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.

Use of Mandatory Language in Proposed Guidelines

The proposed guidelines use the mandatory language "shall" and "requirement" because the guidelines are intended to be adopted, with or without additions and modifications, as accessibility standards in regulations issued by other federal agencies implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Architectural Barriers Act. In this regard, the proposed guidelines are analogous to model codes. Model codes use mandatory language but compliance with model codes is not mandatory until they are adopted by a state or local government. When the Access Board's guidelines are adopted, with or without additions and modifications, as accessibility standards in regulations issued by other federal agencies implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Architectural Barriers Act, compliance with the accessibility standards is mandatory. The other federal agencies will conduct separate rulemakings to include accessibility standards for pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way in regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Architectural Barriers Act. The other federal agencies will establish the effective dates for compliance with the accessibility standards when they complete their rulemakings. The other federal agencies may permit use of the proposed guidelines as best practices pending the completion of their rulemakings. However, the proposed guidelines are not legally enforceable until adopted, with or without additions and modifications, as accessibility standards by other federal agencies in regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Architectural Barriers Act.