GOVERNOR OF HAWAII
STATE OF HAWAII
POST OFFICE BOX 621
|LAURA H. THIELEN
BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
COMMISSION ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
|KEN C. KAWAHARA
DEPUTY DIRECTOR – WATER
| AQUATIC RESOURCES
BOATING AND OCEAN RECREATION
BUREAU OF CONVEYANCES
COMMISSION ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CONSERVATION AND COASTAL LANDS
CONSERVATION AND RESOURCES ENFORCEMENT
FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE
KAHOOLAWE ISLAND RESERVE COMMISSION
Comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
Aloha from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).
DLNR is a state department with the responsibility to protect the natural resources of Hawai‘i. As stewards, DLNR is tasked to manage and regulate land and ocean uses consistent with the goals and objectives of the Hawai‘i State Constitution.
Responsibilities include aquatic resource protection, recreational fisheries, oversees all beaches and submerged lands, protect and enhance water resources, oversees and regulates lands in conservation and coastal districts, oversees small-scale beach nourishment projects, provide outdoor recreation of coastal and wildland experiences (picnicking, camping, fishing, hiking, walking, backpacking, snorkeling, surfing, sightseeing), manages plant and wildlife sanctuaries, manages the 11th largest state-owned forest and natural area reserve system in the U.S., and to preserve and sustain Hawaiian history, culture, archaeology, and architecture.
We have comments from various divisions which reviewed and commented on your NPRM. These divisions are, Division of Aquatic Resources, the Commission on Water Resources Management, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Division of Engineering, Historic Preservation Division, Land Division, Office of Conservation & Coastal Lands, and the Division of State Parks.
We appreciate this opportunity to comment on this NPRM and welcome the establishment of a relationship with the United States Access Board (Board) in developing accessibility guidelines that will allow people with disabilities to safely participate in outdoor recreational activities.
We support the approach presented and recommend that the alternative approaches should not be reconsidered, provided that “Conditions for Exceptions” under T302 remain. To apply different provisions of ‘‘front’’ country and ‘‘back’’ country trails; general exemptions from accessibility in some areas; different provisions based on levels of development; and requiring only a certain percentage of new trails to be accessible would complicate scoping requirements.
We believe that the word “practicable” is unnecessary since the Advisory defines “not feasible” as a condition that is “reasonably do-able.”
We agree that an accessibility symbol be used but that the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) specified in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard (UFAS) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) should not be used to designate an accessible trail. As an established symbol associated with accessible features in buildings, using the ISA may cause confusion to identify accessible trails since the technical provisions differ.
We propose that detailed trail information signs shall not be required. If provided, trail signs shall provide detailed information about the trails’ running slope, width, cross slope, and other characteristics enabling people to make informed decisions about proceeding onto the trails. Excessive signs at the trailhead can detract from posted public health and safety warning signs.
We support Exception 6 that does not require a beach access route where the pedestrian route is elevated 6 inches or higher above the beach surface. See our response to Question 16 for additional concerns for exceptions.
We support the requirement for beach access route to have a minimum width of 36 inches. This will be consistent with current access route requirements and allows for wider routes based on different conditions.
We agree with the requirement to provide a passing space of 60 inches by 60 inches every 200 feet where beach access routes are less than 60 inches in width.
We believe that a required beach access route should connect other designed and constructed managed accessible elements, such as concessions, beach volleyball courts, comfort stations, first aid stations, and so forth.
We support utilizing a range for height requirement for the cooking surface of a grill.
We believe that the term “area” has been defined adequately in the Advisory T206.2.2 but request that this be placed in T104.4. This advisory is specific to multiple picnic tables and would have to be repeated for other scoping requirements that apply to other elements. For example T207.2.2 Fire Rings, T208.2.2 Cooking Surfaces, Grills, and Pedestal Grills, etc.
Also consider revising the example in the Advisory T206.2.2. The current example could be interpreted as “dispersion” rather than helping define “area” since the pavilion area could be at the lake. Providing an example with a significant “different settings” will define an “area” on the same site.
Consideration for T104.4, for example, accessible elements in a shoreline area of a lake in a park are considered a separate area from the accessible elements at an overlook area that is located along the lake’s cliff. Areas may also be separated and designated by a name or connected to a separate entrance.
We appreciate having a range of requirements for what will qualify as firm and stable surfaces but question the relevance if it remains as Table A in Advisory T303.3. There is no allowance for degrees of firmness and stability in the current requirement of T303.3 Surface.
We suggest creating a table that correlates use of the trail (lengths and direction of travel) with the various degrees of firmness and stability. This table should be part of the technical provisions rather than Advisory. We also suggest amending T303.3 to read,
“T303.3 Surface. The trail surface shall be firm and stable as determined by the following table:”
We believe that the number of required accessible elements should not increase. We agree with requiring 50% of the elements provided should be accessible, with 40% of these elements shall also be connected by an outdoor recreation access route.
An alternative method of scoping provisions is to apply both percentages to the total. For example, 50% of 10 elements equals 5. 40% of the 5 elements equals 2. Using 20% of the total gives the same result of 2 elements.
We support utilizing reach ranges for the height of fire building surface of a fire ring. We have major concerns about children safety and strongly recommend evaluating the exposure to these lower reach ranges, especially for the fire ring.
We advocate that the distinctions/clarifications between alteration and maintenance activities for picnic areas, campgrounds, and beaches, including outdoor recreation access and beach access routes be the same as those provided for trails.
We support construction tolerances for outdoor environments should be greater than interior environments. We have no suggestions as to how much greater of a construction tolerance is acceptable nor how to define these tolerances.
We suggest that elements located along inaccessible trails, beaches, picnic areas, camping facilities, stream/river beds shall not be required to be accessible.
We discourage requiring a beach access route every ½ mile along a new beach. We suggest a beach access route every mile, but not less than one, or to different features along a new beach, whichever is closer.
Please consider adding tthree additional exceptions to T205.3 of the technical provisions for a beach access route.
EXCEPTION 7. Where health and safety are concerns for beach users. For example, where hazardous surf, dangerous currents, tidal conditions or beach surface factors present unsafe conditions for individuals to get close to the water.
EXCEPTION 8. Where any improvements on the beach are prohibited by State or local regulations or statutes. For example, a beach area that has been designated as a conservation management area for the protection of rare, threatened, or endangered species.
EXCEPTION 9. Where improvements would cause substantial harm to cultural, historic, religious, or significant natural features or characteristics.
We discourage requiring a beach access route when constructing new parking spaces or parking lots adjoining an existing beach. We support “where a route is provided for pedestrian use” as the current trigger to provide a beach access route at an existing beach.
We agree that beach nourishment projects should not trigger the requirement for beach access route and support T205.3 Exception 5 should remain unchanged.
We believe that open drainage structures should be the only element where cross slopes up to 10 percent are permitted.
We support permitting exceptions for specific elements on the outdoor recreation access routes and beach access routes leading to elements. The exceptions could be based on the conditions for exceptions in T302.
We support applying the conditions for exceptions in T302 to the technical provisions for the slope of an outdoor recreation access route.
We believe a marker is necessary to establish the extent that a beach access route shall reach. We disagree with these guidelines establishing the high tide level, mean river bed level, or the normal recreation water level as acceptable. We recommend these markers be established by state statues or local ordinances.
For example, beach access route improvements along open coasts should be located and terminated at the certified shoreline rather than the high tide line to avoid placing these improvements within the reach of dangerous and damaging seasonal high surf.
The beaches at wilderness parks such as Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, on the north shore of Kauai, is exposed to continuous northwest swells from Fall through Spring. Usually the high surf from these northwest swells pound the beaches up to the vegetation line and sometimes beyond. Any constructed beach access would be continuously damaged or destroyed.
We discourage requiring a beach access route into the water. We feel there is a significant difference between the impact of waves and currents in a river versus the open ocean on an individual entering the water.
We disagree on applying technical provisions for routes into a pool because of the differences between a controlled environment of a pool versus the natural conditions at a beach or river.
We are not familiar with any controls and operating mechanisms available for fireplaces that will meet the requirements of T407.
We suggest creating a Trail International Symbol of Accessibility (TISA) by placing an iconic backpack on the ISA with the hiker. See example on the right.
We prefer the simplicity of the generic signage format, “Happy Falls Trail” over the more complex full trailhead signage, “Lower Yosemite Fall Trail” information sign sample.
We agree with the protruding object requirement with the conditions of exceptions T302.
We disagree with requiring a barrier when the vertical clearance is less than 80 inches on a trail. Protruding objects that extend the width of the trail would require a barrier across the trail. We suggest providing a detectable warning surface, if feasible, rather then a physical barrier.
The NPRM Summary states, “The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) is proposing to issue accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas designed, constructed, or altered by Federal agencies subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.”
The NPRM Background’s first paragraph, last sentence states, “The Architectural Barriers Act applies to federally financed facilities.”
Clarification: Please clarify second sentence in T101 Purpose whether “These requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alterations of outdoor developed areas by Federal agencies” or will these guidelines also apply to construction projects that are partially financed with federal monies?
1.) Consider the following suggested definition revision for “Alteration”
Alteration. A change to a facility, site, or trail (features), which affects or could affect the usability of the features or portion thereof. Routine maintenance, repair or specific reconstruction, including but not limited to removal or debris and cutting back of vegetation along the feature and at the trailhead and apparent structures, are not alterations unless they significantly affect the usability of the facility or site over an extended period of time.
2.) Consider the following suggested definition revision for “Trail”
Trail. A designed and constructed route that is managed anddesignated for recreational pedestrian and/or multiple use, and that may be a pedestrian alternative to vehicular routes within a transportation system.
3.) Consider the following suggested revision for “Tread Width”
Tread Width. The route and visible trail surface that is perpendicular to the direction of travel by the user. The clear tread width of the trail is the width of the usable trail tread, measured perpendicular to the direction of travel and on or parallel to the trail surface. The minimum clear tread width is the narrowest measurement of the designed and constructed trail tread – excluding seasonal or specific growth of vegetation which may periodically obstruct the visible trail surface.
4.) Consider including examples associating a “newly designed and constructed trail” as a intentional designated trail rather than unmarked hunter, rogue paths, or wild animal trails. For example, a designated trail meanders through a conservation forest area for a distance before encountering unmarked hunter trails that branch off the marked trail. We recommend that the requirements of these guidelines should not apply to the unmarked hunter trail, rouge paths, or wild animal trails.
5.) Consider adding the following:
“EXCEPTIONS 6. Where multiple trash or recycling containers are provided in an area, at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the trash or recycling containers required by T209.2.2 shall be on an outdoor recreation access route.”
6.) Define whether transfer of ownership changes the classification of a trail or beach from “existing” to “new.” For example, a private developer designs and constructs a new resort hotel with a new beach that is not accessible. Years later, the developer transfers ownership of the beach to the State. Is this beach considered “new” or “existing” to the State?
7.) The trigger to provide a beach access route is “Where a route is provided for pedestrian use and constructed from a developed site to or along the edge of an existing beach,” We request that an Advisory be provided to define “route provided for pedestrian use” and identify this route through examples. We are unclear on how to determine if this route exists along a stretch of sand, or the perimeter of a reservoir bank that has no designated route. These areas are usually open areas that allows free roaming.
7.) We request that you apply percentages to T209 Trash and Recycling Containers by adding the following requirements:
T209.2 Minimum Number
T209.2.1 Single Trash or Recycling Containers. Where one trash or recycling container is provided in an area, the trash or recycling container shall comply with T309.
T209.2.2 Multiple Trash or Recycling Containers. Where two or more trash and recycling containers are provided in an area, at least 50 percent, but no fewer than two, of the trash or recycling containers shall comply with T309.”
8.) Consider changing this to reference “Composting Toilets” or amending it to include composting toilets. We are not familiar with requirements in other states, but in Hawaii, pit toilets are prohibited.
We request that you apply percentages to T216 Pit Toilets or Composting Toilets by adding the following requirements:
T216.1 General. Where provided, pit toilets or composting toilets shall comply with T216.
T216.2 Minimum Number
T216.2.1 Single Pit Toilets or Composting Toilets. Where one pit toilet or composting toilet is provided in an area, the pit toilets or composting toilets shall comply with T316.
T216.2.2 Multiple Pit Toilets or Composting Toilets. Where two or more pit toilets or composting toilets are provided in an area, at least 50 percent, but no fewer than one, of the pit toilets or composting toilets shall comply with T316.”
9.) We strongly support all four Conditions for Exceptions permitting specific exceptions to the technical provisions of these guidelines. We appreciate your recognition of state and local regulations and statutes that are established to protect our natural resources.
Laura H. Thielen