The Americans with Disabilities Act, which is commonly referred to as ADA, was established to protect against the discrimination of those with disabilities. This includes protecting against discrimination when it comes to access to public accommodations and transportation. Today, there are a variety of rules that need to be followed when developing a new property or walkway. In fact, there are several requirements that govern how sidewalks in a public or private area need to be built. It is important to know the ADA sidewalk requirements to ensure you are in compliance.
For those that are in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled, the slope of a sidewalk is very important. The ADA sidewalk requirements today require that you minimize the slope of the sidewalks. This includes limiting the cross slope to know more than one half of an inch. Additionally, you need to follow the 1:20 slop for the ramp of the sidewalk. This means that for every inch of slope, the sidewalk must be at least 20 inches in length.
You should also carefully consider the curb ramps. If you are going to have a curb ramp to enter or exit the street, it needs to have an appropriate ramp. Most of the time, you will need to have a curb ramp that has a slope ratio of no more than 1:12. However, there are situations when you need to reduce the ramp even more.
Width of the Sidewalk
You need to make sure that a sidewalk is wide enough to accommodate everyone. In most instances, this means making sure that the sidewalk is at least 36 inches wide. If you have handrails or other barriers installed, there must be 36 inches of space to accommodate room for someone in a wheelchair. For situations where there is a ramp or change of direction, additional width may be necessary.
Beyond the shape and size of the sidewalk, you also need to offer an appropriate texture to those that are going to be using it. If you plan on using a textured surface, it is important to ensure that it complies with the ADA requirements. Further, if you are going to change the texture of the sidewalk in any places, it needs to be obvious that there is a change in texture. A common way to do this is to change the coloring of the sidewalk when you are going to have a change in texture.
Providing a safe sidewalk that is in ADA compliance is very important. Fortunately, you can receive professional support to help you design and build your sidewalk. This will ensure you are offering a safe experience to everyone.