers with a better understanding of how sidewalks and trails should be developed to promote pedestrian access for all users, including people with disabilities.

Design Guidance Accommodating Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel: A Recommended Approach . A policy statement adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. USDOT encourages public agencies, professional associations, advocacy groups, and others to integrate bicycling and walking into the transportation mainstream: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/Design.htm

Freedom to Travel Survey . The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS),(USDOT), survey designed to identify the impact of transportation on the work and social lives of people with disabilities, and the extent to which such impact is unique to that population: http://www.bts.gov/publications/freedom_to_travel/

Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations Final Report and Recommended Guidelines . Includes recommendations on how to provide safer crossings for pedestrians: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04100/index.htm

How to Develop a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan . Guide and resource for improving pedestrian safety intended to assist agencies in enhancing their existing pedestrian safety programs and activities, including identifying safety problems and selecting optimal solutions through redesign and engineering countermeasures. http://www.walkinginfo.org/pp/howtoguide2006.pdf

Accommodating Pedestrians in Work Zones . Illustrated brochure: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/wzp3.htm

OTHER RESOURCES

Guides, Manuals, Reports, Research, Data

AASHTO guides can be purchased through the AASHTO web site at: http://www.transportation.org

  • Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities (2004). The American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), presents effective measures for accommodating pedestrians on public rights-of-way. The guide recognizes the profound effect that land use planning and site design have on pedestrian mobility and addresses these topics as well.
  • A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets , (Green Book), AASHTO, 2001

Accessible Design for the Blind website contains information on detectable warnings and APS: http://www.accessforblind.org/

Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Accessible Public Rights-of-Way: Planning and Designing for Alterations; Electronic Toolbox for Making Intersections More Accessible for Pedestrians Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: http://www.ite.org/accessible/

The following publications can be purchased through the ITE web site at http://www.ite.org :

  • Design and Safety of Pedestrian Facilities: A Proposed Recommended Practice of the Institute of Transportation Engineers , ITE Technical Council Committee 5A-5.
  • Alternative Treatments for At-Grade Pedestrian Crossings , an informational report documenting studies on pedestrian crossings.
  • Improving the Pedestrian Environment Through Innovative Transportation Design .

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), a clearinghouse with information on pedestrian design, planning, research, safety and education: http://www.walkinginfo.org/

American Council of the Blind (ACB) Pedestrian Safety Website , a clearinghouse with resources for pedestrian safety, wayfinding, and accessible travel: http://www.acb.org/pedestrian/index.html

  • Pedestrian Safety Handbook provides resources on understanding and details for improving travel for people with visual disabilities: http://www.acb.org/pedestrian/handbook.html
  • Survey of Signalized Intersection Accessibility. ACB surveyed 158 pedestrians who are legally blind regarding their experiences in independently crossing at intersections with and without audible signals.
    • 91% of respondents indicated that they sometimes had difficulty knowing when to begin crossing (difficulty hearing surge of traffic on street beside them), which they attributed to one or more of four reasons.
    • 79% of respondents indicated that they sometimes had difficulty traveling straight across the street, for one or more of three reasons.
    • 90% of respondents had experienced one or more problems with pushbuttons.
    • 71% of respondents had experienced one or more difficulties with existing accessible pedestrian signals.

http://www.acb.org/pedestrian/phd2a.html#ped09

NCHRP , an industry research program overseen by TRB

Accessible Pedestrian Signals; A Synthesis and Guide to Best Practices , NCHRP Research Project 3-62, Guidelines for Accessible Pedestrian Signals provides an introduction to APS research: http://www.walkinginfo.org/aps/home.cfm

State DOTs

Wisconsin DOT, Curb Ramp Detectable Warning Fields: Truncated Warning Dome Installations Technical Note (June 2005). Provides technical information on installations of curb ramp detectable warnings/truncated domes: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/library/research/docs/finalreports/tau-finalreports/warningdomestechnote.pdf

WisDOT Truncated Warning Dome Systems for Handicap Access Ramps (Nov. 2003). Product trials—A study in partnership with the FHWA and the City of Madison Engineering Division. Product trials of truncated dome warning systems for ramps to evaluate constructability, durability, aesthetics, cost, and conformance to the standard: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/library/research/docs/finalreports/tau-finalreports/warningdomes.pdf

Georgia DOT Pedestrian & Streetscape Guide . Provides a tool kit and technical information on “best practices” that apply to situations encountered in project development, examination of pedestrian characteristics, and other factors that influence pedestrian travel, spatial analysis, ways to prioritize projects using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), referencing the Latent Demand Model and Portland, OR's Pedestrian Potential Index: http://www.dot.state.ga.us/dot/plan-prog/planning/projects/bicycle/ped_streetscape_guide/toolkit%202%20final.pdf

Indiana DOT Standard Specifications (2006). Section 604, Sidewalks, Curb ramps, Steps and Handrails: http://www.in.gov/dot/div/contracts/standards/book/2006MasterSpecBook.pdf

Oregon DOT, Standard Drawings for Sidewalks & Ramps (Roadway 700—Curbs, Islands, Sidewalks, and Driveways): http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/ENGSERVICES/roadway_drawings.shtml#Roadway_700_Curbs_etc_

Washington State DOT Pedestrian Design Considerations Design Manual , May 2006. Planning, design, and operations guidance: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/EESC/Design/DesignManual/desEnglish/1025-E.pdf

Arizona DOT Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (2003). A guide for making pedestrian-related transportation decisions at the state and local level: http://www.azbikeped.org/statewide-bicycle-pedestrian-intro.html

Pedestrian planning, design, and operation policies: http://www.azbikeped.org/appendix%20c/08_DG.pdf

Vermont DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Facility Planning and Design Manual , Chapter 3, Pedestrian Facilities. Provides policy, planning and design guidance for sidewalks and walkways, street corners and intersections, and street and driveway crossings: http://www.aot.state.vt.us/progdev/Documents/LTF/FinalPedestrianAndBicycleFacility/Chap3.pdf

California DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities in California , Technical Reference Report (2005). Provides guidance on policy, planning, and design: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/survey/pedestrian/TR_MAY0405.pdf

Colorado DOT directive for ADA Accessibility Requirements for CDOT Transportation Projects . Includes policies and procedures for pedestrian accessibility in roadway resurfacing projects: http://www.dot.state.co.us/DesignSupport/ADA/ADA%20Accessibility%20Requirements%20in%20CDOT%20Transportation%20Projects%2010-20-2003%20.pdf

Colorado DOT Standard Specifications for Detectable Warnings , Section 608, May 26, 2005 Revision: http://www.dot.state.co.us/DesignSupport/Construction/1999PSP/608dw.doc

Maryland State Highway Administration Accessibility Policy and Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities Along State Highways: http://www.sha.state.md.us/businesswithSHA/bizstdsspecs/ohd/ada/adapolicy.asp

Training, Courses, Presentations

Accessible Sidewalks (DVD), a 4-part video developed by the Access Board to illustrate access issues and considerations, is available free from the Board on DVD. The DVD contains:

  • Program 1: Pedestrians Who Use Wheelchairs
  • Program 2: Pedestrians Who Have Ambulatory Impairments
  • Program 3: Pedestrians Who Have Low Vision
  • Program 4: Pedestrians Who Are Blind

Designing and Planning Accessible Pedestrian Facilities training course, developed in cooperation with FHWA and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Designing Accessible Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Rights-of-Way Series. This series of four individual courses is intended to provide practicing traffic and highway engineers, planners, and transportation managers with a better understanding of the latest public rights-of-way guidelines developed by the U.S. Access Board, and how they can be applied in better designing sidewalks and intersections to accommodate persons with disabilities. Each of the four course modules is designed to be informative in the area of identifying the needs of persons with disabilities, provide practical engineering approaches to successfully addressing these needs on existing facilities, and serve as catalysts in promoting innovative solutions to similar challenges at future locations. ITE: http://www.ite.org/education/olg.asp

Michael Moule, P.E., PTOE, Livable Streets, Inc., (813) 221-5223; fax (813) 354-4422; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pedestrians with Vision Loss or Blindness , powerpoint presentation: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/roundaboutsummit/rndabtatt4.htm

Accessible Pedestrian Signal Features New Possibilities for Access in the US , Janet Barlow, Accessible Design for the Blind, powerpoint presentation: http://www.accessforblind.org/presentations/aps/Accessible_Signals_Presentation.pps

Transportation Prescription for Healthy Cities, by Ian M. Lockwood, P.E., Presentation that includes a discussion in Section 3 on how traditional language used by engineers can unknowingly contain biases; recommendations for the use of unbiased terminology. Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Department of Transportation:
http://policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/documents/Events.ComGrnd-Lockwood_trans_perscript.pdf#search='TRANSPORTATION%20PRESCRIPTION%20FOR%20healthy%20cities%20Ian%20lockwood

Planning Agencies

Nashville-Davidson County Strategic Plan For Sidewalks & Bikeways , March 2003: http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/sidewalks/finalplan_march03.htm

Provides an extensive discussion of pedestrian access issues in Appendix B, Pedestrian Facilities Design Guidelines: ftp://ftp.nashville.org/web/mpc/sidewalks/Mar2003/appendix_b.pdf

City of Tucson Land Use Ordinance Code , Section 3.2.8 Access Provision provides design standards for pedestrian circulation paths, access to streets, and improvements for pedestrian facilities to increase public safety by lessening the conflict between vehicular and pedestrian activities: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/planning/codes/luc/lucweb/Art3div2.html#TopOfPage

San Diego, CA Pedestrian Master Plan (2004): http://www.sandag.cog.ca.us/uploads/publicationid/publicationid_713_3269.pdf

City of Sacramento Pedestrian Master Plan, Making Sacramento the Walking Capital , Public Review Draft, (November 2005): http://www.cityofsacramento.org/pedestrian_master_plan/Draft_Ped_Master_Plan_11.02.05.pdf

Pedestrian Safety Guidelines for the City of Sacramento Public Works Department Traffic Engineering Division (January 9, 2003): http://www.cityofsacramento.org/dsd/dev_eng_finance/entitlements/pdfs/Ped_Safety.pdf

Portland, OR Pedestrian Master Plan (1998): www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=37064

“Portland Pedestrian Design Guide,” an element of the Pedestrian Master Plan for the City of Portland, Oregon: http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=84048

Oakland, CA Pedestrian Master Plan (Nov. 2002), Part of the Land Use and Transportation Element of the City of Oakland‘s General Plan: http://www.oaklandnet.com/government/pedestrian/PedMasterPlan.pdf

City of Cambridge, MA: Pedestrian Plan (2000): http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/et/ped/plan/ped_plan.html .

City of Seattle Right-of-Way Improvements Manual provisions for incorporating pedestrian travel into the process, procedures, design criteria for grading, design cross section, intersections, driveways, curbs, sidewalks and crosswalks: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rowmanual/manual/

The City of Seattle Standard Plans and Standard Specifications for Road, Bridge, and Municipal Construction : http://www.seattle.gov/util/Engineering/Standard_Plans_&_Specs/index.asp

400 Street Paving & Appurtenance, includes curb ramps: http://www2.cityofseattle.net/util/standardplans/plans2005/400Series.pdf

Boulder, CO: Transportation Master Plan (2003), fully integrates pedestrian travel into the transportation plan: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=331&Itemid=1201 .

“Chapter 6, Pedestrian Policies” includes a snow removal policy provision for pedestrian travel: http://www.ci.boulder.co.us/files/Transportation_Master_Plan/Chapter6_1.pdf

“City of Boulder Pedestrian Crossing Treatment Warrants,” provisions and criteria for improving pedestrian street crossing warrants for better access and safety compared to the MUTCD criteria: http://www.ci.boulder.co.us/files/Transportation_Master_Plan/Boulder_Ped_Xing_Warrants.pdf

Planning and Funding Accessible Pedestrian Facilities

From www.ite.org/accessible/accessibleped.asp; www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/bp-guid.htm

Funding Availability and Design Philosophy

The combined funding of Federal, state and local government on surface transportation is one of this country's largest domestic spending programs. The funding for pedestrian issues has increased dramatically since 1991. This increase was spurred by transportation legislation, grassroots support, and accessibility policies. Pedestrian projects and programs are eligible for funding in almost every major federal-aid surface transportation category. Transportation legislation, including the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) calls for mainstreaming pedestrian (and bicycle) projects into planning, design, and operation of our nation's transportation system. Transportation facilities must include features that will allow people of all abilities to use them. The federal-aid highway program can work hand-in-hand with the ADA of 1990, which requires all pedestrian facilities be accessible for people with disabilities. Accessibility is not an exclusive or separate issue. Rather, accessibility design is fundamental to the walking environment because all pedestrians with or without disabilities benefit from accessibility design. Accessibility is an intrinsic part of planning, retrofitting, and constructing pedestrian facilities, along with safe accommodation and good design. Accessibility is a safety issue because if a facility is not accessible, then it is not safe for more than 54 million people in this country who have some form of disability. The USDOT's policy on accessibility states, “Accessibility is a civil right. The key function of transportation, at its most fundamental level, is to provide basic mobility to society. It is our responsibility to strive to ensure that transportation systems are not only safe and efficient, but also usable by all-including persons with disabilities.” The USDOT's Accessibility Policy Statement can be reviewed at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/atl.htm.

Accessibility requirements are not new and these obligations have been around long before the ADA in 1990. States and localities were first required to place curb ramps at street crossings in 1973 by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Also, the DOJ has ruled that resurfacing a roadway (beyond filling pot holes) is an alteration, thus triggering the requirement to place curb ramps at roadway intersections.

Funding Sources for Pedestrian Projects

Pedestrian projects are broadly eligible for funding from almost all the major federal-aid highway, transit, safety and other programs. The matrix at the end of this section denotes the FHWA and FTA funding programs that can be used to fund pedestrian projects and activities.

Federal-Aid Highway Programs

National Highway System funds may be used to construct pedestrian walkways and facilities on land adjacent to any highway on the National Highway System, including Interstate highways.

Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds may be used for either the construction of pedestrian walkways, or nonconstruction projects (such as maps, brochures, and public service announcements) related to safety. TEA 21 adds “the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act” as an activity that is specifically eligible for the use of these funds.

Ten percent of each state's annual STP funds is set-aside for Transportation Enhancement Activities (TEAs). The law provides a specific list of activities that are eligible TEAs and this includes “provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles, provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists,” and the “preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including the conversion and use thereof for pedestrian and bicycle trails).” Another 10% of each state's STP funds is set aside for the Hazard Elimination and Railway–Highway Crossing programs, which address pedestrian safety issues. Each state is required to implement a Hazard Elimination Program to identify and correct locations that may constitute a danger to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Funds may be used for activities including a survey of hazardous locations and for projects on any publicly owned, shared-use path, pedestrian pathway or trail, or any safety-related traffic calming measure.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds may be used for either the construction of pedestrian walkways or nonconstruction projects (such as maps, brochures and public service announcements).

Recreational Trails Program funds may be used for all kinds of trail projects. Of the funds apportioned to a state, 30% must be used for motorized trail uses, 30% for nonmotorized trail uses and 40% for diverse trail uses (any combination).

Provisions for pedestrians are eligible under the various categories of the Federal Lands Highway Program in conjunction with roads, highways, and parkways. Priority for funding projects is determined by the appropriate Federal Land Agency or Tribal government.

National Scenic Byways Program funds may be used for “construction along a scenic byway of a facility for pedestrians.”

High-Priority Projects and Designated Transportation Enhancement Activities identified by SAFETEA-LU include numerous pedestrian, trail, and traffic calming projects in communities throughout the country.

Safe Routes to School funds are provided to the states to substantially improve the ability of primary and middle school students to walk and bicycle to school safely. The purposes of the program are:

  1. to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school;
  2. to make bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative, thereby encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; and
  3. to facilitate the planning, development, and implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity (approximately 2 miles) of primary and middle schools (Grades K-8).

Each state administers its own program and develops its own procedures to solicit and select projects for funding. The program establishes two distinct types of funding opportunities: infrastructure projects (engineering improvements) and non-infrastructure related activities (such as education, enforcement, and encouragement programs

Federal Transit Program

Title 49 U.S.C. (as amended by SAFETEA-LU) allows the Urbanized-Area Formula Grants, Capital Investment Grants and Loans, and Formula Program for Other Than Urbanized Area transit funds to be used for improving pedestrian access to transit facilities and vehicles. Eligible activities include investments in “pedestrian and bicycle access to a mass transportation facility” that establishes or enhances coordination between mass transportation and other transportation.

SAFETEA-LU also created a Transit Enhancement Activity program with a one percent set-aside of Urbanized-Area Formula Grant funds designated for, among other things, pedestrian access and walkways.

Highway Safety Programs

Pedestrian and bicyclist safety remain priority areas for State and Community Highway Safety Grants funded by the Section 402 formula grant program. A state is eligible for these grants by submitting a performance plan (establishing goals and performance measures for improving highway safety) and a highway safety plan (describing activities to achieve those goals). Research, development, demonstrations, and training to improve highway safety (including pedestrian safety) is carried out under the Highway Safety Research and Development (Section 403) program.

Matrix of FHWA and FTA Funding Opportunities for Pedestrian Facilities

SAFETEA-LU Bicycle/Pedestrian Funding Opportunities

 

NHA

STP

HEP

RHC

TEA

CMAQ

RTP

FTA

TE

BRI

402

PLA

TCSP

JOBS

FLH

BYW

Bicycle and pedestrian plan

 

*

     

*

         

*

*

     

Bicycle lanes on roadway

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

*

*

*

       

*

*

Paved shoulders

*

*

*

*

*

*

     

*

       

*

*

Signed bike route

*

*

   

*

*

               

*

*

Shared-use path/trail

*

*

   

*

*

*

   

*

       

*

*

Single track hike/bike trail

           

*

                 

Spot improvement program

 

*

*

 

*

*

                   

Maps

 

*

     

*

       

*

         

Bike racks on buses

 

*

   

*

*

 

*

*

             

Bicycle parking facilities

 

*

   

*

*

 

*

*

           

*

Trail/highway intersection

*

*

*

 

*

*

*

             

*

*

Bicycle storage/service center

 

*

   

*

*

 

*

*

     

*

*

   

Sidewalks, new or retrofit

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

*

*

*

       

*

*

Crosswalks, new or retrofit

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

*

*

         

*

*

Signal improvements

*

*

*

*

*

*

                   

Curb cuts and ramps

*

*

*

*

*

*

                   

Traffic calming

 

*

*

*

 

*

           

*

     

Coordinator position

 

*

     

*

           

*

     

Safety/education position

 

*

     

*

       

*

         

Police patrol

 

*

     

*

       

*

         

Helmet promotion

 

*

   

*

         

*

         

Safety brochure/book

 

*

   

*

*

       

*

         

Training

         

*

       

*

         

Key

NHS

National Highway System

CMAQ

Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality Program

TCSP

Transportation and Community and System

STP

Surface Transportation Program

FLH

Federal Lands Highways Program

 

Preservation Pilot Program

HEP

Hazard Elimination Program

BYW

Scenic Byways

JOBS

Access to Jobs/Reverse Commute Program

RHC

Railway-Highway Crossing Program

BRI

Bridge

RTP

Recreational Trails Program

TEA

Transportation Enhancement Activities

402

State and Community Traffic Safety Program

FTA

Federal Transit Capital, Urban & Rural Funds

   

PLA

State/Metropolitan Planning Funds

TE

Transit Enhancements

Self-Evalutions and Transition Plans

The purpose of the self-evaluation is to review jurisdiction/agency policies, practices, and procedures to identify those that may discriminate against or prevent participation of persons with disabilities. Public input, including the participation of residents with disabilities, is part of the self-evaluation process

Process:

  • Conduct an evaluation of current programs, services, and activities as well as employment practices and procedures to ensure they do not discriminate against people with disabilities.
  • Undertake modifications to any programs, services, activities, or employment provisions that may have the affect of discriminating.
  • Provide an opportunity for interested groups and individuals with disabilities to provide input on the self-evaluation process.

For public entities that have more than 50 employees, the self-evaluation must be kept on file and available for public inspection for at least three years. The self-evaluation plan must include the names of the interested persons consulted, a description of the areas examined, and the problems identified, as well as a description of any modifications made or planned. Additionally, an ADA Coordinator must be appointed to coordinate compliance efforts; a grievance procedure adopted and published; and a transition plan developed identifying structural changes needed to facilities to ensure program accessibility.

The transition plan must identify and schedule all structural modifications that are needed to buildings and facilities to ensure that programs, services, and activities are accessible to people with disabilities.

A 2006 NCHRP project will develop model transition planning recommendations for transportation industry agencies: http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=1247

State of Hawaii DOT, Transition Plan, includes a curb cut replacement schedule:
http://www.state.hi.us/dot/administration/ada/transitionplan.pdf

Monmouth County, NJ developed a boiler-plate ADA Self Evaluation/Transition Plan Guidelines for municipal governments. It includes procedural requirements such as grievance procedures, appointment of ADA officer, and complaint investigations:
http://monmouthhumanservices.org/Acrobat/ADA_GUIDELINES.PDF

Sacramento County ADA Transition Plan:
http://www.sacdot.com/projects/ADA%20and%20Pedestrian%20Projects/ADA_Plan/

Documents and resources:
http://www.sacdot.com/projects/ADA%20and%20Pedestrian%20Projects/ADA_Plan/docs.asp

Federal Transportation Law Resources

Federal Surface Transportation Laws:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/legislat.html

49 CFR Part 27 (Authority: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended – 29 USC 794)

Title 23, CFR Sec §450.214 (b) (3) The State shall develop a statewide transportation plan for all areas of the State that shall contain, as an element, a plan for bicycle transportation, pedestrian walkways and trails which is appropriately interconnected with other modes.

Title 23, CFR Sec §450.214 (b) (4) The State shall develop a statewide transportation plan that is coordinated with the metropolitan transportation plans required under 23 U.S.C. 134.

Title 23, CFR §450.322 The Metropolitan Transportation Plan shall include adopted congestion management strategies including, as appropriate, traffic operations, ridesharing, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, alternative work schedules, freight movement options, high occupancy vehicle treatments, telecommuting, and public transportation improvements (including regulatory, pricing, management, and operational options), that demonstrate a systematic approach in addressing current and future transportation demand and identify pedestrian walkway and bicycle transportation facilities in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 217(g).

Title 23, U.S.C. Sec.134 (a) (3) The plans and programs for each metropolitan area shall provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities (including pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities) that will function as an intermodal transportation system for the metropolitan area and as an integral part of an intermodal transportation system for the State and the United States.

23 U.S.C. § 109(n)The Secretary shall not approve any project or take any regulatory action under this title that will result in the severance of an existing major route or have significant adverse impact on the safety for nonmotorized transportation traffic and light motorcycles, unless such project or regulatory action provides for a reasonable alternate route or such a route exists

Title 23, U.S.C. Sec. 135 (a) (3) The plans and programs for each State shall provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities (including pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities) that will function as an intermodal transportation system for the State and an integral part of an intermodal transportation system for the United States.

Title 23 U.S.C. 217(g) Planning and Design. Bicyclists and pedestrians shall be given due consideration in the comprehensive transportation plans developed by each metropolitan planning organization and state in accordance with sections 134 and 135, respectively. Bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways shall be considered, where appropriate, in conjunction with all new construction and reconstruction of transportation facilities, except where bicycle and pedestrian use are not permitted.

TEA-21, § 1202(a): http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/tea21/
Bicyclists and pedestrians shall be given due consideration in the comprehensive transportation plans developed by each metropolitan planning organization and State.

Bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways shall be considered, where appropriate, in conjunction with all new construction and reconstruction and transportation facilities, except where bicycle and pedestrian use are not permitted.

Transportation plans and projects shall provide due consideration for safety and contiguous routes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Safety considerations shall include the installation, where appropriate, and maintenance of audible traffic signals and audible signs at street crossings.

MUTCD, FHWA 23, CFR:
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/

4R Definitions

Reconstruction (4R) Project

Reconstruction is work proposed on the approximate alignment of an existing route that meets the geometric criteria for a new facility. Includes new location projects or projects that provide substantial changes in the general geometric character of a highway, such as widening to provide additional through travel lanes, horizontal or vertical re-alignment, etc. Reconstruction work includes bridge replacement work.

Rehabilitation (3R) Project

Rehabilitation is work proposed to improve serviceability and extend the service life of existing highways and streets and to enhance safety. Work is usually accomplished within the existing right-of-way and does not include the addition of through travel lanes. Work may include the upgrading of geometric features such as roadway widening, minor horizontal re-alignment, and improving bridges to meet current standards for structural loading and to accommodate the approach roadway width.

Restoration (2R) Project

Restoration is work proposed to restore the pavement structure, riding quality, or other necessary components to their existing cross section configuration. Upgrading roadway components as needed to maintain the roadway in an acceptable condition that may be included in restoration work. The addition of through travel lanes is not permitted under a restoration project.

Resurfacing

Resurfacing is the application of an additional surface to an existing base pavement or wearing surface to improve the ride, strength, or safety of the pavement.

ADA Common Problems

From the ADA and City Governments: Common Problems (USDOJ) http://www.ada.gov/comprob.htm

Issue: Program Accessibility

Common Problem

City governments often have failed to ensure that the whole range of a city's services, municipal buildings, and programs meet Title II's program access requirements.

Result

 
Wooden ramp constructed to provide an accessible route to the entrance platform of an existing public building
 

A ramp was installed to provide access to the city activities conducted in this facility.

People with disabilities are unable to participate in the activities of city government, such as public meetings, city functions, and are unable to gain access to the city's various programs and services. If a municipal building such as a courthouse is inaccessible, people with disabilities who use wheelchairs are unable to participate in jury duty, attend hearings, and gain access to other services because doorways are too narrow, restroom facilities are inaccessible, and steps are the only way to get to all or portions of a facility.

Requirement

Title II requires city governments to ensure that all of their programs, services, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, are accessible to people with disabilities. Program access is intended to remove physical barriers to city services, programs, and activities, but it generally does not require that a city government make each facility, or each part of a facility, accessible. For example, each restroom in a facility need not be made accessible. However, signage directing people with disabilities to the accessible features and spaces in a facility should be provided. Program accessibility may be achieved in a variety of ways. City governments may choose to make structural changes to existing facilities to achieve access. But city governments can also pursue alternatives to structural changes to achieve program accessibility. For example, city governments can move public meetings to accessible buildings and can relocate services for individuals with disabilities to accessible levels or parts of buildings. When choosing between possible methods of program accessibility, however, city governments must give priority to the choices that offer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate. In addition, all newly constructed city facilities must be fully accessible to people with disabilities.
28 C.F.R. §§ 35.149, 35.150, 35.151, 35.163.

Issue: Curb Ramps

Common Problem

City governments often do not provide necessary curb ramps to ensure that people with disabilities can travel throughout the city in a safe and convenient manner.

Result

 
Pedestrian using a wheelchair approaching a curb ramp from a public street crosswalk
 

Curb ramps provide basic access at intersections and pedestrian crossings.

Without the required curb ramps, sidewalk travel in urban areas is dangerous, difficult, and in some cases impossible for people who use wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility aids. Curb ramps allow people with mobility impairments to gain access to the sidewalks and to pass through center islands in streets. Otherwise, these individuals are forced to travel in streets and roadways and are put in danger or are prevented from reaching their destination.

Requirement

When streets and roads are newly built or altered, they must have ramps wherever there are curbs or other barriers to enter from a pedestrian walkway. Likewise, when new sidewalks or walkways are built or altered, they must contain curb ramps or sloped areas wherever they intersect with streets or roads. While resurfacing a street or sidewalk is considered an alteration for these purposes, filling in potholes alone will not trigger the alterations requirements. At existing roads and sidewalks that have not been altered, however, city governments may choose to construct curb ramps at every point where a pedestrian walkway intersects a curb, but they are not necessarily required to do so. Under program access, alternative routes to buildings that make use of existing curb ramps may be acceptable where people with disabilities must only travel a marginally longer route. One way to ensure the proper integration of curb ramps throughout a city is to set a series of milestones for curb ramp compliance in the city's transition plan. Milestones are progress dates for meeting curb ramp compliance throughout the municipality. Milestones should occur on a regular basis throughout the course of the transition plan and must reflect a priority to walkways serving government buildings and facilities, bus stops and other transportation services, places of public accommodation, and business districts, followed by walkways serving residential areas. It also may be appropriate for a city government to establish an ongoing procedure for installing curb ramps upon request in both residential and nonresidential areas frequented by individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.150(d)(2); 35.151(e). In setting milestones and in implementing a curb cut transition plan for existing sidewalks, the actual number of curb cuts installed in any given year may be limited by the fundamental alteration and undue burden limitations.

Issue: Self-Evaluation and Transition Plans

 

Pedestrian traveling with a dog guide on a public sidewalk.

 

City policies, including those affecting service animals, should be reviewed during the self-evaluation.

Common Problem

City governments often have not conducted thorough self-evaluations of their current facilities, programs, policies, and practices to determine what changes are necessary to meet the ADA's requirements, and have not developed transition plans to implement these changes.

Result

When self-evaluations are not conducted and transition plans not developed, city governments are ill-equipped to implement accessibility changes required by the ADA. Without a complete assessment of a city's various facilities, services, and programs it is difficult to plan or budget for necessary changes, and the city can only react to problems rather than anticipate and correct them in advance. As a result, people with disabilities cannot participate in or benefit from the city's services, programs, and activities.

Requirement

All city governments were required to complete a self-evaluation of their facilities, programs, policies, and practices by January 26, 1993. The self-evaluation identifies and corrects those policies and practices that are inconsistent with Title II's requirements. Self-evaluations should consider all of a city's programs, activities, and services, as well as the policies and practices that a city has put in place to implement its various programs and services. Remedial measures necessary to bring the programs, policies, and services into compliance with Title II should be specified—including, but not limited to: relocation of programs to accessible facilities; offering programs in an alternative accessible manner; structural changes to provide program access; policy modifications to ensure nondiscrimination; and auxiliary aids needed to provide effective communication. If a city that employs 50 or more persons decides to make structural changes to achieve program access, it must develop a transition plan that identifies those changes and sets a schedule for implementing them. Both the self-evaluation and transition plans must be available to the public.
28 C.F.R. §§ 35.105, 35.150(d).