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1991 ADA Standards for Accessible Design

Note: This document, portion of document or referenced document was published prior to the 2010 ADA Standards, and all or part of this information may only apply to Safe Harbored elements.

4.8.5* Handrails.

If a ramp run has a rise greater than 6 in (150 mm) or a horizontal projection greater than 72 in (1830 mm), then it shall have handrails on both sides. Handrails are not required on curb ramps or adjacent to seating in assembly areas. Handrails shall comply with 4.26 and shall have the following features:

(1) Handrails shall be provided along both sides of ramp segments. The inside handrail on switchback or dogleg ramps shall always be continuous.

(2) If handrails are not continuous, they shall extend at least 12 in (305 mm) beyond the top and bottom of the ramp segment and shall be parallel with the floor or ground surface (see Fig. 17).

Examples of Edge Protection and Handrail Extensions

Fig. 17 Examples of Edge Protection and Handrail Extensions

(3) The clear space between the handrail and the wall shall be 1 - 1/2 in (38 mm).

(4) Gripping surfaces shall be continuous.

(5) Top of handrail gripping surfaces shall be mounted between 34 in and 38 in (865 mm and 965 mm) above ramp surfaces.

(6) Ends of handrails shall be either rounded or returned smoothly to floor, wall, or post.

(7) Handrails shall not rotate within their fittings.


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