The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990 and created a number of guidelines that led to greater accessibility for visually-impaired and wheelchair-bound Americans. The construction of curb ramps is just one example of the ADA’s commitment to accessibility for all. However, some construction crews install curb ramps incorrectly, despite their good intentions. Here’s a brief look at the ADA’s requirements for the placement, design, and installation of curb ramps and tactile warning systems:
According to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), curb ramps are required wherever sidewalks and street crossings meet. Americans with disabilities should be able to safely cross the street and go from sidewalk to sidewalk unassisted.
Placing a ramp at every intersection in itself is not adequate—they also need to be easy to use. The ADAAG requires all ramps to have a maximum running slope of 1:12, or an elevation change of 1 inch for every 12 inches of distance. All ramps must also include landings, so people may have space to adjust to the new sidewalk.
The ADAAG does not require cities to retrofit existing curbs; however, all newly constructed sidewalks must include curb ramps. Curb ramps must also be installed anytime there is road resurfacing or alteration—even if the proposed project does not involve the sidewalk directly. Filling in potholes, however, is just a minor maintenance concern that does not require the installation of curb ramps.
- Detectable Warnings
Though simple curb ramps are adequate for wheelchair-bound citizens, the visually impaired require further warning of potential dangers. That’s why the ADAAG also requires all curb ramps to have tactile warning systems. These systems must be made of truncated domes that the visually impaired can feel beneath their feet as they come to crosswalks.
If you want to be certain that your curb ramps are ADA compliant, contact ADA Solutions, Inc. Our tactile warning systems follow ADA regulations to the letter, providing maximum safety to all who use them. For more information, call us today at (800) 372-0519.