‘Accessible Routes & Path of Travel’ Category
The question has come up several times of why and where one would use a wheelchair lift versus an elevator and what would be the advantage of one over the other, presuming there is a choice.
Janis Kent, Architect, FAIA, CASp © September, 2020 With the continuation of our on-going plague, many restaurants are taking their seating area out to the public sidewalks, parking areas, and even onto the streets. While the concept of pop-up restaurants has been around for a while, it has evolved as a temporary outdoor add-on to existing […]
The question has come up as to whether manual doors need to be maintained to be accessible. And the answer is – yes, absolutely.
Recently, it has come to my attention that there is some confusion on passenger loading zones and what are the requirements. It is also difficult to determine if the requirements are misunderstood based on drawing review, since on-grade markings are shown. It is just that they are incorrectly placed in the pull-up space.
As Electric Vehicles become more prevalent, the question comes up of what to do to make them accessible and even whether or not they are required to be accessible. Although not specifically mentioned in the ADA Standards, the prevailing requirement in the implementing regulations requires a measure of access for all. So if an element is available to the able-bodied population, then it should also be available for those with a disability. Since there are no scoping and technical requirements what do you do?
One of the things we learn as designers and architects is how to organize, design, and incorporate way-finding thru axis and focal points. We learn about the more formal architecture with its linear and direct arrangements of space versus the informal with its cluster arrangements and less direct connections. We also learn much more about design for the mobility impaired. Since mobility issues directly affect the architectural environment, it is better defined in building codes and federal regulations with a multitude of requirements. For the Deaf Community – which is an inclusive term for those who might be fully deaf to hard-of-hearing and communicate by signing, lip reading, and/or using technology devices – we generally think in terms of placing visual alarms or sound attenuated devices, since this is what is required, and mostly for interior environments.
There are certain things in Access that at first and even second glance, appear to be clear. But many of the simple things are not as intuitive as you might imagine, particularly if you are not a wheelchair user. Clear floor spaces, for instance.
Over the years people use various terminology referring to areas where pedestrian move – circulation path, accessible route, path of travel, and accessible means of egress. But the question is, are all of these terms inter-changeable or do they have some nuance of difference in their meaning? The answer is, they do overlap each other, but there is indeed differences between each of the terms. It would be good to understand the differences since the ADA Standards has further requirements for each of these categories and limits some of what we can do within each.
Proportional spending translates basically into how much additional money will be required to be spent over and above construction costs of a project to provide access for path of travel items. It only comes into play when performing alterations to primary function areas per ADA or all altered spaces per CBC, or altering the usability of a space, or additions to existing buildings or facilities. Some of these items may not even fall within the altered area but support the area itself. So if you are only doing new construction this does not pertain, although new construction and an altered area itself are required to totally comply.
In a previous article I provided an overview of the component pieces that go into signs. So the next question is, what components go into what kinds of signs? There are many sign types, each with their own requirements and exceptions. In order to understand some of the requirements the Components article should also be […]
One of the most forgotten elements is signage. Basically it can be divided into three groups – permanent room signs, way-finding, and informational signs, but there are other types as well. Permanent room signs also have requirements for installation location with criteria for clear floor space in front. Height requirements have now been changed with […]
There is a common misconception – because a building is old, one is ‘grandfathered in’ so nothing needs to be done to make it accessible. This is not true. Building and business owners are indeed obligated to make places of public accommodation more accessible. In fact there is a federal tax incentive that has been […]
You want your lobby, waiting room, or seating area to have a more residential or intimate feel to the space. So you place a lovely area rug on top of the wall-to-wall carpet or hard surfaced floor. No problem, right? Well, yes there is. The issue is, that even though the size is much larger […]
You are expecting crowds to line up due to a sale, so you get out the speed rails and place them on the sidewalk to better organize people while waiting to get in. Rather than have the line as a single queue you arrange it to have several switchbacks. You measured it off and are […]
It’s raining out and as business owners, what is one of the first things we do? The walk-off mats come out of the wood-work and get placed right at the store, restaurant, or office lobby entries. It is part of our linen service so what could be wrong with that? And since the floor gets […]