Board Issues Supplemental Rule to Address Access to Shared Use Paths
The proposed rights-of-way guidelines, which cover 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's proposal would apply these and other relevant requirements to shared use paths as well. It also would add new provisions tailored to shared use paths that address grade, cross slope, surfaces, and protruding objects. One provision, for example, specifies that the grade of shared use paths not exceed 5% or, if contained within a street or highway right-of-way, the general grade of adjacent street or highway but includes an exception where constraints imposed by terrain, infrastructure, or other factors make compliance impracticable. In addition, curb ramps and blended transitions located along shared use paths would be required to extend the full path width.
This supplemental rule is responsive to feedback the Board received from the public on its proposed rights-of-way guidelines as well as on separate guidelines it is developing for trails and outdoor developed areas. Comments from the public on these rules urged the Board to specifically 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 addition, the Board invited comment on this subject in an earlier notice.
The proposed supplemental provisions on shared use paths are further described in a published notice which includes instructions for submitting comment. The deadline for comments is May 14, 2013. For further information, visit the Board's website or contact Scott Windley at firstname.lastname@example.org , (202) 272-0025 (voice), or (202) 272-0028 (TTY).
Board to Form Advisory Committee on Update of Rail Vehicle Guidelines
The Board seeks to include representatives from rail vehicle manufacturers, transit providers, disability groups, and other stakeholders and interested parties on the committee. The committee will be balanced in terms of interests represented. A notice issued by the Board provides further details, including application instructions. The deadline for applications is April 1.
Meetings of the advisory committee will be open to the public and will provide opportunities for all interested parties to provide information. Its work will be conducted in accordance with regulations governing Federal advisory committees. Committee membership is voluntary, and members will not be paid or reimbursed for their services.
President Obama Appoints Michael Graves to the Board
The Access Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Its governing Board is comprised of 13 members from the public appointed by the President and representatives from 12 Federal departments.
Board Advisory Committee on Medical Diagnostic Equipment to Meet
The meeting agenda and other details are posted on the Board's website. Committee meetings are open to the public.
Upcoming Board Webinars
Subsequent Board webinars will cover:
For more information, including registration instructions, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Archived copies of previous webinars can be accessed on this site.
Board Hosts Demonstration of Accessible Taxi Payment Technology
The system features an audible touch screen with large easy-to-navigate sections and step-by-step prompts and verbal instructions. The adaptive software announces fares at regular intervals during a trip and facilitates each step of payment by cash or credit card, including verification of fare and selection of payment options and tip percentages. It can be activated independently by riders through the touch screen or a free swipe card issued by Lighthouse International, as well as by drivers upon request.
Mark Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International and CMT President Jesse Davis briefed Board members on the system and its installation in New York City cabs. They also demonstrated a sample system that Board members were able to try out for themselves. The software, according to Ackermann "is an excellent example of the private sector working with government leaders and advocates to voluntarily change a system that has excluded the independent participation of millions of people who are blind or visually impaired for far too long."
The software is responsive to a New York City law mandating taxi payment options that are accessible to passengers with vision impairments. In addition to its New York City roll-out, CMT plans to install the system in about a dozen other cities, including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
CMT, established in 2005 by taxi industry leaders, equips over 20,000 taxicabs in 60 different cities with interactive and communication technologies and enhancements. Lighthouse International is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment, and empowerment. Further information is available from CMT's website at www.creativemobiletech.com and Lighthouse International at www.lighthouse.org.
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