DSA IR 11B-2: BEVELED LIP AT CURB RAMPS (with revisions issued through Jan. 2011)
See IR 11B-3
2001 California Building Code, Sections 1127B.5 Items 3 & 5, and 1117A.4.5 (prior to the 10/12/06 Supplement, effective 5/2/07).
California Government Code, Sections 4451(d) & (f)
Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design, Section 4.7.2
Discipline: Access Compliance
This Interpretation of Regulations (IR) is intended for use by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) staff, and as a resource for design professionals, to promote more uniform statewide criteria for plan review and construction inspection of projects within the jurisdiction of DSA. This IR indicates an acceptable method for achieving compliance with applicable codes and regulations, although other methods proposed by design professionals may be considered by DSA.
This IR is reviewed on a regular basis and is subject to revision at any time. Please check the DSA web site for currently effective IRs. Only IRs listed in the document at http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Resources/IRManual.aspx at the time of plan submittal to DSA are considered applicable.
Purpose: This interpretation clarifies acceptable design and installation requirements for curb ramps under Division of the State Architect (DSA) jurisdiction, which includes state-funded buildings and facilities, State of California public elementary and secondary schools (grades K-12), community colleges, and universities. (In the 2007 and 2010 CBC this issue has been addressed by removing the requirement for a beveled lip at curb ramps.)
General: California Building Code (CBC) Section 1127B.5 Item 3 states: "Transitions from ramps to walks, gutters, or streets shall be flush and free of abrupt changes, except that curb ramps shall comply with Item 5…." CBC Section 1127B.5 Item 5 states: "The lower end of each curb ramp shall have a 1/2 inch (13 mm) lip beveled at 45 degrees as a detectable way-finding edge for persons with visual impairment."
However, the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design Section 4.7.2 does not allow a beveled lip at the lower end of a curb ramp and states: "Transitions from ramps to walks, gutters, or streets shall be flush and free of abrupt changes."
Design Requirements: Per California Government Code 4451(d), until such building standards are published in the California Building Standards Code that meet or exceed the requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and specifically in this case the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design Section 4.7.2, the DSA will accept curb ramp designs which indicate that the lower end of each curb ramp is flush and free of abrupt changes, without a beveled lip. All such curb ramp designs shall incorporate a detectable warning surface (truncated domes) as indicated in other sections of the CBC, and Access Compliance IR 11B-3.
Note: The October 12, 2006 Supplement to the 2001 CBC removed from Chapter 11A the requirement for a beveled lip at curb ramps.