About the Rulemaking on Shared Use Paths

Shared use paths provide a means of off-road transportation and recreation for various users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, and others, including people with disabilities. In its rulemaking on public rights-of-way and on trails and other outdoor developed areas, comments from the public urged the Board to address access to shared use paths since they are distinct from sidewalks and trails. Shared use paths, unlike most sidewalks, are physically separated from streets by an open space or barrier. They also differ from trails because they are designed not just for recreation purposes but for transportation as well.

In response, the Board is supplementing its rulemaking on public rights-of-way to also cover shared use paths.  The proposed rights-of-way guidelines, which address access to sidewalks, streets, and other pedestrian facilities, provide requirements for pedestrian access routes, including specifications for route width, grade, cross slope, surfaces, and other features. The Board proposes to apply these and other relevant requirements to shared use paths as well. This supplementary rulemaking also would add provisions tailored to shared use paths into the rights-of-way guidelines.