Consultant Michele Ohmes answers your Americans with Disabilities Act
Q: The 2010 standards don't address detectable warnings
except in relation to transit platform edges. Does this mean they're no longer
required at curb ramps and crosswalks?
A: Confusing as it seems, don't stop installing detectable
warnings at the public right of way!
They're still required where a curb ramp, landing, or blended transition
connects to a street and in medians, pedestrian refuge islands, and cut-through
islands. According to the Access Board, the recently updated standards only address
transportation facilities, which is why you won't find references for public
right-of-way issues such as sidewalks and curb ramps.
The detectable warning for curb ramps and crosswalks are addressed on pages
37 - 39 of the Access Board's 2005 Public
Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) however, do.
Though not enforceable, they're supported by the Federal Highway Administration and they serve
as a supplement to ADA guidelines that can be followed in the absence of clear
direction by the ADA. Further, they're consistent with the law's requirement
that new facilities (and facilities altered to the maximum extent feasible) be
accessible to and useable by people with disabilities.
The Access Board's recommendations include:
R303.3.2 Detectable Warnings. Detectable warning surfaces
... shall be provided where a curb ramp, landing, or blended transition connects
to a street.
R304.1 General. Detectable warnings shall consist of a
surface of truncated domes aligned in a square or radial grid pattern and shall
comply with R304 (which describes the specifications of the detectable
R305.4.2 Detectable Warnings. Medians and pedestrian refuge
islands shall have detectable warnings complying with R304 at curb ramps and
blended transitions. Detectable warnings at cut-through islands shall be located
at the curbline in-line with the face of curb and separated by a 2-foot minimum
walkway without detectable warnings. Where the island has no curb, the
detectable warning shall be located at the edge of roadway.
For more information on detectable warnings, check out the following FHWA
Until next month, may your holiday season be blessed with family, friends,
and joyful recognition of the good in each of us!
Detectable warnings at curbs and islands.