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Note: 2010 ADA Standard requirements are stricter than the state or local requirement referenced in this document or portion of document.

11B-403.3 Slope.

The running slope of walking surfaces shall not be steeper than 1:20. The cross slope of walking surfaces shall not be steeper than 1:48.

Exception:  The running slope of sidewalks shall not exceed the general grade established for the adjacent street or highway.

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Advisory 11B-403.3 Slope.  There is an important distinction between a “sidewalk” and a “walk”, and they are treated differently under the California Building Code.  A sidewalk is contiguous to a street while a walk is not.

When the running slope of a walking surface exceeds 5%, it must comply with the accessibility requirements for ramps.

A sloping sidewalk with a running slope in excess of 5% is excluded from ramp requirements for landings and handrails but it must comply with cross-slope and width requirements.◼

ETA Editor's Note

The 2013 CBC Exception at 11B-403.3 is not present in 2010 ADAS.  Therefore, technically, 2010 ADAS are more stringent with regard to the slope of sidewalks at streets or highways. CBC does not define street or highway, but does define sidewalk as " ... contiguous to a street used by the public."  It is inferable, whether intended or not, that sidewalks serving as accessible routes alongside private roadways are not excepted from the slope limitation.

In 2011, the U.S. Access Board published in the Federal Register its Proposed Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-Of-Way, along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  The public comment period was concluded in 2012, and the guidelines are in the Final Rulemaking stage now.  Until these become law, the Access Board is offering guidance on its website, where one can also request technical assistance and/or sign up for updates as to the rulemaking status: http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/streets-sidewalks/public-rights-of-way/

In 2013, in response to feedback, the U.S. Access Board issued a proposed Supplemental Rule to address accessibility for Shared Use Paths (used by pedestrians, bicyclists and others for transportation or recreation), distinguished from sidewalks, as well as from trails.

News regarding these regulations is also available, and regularly updated, on ETA's website: http://www.evanterry.com/


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