Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way

Thursday, October 5, 2023
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

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Pedestrians with disabilities throughout the United States continue to face major challenges in travel because many sidewalks, crosswalks, and other pedestrian facilities are inaccessible. Recently, the U.S. Access Board issued a final rule on the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG). This session will address the requirements in these guidelines, specifically highlighting changes from the proposed draft that was published in 2013. Presenters from the Access Board will review many aspects of PROWAG, including how federal, state, and local government agencies can make their pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, shared use paths, and on-street parking, accessible to people with disabilities. Presenters will also cover the minimum technical requirements for various spaces and elements in the public right-of-way, such as pedestrian access routes, pedestrian signals, curb ramps and blended transitions, detectable warning surfaces, transit stops, and street furniture.

This webinar will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits.

We anticipate that registration for this session will fill up quickly. Once registration is full, we will provide option for viewing the webinar via Live YouTube Stream. A link to the YouTube Live Stream will be provided on the website. Continuing Education Credit will not be available for viewing via YouTube and individuals will not be able to submit questions. The Great Lakes ADA Center is working with the U.S. Access Board to develop a series of "Self-Paced" training webinars covering the content of the PROWAG for credit. We will announce this opportunity when it becomes available.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
California Architects Board 1.5
Certificate of Attendance 1.5
ICC 1.5
LA CES 1.5


Juliet Shoultz, Transportation Engineer, Office of Technical and Information Services

Scott Windley, TA Coordinator and Senior Accessibility Specialist, Office of Technical and Information Services, U.S. Access Board

Questions for presenters:

1 Please provide detail on exceptions for technical infeasibility and what legally constitutes an infeasibility.
2 Please discuss crosswalks at roundabouts. My interpretation is that they are more similar to "mid block crossing" than one at traditional perpendicular intersections. Please discuss plow-friendly design features that aid blind pedestrians to orient to the crosswalk and detectable buffer strips.
3 Please draw clear distinctions with examples/plans/photos between where Title II and Title III come into close contact. E.g. an Owner's driveway in ROW onto a public street and curb ramp/detectable warnings required for different conditions. Yield sign, stop sign, neither, traffic light. Would the Title II requirements apply if there is a bus stop INSIDE the Title III property (not perimeter street) as far as detectable warnings at the curb ramps on the sidewalks leading to/from said bus stop.
4 Please discuss different situations using the "15' rule" - for example, chasing grade beyond a turning space (therefore making the transition segment the area that needs to chase grade).
5 Please discuss instances where handrails *would* be required in the Public Right of Way - discuss distinctions of R407 ramp criteria within the ROW and when it applies.
6 Discuss how the Final Rule is to be enforced - does each agency/municipality need to adopt the rule for it to be enforced or will this finally be something federally enforced that all must follow?
7 Please discuss the clear space for pedestrian signal pushbuttons and if the pushbuttons can be located within the curb ramp slope.
8 Please discuss the Curb Ramp Flare Slope maximum of 10% and if this should be a consistent 10% across the flare or only where measured at the back of curb.
9 For APS, the Final Rule establishes that a clear space at 2.1% in both direction or slope of PAR is required but that it's not acceptable to place them on curb ramp slopes. The final rule also requires the APS location to be between 10-ft max from edge of pavement. We're finding that BOTH of these requirements are nearly impossible to comply with in urban areas where commercial entrances are within corners because if the APS can no longer be within a curb ramp you'd have to push them back and exceed the 10-ft max distance. The alternative is to flatten the corner which pushes the curb ramps to create steps at commercial entrances making those businesses inaccessible. Thoughts?
10 What is the minimum distance between pedestrian-signal push buttons? . . . How this distance should be measured?
11 For a detectable warning surface on a perpendicular curb ramp where the distance from the bottom grade break to the back of curb is greater than 60 inches, does the DWS have to be cut to be radial to match the curb return? The rule states that the DWS shall be placed "so that both front corners...are at the back of curb," which seems to imply that a gap in the middle caused by the curvature of the curb would be allowed.
12 Please discuss the details of vertical edge treatment at roundabouts. The final rule mentioned that the Access Board would provide examples in their technical assistance materials. Are those available yet? Please discuss how complying with the "maximum extent feasible" affects an agency's transition plan. For example if a curb ramp is built to the maximum extent feasible because a water line or some other something in the developed environment prevents full compliance, does that curb ramp need to remain on the agency's transition plan to get eventually be reconstructed to full compliance?
13 Every document I have seen for this version of PROWAG is all text. Will an official version be published with graphic support?
14 Please elaborate on R203.6.1.1 with examples for each of the conditions in this provision: two-ramp corners at less-obvious (unmarked) crosswalks, blended transition options, prohibited crossing treatments (a) & (b).
15 Since the advisories are removed from the final published rule, when can we expect to see additional materials as technical guidance published? When some of the advisory information was incorporated in the final rule should we assume the previous advisory text or other advisories sections not incorporated are no longer applicable?
16 Dear sir Concerning surfaces of pedestrian facilities, elderly people need surfaces with specific materials which provide a stable, durable, firm, continuous, non-slip, anti-skidding and regular surface (but not too smooth). However, people with visual disabilities need tactile marking strips to guide them with security. So they have divergent needs. How do you solve this problem? Thanks (in advance)! Manuela Rosa (University of Algarve)
17 Please elaborate on pedestrian access route connectivity requirements with shared use paths that run parallel to a roadway at a top of the T intersection (crosswalk) when they may be curb right or physically separated (terrain, guardrail, landscaping).
18 Please discuss specific methods of measuring compliance in an accessible parking stall and adjacent access aisle in a public parking lot.
19 Please discuss on-street parking requirements.
20 Discussion on types/specification of crossing signals and when crossing signals are and are not required
21 Please discuss uniform stair risers and varying street and/or sidewalk grades.
22 It still seems that the warrants to provide accessible pedestrian access routes within the ROW remain subjective to the local jurisdiction. IE roads that paved shoulders less than 4 feet in width. Will PAR warrants become established?
23 Can you provide guidance on the definition of disabled? Can only the disabled file USDOJ complaints for PROWAG violations?
24 A curb ramp is required at each end of a crosswalk "even in scenarios where there is pedestrian circulation path only on one side." The explanation uses the example of a person who does not use a wheelchair being able to step onto a curb to safely exit the roadway where a person who uses a wheelchair could not. If there is no curb on the opposite end of crosswalk, is constructing a curb ramp (essentially a concrete pad with DWS) still expected?
25 Can the 5' rule for DWS placement be used if there is no ramp? i.e. the sidewalk slope is less than 5%. Or if the slope is so low there is no grade break? It seems to be implied no, since both a grade break and ramp are part of the description of the required location when the 5' rule is used.
26 if a sidewalk runs parallel to the street and hits an intersecting street curb return radius it often creates a somewhat triangular area between the bottom grade break and the curb. This is a common scenario for using the 5' rule. There are no intersecting sidewalks or turning spaces. My question is, is this parallel or perpendicular? More specifically my question is, is a level landing required at either end of this type of ramp?

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