ADA Sidewalk Clear Width
Jeff asked: On a two mile span of Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, FL there are 72 street lamp posts which obstruct the center of the sidewalk. They were installed in 2003. I think they are in violation of Above Ground Utility Structure Placement Standards which state posts should be off the right of way whenever feasible otherwise to the edge of the right of way. Sidewalk Width Standards also talk about how the center of the sidewalk should be reserved for Pedestrians. The State has said the posts are ADA Compliant because there is at least a 36 inch clearance to the curb allowing wheelchair access.
Prior to the ADA posts placement were governed by safety standards. Why does the ADA give the State justification to circumvent other safety standards and obstruct the center of the sidewalk?
Residents and Businesses are not allowed to obstruct the sidewalk so why is the State?
This site is intended to address questions about the laws related to bicycling. I suggest contacting someone that is knowledgeable about the ADA laws. However, you may want to start your research here:
The Department of Transportation Plans Preparation Manual for state highways states the following:
8.3.2 Disability Considerations
Pedestrian facilities must be designed in accordance with ADA to accommodate the physically and visually challenged citizens whose mobility is dependent on wheelchairs and other devices. Refer to the Design Standards for additional details.
This website about ADA design standards may be of assistance:
The Design Standards show a standard clear width of 5 or 6 feet, with a minimum four feet.
The Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards (Florida Greenbook), which is for highways other than state highways, indicates the ADA minimum clear width is 36 inches.
C.10.a.2 Accessibility Requirements
Pedestrian facilities, such as walkways and sidewalks, shall be designed to accommodate physically disabled persons whose mobility is dependent on wheelchairs and other devices. Note: Design shall be in compliance with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (as described in the Federal Register), and the Florida Accessibility Code For Building Construction (Rule 9B-7.0042). Complete design criteria can be found in this publication.
Sidewalks should provide a safe, comfortable space for pedestrians. The width of sidewalks is dependent upon the roadside environment, volume of pedestrians, and the presence of businesses, schools, parks, and other pedestrian attractors. The minimum width for sidewalks is covered in Section C.7.d of this chapter. To ensure compliance with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (as described in the Federal Register), and the Florida Accessibility Code For Building Construction, sidewalk designs shall meet the following criteria:
Minimum clear width – 36 inches
I won’t claim to understand this information since it is not within the scope of this website. Maybe one of our readers can assist you?