The Board has released a draft of guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way to facilitate its work preparing an impact analysis, as indicated in a notice published in the Federal Register. This analysis must be completed before the Board can officially release the guidelines for public comment. The guidelines cover pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets, including crosswalks, curb ramps, street furnishings, pedestrian signals, parking, and other components of public rights-of-way. In developing guidelines and regulations, Federal agencies often must prepare an assessment of the cost and impacts before a proposed version can be made public for comment.
The Board's aim in this rulemaking is to ensure that access for persons with disabilities is provided wherever a pedestrian way is newly built or altered, and that the same degree of convenience, connection, and safety afforded the public generally is available to pedestrians with disabilities. The Board is developing these guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which covers access to public streets and sidewalks in addition to a wide range of facilities, and the Architectural Barriers Act, which ensures access to federally funded facilities.
The draft guidelines are based on recommendations from an advisory committee chartered by the Board. The Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee was composed of 33 members representing disability organizations, public works departments, transportation and traffic engineering groups, design professionals and civil engineers, government agencies, and standards-setting bodies. The Board prepared draft guidelines based on the committee's recommendations and made them available for public comment in June 2002. Over 1,400 comments were received. The revised draft incorporates many recommendations from these comments.
After it completes its cost analysis, the Board will proceed to publish the guidelines in proposed form and make them available for comment. As with the earlier draft, the Board will revise the guidelines according to the input received. They will then be published in final form.
Further information on the rights-of-way guidelines, as well as the Board's rulemaking process, is available on this site. Questions about the guidelines should be directed to Scott Windley of the Board at (202) 272-0025 (voice), (202) 272-0082 (TTY), or email@example.com.