Board Seeks Comment on Access to Shared Use Paths

The Access Board seeks public comment on a new initiative to develop accessibility guidelines for shared use paths which provide a means of transportation and recreation for various users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, and others, including people with disabilities. The new guidelines will provide technical provisions for incorporating accessibility into the construction or alteration of shared use paths covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and, in the case of those federally funded, the Architectural Barriers Act.

Through a notice published on March 28, the Board invites comment on the guidelines to be developed, including their scope of coverage and the definition of "shared use paths." The Board also seeks feedback on draft technical provisions that address various features of paths, including surface characteristics, width, grade and cross slopes, changes in level, surface joints and openings, protruding objects, gates and barriers, and intersections and curb ramps. The notice explains these provisions and poses questions to the public on specific topics.

This rulemaking will complement guidelines the Board is developing for outdoor developed areas, including trails, and public rights-of-way. Public comments previously received in these rulemaking efforts urged the Board to specifically address shared use paths which differ significantly from trails and public sidewalks in their use and design. Shared use paths are primarily designed for bicyclists and others for off-road transportation, such as commuting to work, as well as for recreation purposes.

The notice includes instructions for submitting comments, which are due by June 27, 2011. The notice can also be accessed, and comments submitted, through www.regulations.gov. For further information, contact Peggy H. Greenwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (email), (202) 272-0017 (voice), or (202) 272-0075 (TTY).