meeting ada requirements for recreational trails n.
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  1. MEETING ADA REQUIREMENTS FOR RECREATIONAL TRAILS • Graham L. Sisson, Jr. • Deputy General Counsel • Dept. of Rehabilitation Services • Executive Director, • General Counsel • Governor’s Office on Disability • State ADA Coordinator • Adjunct Professor

  2. Contact Information • 800-205-9986 (ADA Hotline) • 205-290-4540 (Bham Office) • 334-293-7189 (Mont’gy Office) • 205-940-9809 (Bham fax)_ • • •

  3. All information provided is non-binding. • Ultra Reader’s Digest Version • Use my office as technical assistance

  4. Program Outline • ADA Basics • ADAAA • Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas • Trails • Picnic Benches • Camp sites • Fishing piers • Other

  5. ADA OVERVIEW • Mainstreaming • Equal Opportunity • Access • Civil Rights

  6. Five Titles of the ADA • Title I : Employment • Title II: Public Entities • Title III: Public Accommodations (Private Businesses) • Title IV: Telecommunications • Title V: Miscellaneous

  7. Key Points to Remember • ADA Disability Definition • It is very broad • Some disabilities are episodic or intermittent • Many disabilities are invisible • Should treat PWD as individuals • One size does not fit all

  8. Disability • Three prong definition: • physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity • record of impairment • regarded as having an impairment

  9. ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 • President’s signed into law on September 25, 2008 • Restores the ADA definition of disability to its original broad interpretation • Also clarifies that covered entities under the ADA do not have to accommodate those regarded as having a disability. • Cannot consider corrective or mitigating measures except eyeglasses or contacts • It became effective on January 1, 2009.

  10. Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas • Issued October 19, 2009 by Access Board • Became enforceable on 11/25/13 as part of ABA Standards • To obtain a copy go to • Applies mainly to federal lands • Does not cover non-federal lands covered under Titles II and III of the ADA :

  11. Final Accessibility Guidelines • Apply to the following non-federal entities that construct or alter facilities on federal lands on behalf of the federal government • Private entities that construct or alter camping facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on federal lands under a contract with a federal agency or • State or local government entities that newly construct or alter camping, picnic or beach facilities on federal lands under a contract with a federal agency or • Non-profit organizations and State or local government entities that enter into partnerships with a federal agency to construct or alter trails or viewing areas on federal lands

  12. Final Accessibility Guidelines • Final rule applies to camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes constructed or altered by or one behalf of federal agencies.

  13. These guidelines will be incorporated into the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines of 2004 (note these guidelines are not yet binding as to Title II and III entities under the ADA). • They can be followed as a guide, a best practice for ADA Title II and III entities. • Shared use paths are covered in rights of way rule • * A shared use path is a multi-use path that is designed primarily for use by pedestrians and bicyclists for transportation and recreational purposes

  14. General Requirements • Surface characteristics- must be firm and stable, type of surface used must be appropriate to the setting and level of development • Could compact natural soils or treat soil with stabilizers • Could a person ride a narrowed –tired bicycle across surface without making ruts? • Could a baby stroller be pushed easily across the surface without making ruts? • If a person using a wheelchair can use area, then most other persons can use it also.

  15. General requirements Materials that are more stable: • crushed rock, • rock with broken faces, not rounded; • rock mixture containing a full spectrum of sieve sizes; • hard rock; • rock that passes through a 102 screen; • rock material that has been compacted into 3 to 4 inch thick layers; • material that is moist , but not too wet before compaction, material that is compacted with a vibrating plate compactor, roller or by hand tamping.

  16. National Trail Surfaces Final Report •

  17. Trails

  18. General Requirements • Width- 36 inch minimum • Passing spaces every 1000 feet where less than 60 inches in width • Grade/slope- maximum segment lengths • 200 feet – 1:20 (5%) but no steeper than 1:12 (8.33%) • 30 feet- 1:12 but no steeper than 1:10 (10%) • 10 feet- 1:10 but no steeper than 1:8 (12%) • not more than 30% of total length of trail should have slope greater than 1:12 • Cross slope- 1:20 maximum , but concrete, asphalt and boards 1:48 (2.08%)

  19. Trailheads • Defined as outdoor space constructed to be an access point to a trail, not merely a junction point for 2 or more trails where there is no other access point provided. • Generally, 20% of each kind of outdoor constructed feature within the trailhead should be accessible • Should be accessible route from parking and site arrival point to starting point of trail, accessible features and other trailhead facilities

  20. Trailheads • New Guidelines • Defined as outdoor space developed to serve as an access point to a trail. • The junction of 2 or more trails with no other access point is not a trailhead. • New signs at trailhead must include info on length of trail or segment, surface type, typical and minimum tread width, typical and maximum running slope and cross slope. • At least 20% of outdoor constructed features provided within a trailhead must be accessible. • Must have outdoor recreation access route that connects parking to accessible features

  21. Definition of Trail • ADA regulations define a trail as • “a route that is designed, designated, or constructed for recreational pedestrian use or provided as a pedestrian alternative to vehicular routes within a transportation system.” • New guidelines define as a pedestrian route developed primarily for outdoor recreational purposes. • It is not a pedestrian route developed primarily to connect elements, spaces, or facilities within a site.

  22. Types of Trails Covered by ADA • Designed and constructed for pedestrian use • Does not include trails primarily designed for mountain bicyclists, equestrians, snowmobile users, or off-highway vehicle users (ATVs] even if occasional use by pedestrians • A multi-use trail designed for hiking and bicycling would be covered as a pedestrian trail • New guidelines- “hiker-biker “ trails are shared-use paths- technical provisions for trails apply to them.

  23. Routine Trail Maintenance • It would not trigger compliance with the higher ADAAG standards • Repair or maintenance is not an alteration • To the extent that upgrades are made, however, this may trigger the higher standards. • New guidelines appear to follow this

  24. Accessible Parking (1012) • Shall be 20 feet wide minimum for recreational vehicles (1012.2) • For other vehicles- 16 feet wide minimum (1012.3) * New Guidelines

  25. Final Guidelines Conditional Exceptions • Not feasible due to terrain (“extent practicable”) • Compliance cannot be accomplished with the prevailing construction practices • Compliance would fundamentally alter the function or purpose of the facility or setting • Compliance is precluded by Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Historical Preservation Act, Wilderness Act; other state, federal or local laws that have similar purposes • Conditional exceptions for portions of outdoor constructed features (picnic tables, fire rings, grills, outdoor rinsing showers, benches, telescopes, etc.) tent pads and tent platforms, camp shelters, viewing areas, outdoor recreation access routes, trails and beach access routes

  26. Exceptions to Accessibility Standards • Departures are permitted where compliance would: • Cause substantial harm to cultural, historic, religious, or significant natural features or characteristics {should always consider alternatives to service, though} • Substantially alter the nature of the setting or the purpose; • Require construction methods or materials that are prohibited by Federal, state, or local regulations or statutes [that do not provide lesser access than the ADA]; • Not feasible due to terrain or prevailing construction practices[ technically or structurally infeasible]

  27. Qualified Individual With a Disability • Program context • Essential eligibility requirements • Fundamental alteration of the program • Reasonable modification of policy

  28. Title II • Prohibits discrimination by public entities in the provision of programs, activities and services • Park and recreation boards are public entities covered by Title II • Elimination of programs for PWD but not any other general programs may be discrimination

  29. Program Access • Central concept under Title II • Does not mean that every building has to be accessible • Can relocate services in inaccessible buildings to accessible ones • Caveat: do not unnecessarily segregate PWD • Does not apply to new construction • May not apply to certain elements like bathrooms or where location is necessary for provision of service

  30. Facilities • 3 types • Existing-built before January 26, 1992 • New construction and alterations- built after January 26, 1992 (ADAAG) (UFAS) • Historic- not required to make any changes that would destroy the historical significance of the building • No grandfathering • There are limited exceptions to strict compliance such infeasibility and structural impracticability • When retrofitting should try to match ADAAG standard as closely as possible

  31. Essential Eligibility Requirements • Do not have to waive essential eligibility requirements • May need to provide reasonable accommodation or modification of policy • Example: Valid Driver’s License as a form of ID, swimming program

  32. Communications Access • Duty to provide effective communication • Case-by-case basis • Visual impairments • Braille • Large print • Audio tape • Signage

  33. Hearing Impairments • TTY/TDD • E-mail • Interpreters • Real time captioning • Closed captioning • Video Relay • Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)

  34. DIRECT THREAT • Substantial risk of harm to self or others that cannot be reduced below the level of a direct threat with or without reasonable accommodation • Must be based on objective criteria, not speculation

  35. Modification of Policies and Procedures • It is often the easiest way to provide program access. • Example: modification of policy that requires valid DL as only form of ID to apply for services • Pets policy

  36. Outdoor Constructed Features • New guidelines as mentioned above • Defined as picnic tables, fire rings, grills, fireplaces, wood stoves, trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, utility and sewage hookups, outdoor rinsing showers, benches, telescopes, and periscopes provided at outdoor recreation facilities. • Generally, at least 20% of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided at each location should be accessible (comply with 1011). • Will not be able to cover all these items due to time restrictions

  37. Picnic Tables • Accessible picnic • tables should be dispersed • among the different types of • picnic areas provided. For • example, if there are picnic • areas near a lake and picnic • areas near a playground, • accessible picnic tables must • be at each of the different • picnic experiences. • Should have 1 wheelchair space for each 24 linear feet of usable table surface ( 1011.4.2) • Clear ground space of 36 inches on all usable sides of table (1011.2.1) • Section 902.3 ABA 28 inches minimum height and 34 inches maximum height

  38. Picnic Tables • Provision of a wheelchair seating space size include a minimum clear floor space, width, depth and table clearance, in addition to knee space and toe clearance. • 􀀹 Knee space should allow a minimum of 27 inches in height, 30 inches in width, and 19 inches in depth. • 􀀹 Toe clearance requires a 9-inch minimum height and shall extend an additional 5 inch minimum from knee clearance, 30 inches minimum width and 19 inches in minimum depth. • 􀀹 Clear floor space is a minimum of 30 x 48 inches, with onefull-unobstructed side connected to an outdoor recreation • access route. * • 􀀹 Table clearance requires a minimum of 36 inches clearfloor or ground space surrounding the useable portion ofthe table, measured from the seat. • Should have at least one wheelchair seating spae or more if table length exceeds 24 linear feet. • Picnic Tables should provide at least one wheelchair accessible space for each 24 linear feet of usable table surface perimeter (new guidelines) * ADA standards

  39. New guidelines • Clear ground space around picnic tables: 36 inches along all useable sides of the table measured from the back edge of the benches • Usable sides are the sides of the outdoor constructed feature that can be used for eating and serving food, building a fire or cooking. All sides of a picnic table are generally usable unless there is a wall or other structure that renders the side unusable.

  40. Picnic Tables • Which table should you use?

  41. New guidelines • Two new terms • Picnic facility- site or portion of a site, developed for outdoor recreational purposes that contains picnic units • Picnic unit- outdoor space in a picnic facility used for picnicking that contains outdoor constructed features (picnic table or grill). • A picnic unit can contain only one outdoor constructed feature. • Requires at least 20% of picnic units in newly constructed picnic facilities to be accessible where more than 2 picnic units are provided. Less than that each newly constructed picnic unit is required to be accessible. F245.2

  42. New guidelines • Picnic facilities with 2 or fewer picnic units- each picnic unit must be accessible • Picnic facilities with more than 2 picnic units- at least 20% but no fewer than 2 must be accessible

  43. Urban Bike Paths • Are they “pedestrian trails” ? • The accessibility guidelines cover trails used as non-motorized transportation facilities for bicyclists and skaters as well as pedestrians. • Caveat: the AASHTO Guide requires a greater level of accessibility than the ADA guidelines.

  44. Existing Trails • Will they have to be brought up to ADA standards? • They should be brought up to these standards as much as possible (program access) • Technically, ADAAG only applies to newly constructed (after 1/26/92] or significantly renovated or altered trails • There is no grandfathering under the ADA.

  45. Allowance of vehicles on non-motorized trails • Should a policy prohibiting motorized vehicles on pedestrians trails be modified to allow such use by persons with disabilities? {is this a reasonable accommodation?} • Generally no as this would fundamentally alter the nature of the program due to the necessity of protecting the environment or maintaining the appropriateness of the setting.

  46. New Trails W/O Connection to Accessible Trailhead • Do they need to be accessible? • Generally, no. • The accessibility requirements apply only to trails that “connect to an accessible trail” or “designated trailhead.” • This includes altered portions as well. • As a best practice, attempt to provide as much as accessibility as possible • Example, Muir Woods

  47. Facilities on Non-Accessible Trails • Are required to be accessible since individuals with disabilities use trails that do not comply with the technical provisions.

  48. Trail signs • New guidelines • Shall include: • Length of trail or trail segment • Surface type • Typical and maximum tread width • Typical and maximum running slope • Typical and maximum cross slope

  49. Accessibility Web Sites • Trails: • Structures: * • Play Areas: • These standards are not yet binding

  50. Camp Sites • Camp sites should be • evaluated for accessibility • and foster independent • use by people with • disabilities.