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ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

If new ADA sidewalk is being installed and the ADA route crosses an existing street are there any exemptions for the maximum 2% cross slope requirement if the existing road is steep (cross slope of pedestrian path over road is greater than 2%)? Shifting the crosswalk anywhere "up" or farther "down" the street will not solve the cross slope problem over the road. Is reconstruction of the existing road required? Is there a difference if its a public or private road?

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

Design exemptions are allowed when combining ADA access with existing roads & site conditions. I have found this group to be helpful in providing ADA design guidance:


RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

Just last week, this was covered at a NYSDOT seminar. Their standards are:
  1. At stop and yield controlled intersections, maximum cross slope is 2% .
  2. At signal controlled intersections, maximum cross slope is 5%
  3. At midblock crossings, maximum cross slope is the highway grade.
  4. Max running grade of the crosswalk < 5%
These are from the pedestrian's standpoint. Crosswalk cross slope = roadway profile grade, and crosswalk running grade = roadway cross slope or superelevation. Note that crosswalks will limit shoulder cross slopes and emax to 5%.

The other interesting thing they are doing is changing sidewalk cross slope to 1.5% max and curb ramp running slope to 7.5% max (unless terrain makes this impractical). This is to provide some tolerance for the ADA maximums of 2% and 8.3%.

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

Thanks for the input everyone. If anyone else has input it would be appreciated.

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

I asked the instructor about it, and here is her reply:


I am working under the assumption that the project you’re asking about is *solely* a sidewalk project, or that the new sidewalk is built as part of a non-roadwork project, i.e. a sewer connection project.

If a new sidewalk is being built on an existing street, the installation of new sidewalk only does not trigger a requirement for roadway resurfacing to correct the crosswalk cross-slope and running grade. However, the non-compliant crosswalk cross-slope and running grade should be noted, inventoried, and added to the municipality’s ADA Transition Plan, and crosswalk corrections addressed later in accordance with the ADA Transition Plan.

I hope this helps!

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

Since you asked...

A while back, I had occasion to spend a month mostly in a wheelchair.
It was a revelation.

The ADA bumps on curb cuts make it very difficult to steer a wheelchair over them, especially if the occupant is the only person available to provide tractive effort and steering. I know they were removed from the requirements, but a lot of contractors and architects didn't get the word, and just about nobody thought to shave the damn things off. Removal or truncation of pre-existing bumps should be required. The hemispherical plastic ones are the worst. The truncated ones on red bricks are less awful, but the bump-bump-bump of going over any of them are painful on a fresh injury.

Speaking of grades, I found a number of places where a short transition between a levelish surface and an ADA compliant ramp was much too steep for me to handle. Try climbing the short edge of a 2x4 in a wheelchair. Have a spotter handy.

ADA bathrooms are the worst. They put really stiff closers on those giant doors; not the stall doors; the entry doors to the room itself. Adjacent walls have nothing to grab so you can push on the door, and if you're pushing on the door with one hand, you can't steer the chair; sometimes you can make a sharp turn through the door, but you usually end up getting stuck sideways in the door. The power openers they put on main entry doors should also be installed on bathroom doors.

ADA 'guidelines' should be expanded, turned into 'rules', and enforced more rigidly and more zealously.

Just my opinion.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

Quote (MikeHalloran)

I know they were removed from the requirements,

Actually,not quite the case:

From United States Access Board http://preview.tinyurl.com/pjymlu7:

"ADA Standards for public transportation facilities issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) require detectable warnings on curb ramps...
Other types of facilities covered by the ADA are subject to standards issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Neither DOJ’s ADA Standards (2010) nor the ABA Standards, which apply to federally funded facilities, require detectable warnings on curb ramps. However, the Access Board is developing new guidelines that will address access to public rights-of-way, including detectable warnings on curb ramps." (Underlined emphasis mine)

The page goes on to describe the proposed guidelines (requiring detectable warnings on public streets and sidewalks).

There is also this page for guidance from the Access Board which may contain exceptions.
One almost needs an attorney to figure out the cases where they are required or not.

Our State DOT requires them in their realm of work.

RE: ADA pedestrian crossing - cross slope over existing road exceeds 2%

The requirement for the truncated domes was postponed while they tried to find something better for wheelchair users, yet still detectable by people with vision problems. I suppose they failed since the requirement was reinstated back in the early 2000s.

The maximum vertical reveal on an accessible route is 1/4" (6mm), or 1/2" (13mm) if chamfered. I've seen some that are much worse than that.

I bet if someone let loose a bunch of mountain bike suspension designers on wheelchair design, they could come up with a myriad of improvements that would vastly improve the lives of people that have to use them. An inch or so of travel would be enough for most bumps, I'd think. Maybe a slightly longer wheelbase and a more ergonomic drive with some mechanical advantage would help, too.

I suspect the wheelchair industry is ossified due to litigation phobia and/or excessive regulations.

The "ADA Accessibility Guidelines" have been adopted as rules by the Justice Department. They don't consider the ADAAG as designed standards. It is civil rights law. Still, they can't be everywhere.

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