|October 28, 2002|
Public Right of Way
Diana Ibarra (Architect)
2207 E. Concord St.
Orlando, FL 32803
As an architect I offer the following comments regarding the Public Right of Way Draft. These are frequently encountered questions.
01) See attached .jpg drawing re: Detectable warning locations
I have not seen this condition drawn or documented in the varying publications.
The streets are tree-lined with a setback from the road to the sidewalk edge. This occurs in residential as well as commercial locations. The sidewalk is a 5’ ribbon that runs directly into the curb ramp. If this case is encountered, the ramp often ends up occurring on the radius of the roadway.
Opt. 1: Many developers drop the curb ramp prior to the street. In this case, should the tactile warnings be located at the base of the ramp (per documentation) or should the tactile warnings be located in a splayed condition along the radius. Does it lead to confusion if the person traverses a curb ramp to a flat level surface with no detectable warnings? If the detectable warnings were located at the base of the ramp it would seem that the purpose of “alerting to roadway” is lost and a person may continue on with a false sense of security.
Opt. 2: If the ramp is pushed to the edge of the roadway, can a wheelchair negotiate the splayed detectable warnings? Do the detectable warnings located on a curve create any confusion for the visually impaired user who may lose directional orientation as to appropriate cross walk?
02) Title II and private property
Jurisdictions (state, county, or city) regularly improve the roadway system. Many times when major roadway realignment projects occur the road is often raised and crowned above previous topographic levels. (The raising of the road can easily differ between 12” and 6’-0”). Bus stops are added, pedestrian walkways are provided. However, the access from the roadway and new sidewalks to the resulting lower grades where businesses occur is not provided. Since this is on the Public ROW and not the private property owner’s property per se, does the jurisdiction bear the responsibility of providing ramps down to the previous grade level walkways?
If the distance from the Public ROW edge to the private landowner’s property line is substantial, (50’ to 200’, e.g. transmission lines or other utility easements), who bears the responsibility of crossing that property to reach the private property’s sidewalk?
03) Detectable warnings:
As an architect, I personally prefer the 2’-0” band at the edge of danger (i.e. metro platform, roadway, drive lane, etc.) vs. the full length and width of a curb ramp. The 2’-0” band is more consistent with detectable warnings observed overseas.
04) Level road way crossing:
I am not a civil engineer, however, the typical drainage flow arrangements for roadways tend to use the road as a giant gutter. This often conflicts with the 2% cross slope requirement when there is a slight hill. I understand the goal regarding “table” at the intersection, however, I submit that many civil engineers are not currently designing to this end and there will be a large number of lawsuits which will be much more costly to repair than any Title III modifications currently encountered. In order to “retrofit” an incorrect installation depths of 8’ to 16’ are required to connect new piping. Either the entire property has to be regarded or numerous additional outlets are required based upon the tables. It is not as simple as replacing grab bars. The cost of correcting this needs to be considered.
Do these guidelines apply to residential streets in speculative subdivisions that are covered under the Fair Housing Act? Or are they strictly for commercial downtown business districts and places of public accommodation (malls, offices etc.)?
Does the 48-inch x 48-inch minimum landing “beyond the curb line” refer to the roadway side of the curb line or the building/sidewalk side of the curb line?
If it refers to the roadway side of the curb line, does this exclude bicycle paths built parallel with the road?
07) 1102.10 Two-inch contrasting strip
This appears to be very limiting in the design options. E.g. direct lighting on stair treads or integrally lit stair treads provide good visibility without mandating the contrasting color. Is there performance criterion that can be provided to support alternative technical solutions?
08) 1102.5.3 EXCEPTION
This appears to be achievable with 7’-0” doors. Typical 6’-8” doors often have a closer 2” lower. The typical user of a 6’-8” door is less familiar with the more technical options of recessed parallel arm closers and those types of closers often can not be accommodated on a typical 6’-8” door. The dimension is suitable for commercial storefront applications; however, smaller businesses with residential appearances may not be able to comply without affecting the structural header. There are models that would have the closer arm approximately located at 6’-6-1/2” to 6’-7” aff. (where the closer is mounted above on the header with the arm mounted on the door). This especially occurs in the retrofit conditions.
(This is not insurmountable, however, it is something that the typical small business owner will not be aware of the ramifications as they select a product from the local home improvement store).
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