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U.S. Access Board Releases Rights-of-Way Guidelines for Public Comments

Recently, the U.S. Access Board released proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way. The guidelines provide design criteria for public streets and sidewalks, including pedestrian access routes, street crossings, curb ramps, street furniture, and other elements, and address access that accommodates all types of disabilities, including mobility and vision impairments. If approved, the guidelines would apply to newly constructed or altered portions of public rights-of-way.

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The Access Board is seeking public comment to their proposed guidelines and is requesting responses to a set of questions about information on the design of shared streets, curb ramps, measuring rollability and smoothness of walking surfaces, materials, and other design issues. Landscape architects have unique experience and expertise in planning and designing public rights-of-way and other transportation corridors, and their comments should be particularly valuable during this rule-making process.

The Access Board will conduct a public webinar to review the proposed guidelines on August 9 and hold public hearings in Dallas on September 12 and in Washington, D.C., on November 9. Comments should be submitted by November 23, 2011. Landscape architects with particular expertise in this design area are encouraged to submit comments.

The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency established by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act, is responsible for developing accessibility guidelines for the design, construction, and alteration of facilities to ensure that they are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

For more information on this proposed rule, visit the U.S. Access Board’s web page.

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