Norman H. Roush, P. E.
|October 21, 2002|
The Federal Register dated June 17, 2002, made
available for comment the Draft Guidelines on Accessible Public Rights-of-Way.
The West Virginia Division of Highways offers the enclosed comments for consideration of the Access Board in their continued effort to provide improved accessibility to public facilities around our Country. We also concur with the comments furnished by AASHTO in response to this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input into development of these Guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact me at [ ... ].
Very truly yours,
Norman H. Roush, P. E.
cc: Ms. Lisa M. Fontana, Institute of Transportation Engineers
Mr. Jim McDonnell, Associate Program Director for Engineering, AASHTO
1. The entire document appears to be written as if a highway were a building. The requirements are probably not attainable in rolling and mountainous terrain.
2. Will there be a process where exceptions to the criteria can be approved? If not, there will be some highways and streets which may not be safe for vehicles.
3. The compliance date for parts of all of these requirements will be significant. There are a lot of items which can be expected to be done as retrofits and there are some additions, such as new traffic signals, which will take time and dollars to implement. An appropriate phase-in period should be established.
4. It should be noted that the waiver on detectable warnings expired last July 1st. All curb ramps which we are constructing should have truncated domes included.
5. The MUTCD is currently the only referenced standard. It appears that the document should include other standards or references such as the AASHTO “A Policy on Geometric Design for Streets and Highways,” the AASHTO “Guide to Standardized Highway Barrier Hardware,” and possibly others.
6. 1101.3, Defined Terms, Channelizing Island: Will a painted island be considered an adequate pedestrian refuge?
7. 1101.3, Defined Terms, Dynamic Envelope: This definition should refer to suspension “deflection” or “flexure.”
8. 1101.3, Defined Terms, Locator Tone: This need not be limited to pedestrian push buttons.
9. 1101.3, Defined Terms, Sidewalk: The “improved area” may be no more than a gravel path.
10. 1101.3, Defined Terms, Street Furniture: This may include artwork, lighting poles, or other items which are outside the scope of pedestrian use.
11. 1102.2.2. Alterations: This action is ill defined and can and will be interpreted differently by many involved parties. A clearer description of the intent of this section is needed.
12. 1102.3, Alternate Circulation Path: In some built-up areas, the only alternate path may be a major detour and could be quite long. Would an alternate circulation path with lower standards be considered to eliminate a major detour? Could a combination of an alternate circulation path with lower standards, along with a detour, be approved?
13. 1102.5.3, Reduced Vertical Clearance: A drawing would be helpful. A guardrail less than 27 inches high is likely to be a tripping hazard.
14. 1102.14, On-Street Parking: One accessible space per block face seems excessive and meaningless. Some blocks are very short while others approach ½ mile in length. A handicapped space per a number of spaces would be better guidance. This should be done by table or formula as in 4.1.2.
15. 1103.3, Pedestrian Access Route, Clear Width: There appears to be a 12 inch increase in width. It seems not to be referenced or justified in the commentary.
16. 1103.4 and 1105.2.2, Cross Slopes: These requirements would require the vertical alignment of a road or street to be controlled by the pedestrian facility. In mountainous terrain, it may be physically impossible to provide the cross walks with a 1:48 maximum cross slope and still be able to construct the street to serve the adjacent properties. When the existing topography is naturally a 10% to 15% slope, it will become impractical to design a new street or reconstruct an existing street to meet the required criteria from these guidelines while constructing a street that is usable for vehicles. If a sidewalk is flattened to meet these requirements through an intersection, steeper grades will be required on the sidewalks approaching the intersection. This will create almost impossible conditions when the street must have a grade of 5% or greater.
The requirements for maximum cross slopes, grades, elevation differences, while possible to attain during construction, will become a problem later if it is intended for the original design values to remain during the life of the facility. Pedestrian facilities along highways are built on soil and settlement is common and expected, yet there is no indication in the standards that changes during the life of the facility due to Mother Nature would be acceptable. These facilities are not being built in the same manner as buildings which have firm unyielding foundations.
17. 1103.5, Grade: This states a grade on a pedestrian access route shall not exceed the grade established by the adjacent roadway. What is required if the grade of the roadway is 10% or greater? Is the pedestrian access to be allowed to have the same grade?
18. 1104, Curb Ramps and Blended Transitions: Drawings are essential for an adequate review of this section.
19. 118.104.22.168: The running slope is limited to 1:12 or 8.33%. What is to be done when the grade of the parallel roadway is steeper than 8.33%? This could also cause a grade on the flare to be greater than 1:10.
20. 1104.3.4.: Why are no grade breaks allowed? If kept below the maximum slope of 1:12, it would seem that changes in grade could be accommodated. A drawing is needed to show how a grade break would be handled at the gutter line. This requirement appears to create an impossible situation as no grade break is allowed at gutter line but most highways slope toward the curb and a curb ramp also slopes toward the curb.
21. 1104.3.6, Counter Slopes: This term needs defined in 1101.3. A drawing would be helpful. Roadways with superelevation may have a steeper counter slope than 5%.
22. 1104.3.7, Clear Space: It appears that we will be required in the future to build 48 inch curb offsets. This can create major economic affects due to wider right of way and could preclude any improvements.
23. 1105.2, Crosswalks, 1105.2.1., Width: This rule would require a minimum 96 inch crosswalk width. This would be a 3 to 4 feet wider than our typical sidewalk in many cities.
24. 1105.6, Roundabouts: It is suggested that the requirement to provide pedestrian signals at roundabouts be reconsidered for practicality and instead be offered as an option to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
25. 1105.7, Turn Lanes at Intersections: This section would require that we signalize turning movements which we now operate under YIELD control. If no pedestrians are present, this should still be allowed.
26. 1106.2, Pedestrian Signal Systems: Will the signal devices be only for exclusive devices? As currently proposed, this may create some rather long WALK intervals for pedestrians.
27. 1109 and 1109.3, Off-Street Parking: All handicapped spaces do not necessarily have to be so wide. The 96” minimum requirement for an access aisle on perpendicular or angled parking spots appears to be excessive.
28. General Comment: Is there any number of pedestrians which would allow these standards to be ignored or must all pedestrian facilities meet all of these requirements? In the majority of pedestrian facilities, the provisions of 1102.2 – Alterations will be the norm in establishing pedestrian facilities and many, if not most, will not meet the requirements of these standards.
29. General Comment: Several dimensions are listed as exact number and no tolerances are provided. It is recommended that reasonable tolerances be provided on all dimensions. Highways and pedestrian facilities outside of buildings such exact dimensions are almost impossible to obtain or maintain.
30. General Comment: Is there to be any consideration of rural highways where sidewalks are not provided, yet pedestrians are allowed?
31. General Comment: At what volume of pedestrians are these guidelines to be required? If there are only two pedestrian per day and no special needs people, are pedestrian facilities required?
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