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304 Turning Space

Section 4.2.3 of the 1991 Standards and Section 304.3 of the 2010 Standards allow turning space to be either a circular space or a T-shaped space. Section 304.3 permits turning space to include knee and toe clearance complying with section 306. Section 4.2.3 of the 1991 Standards did not specifically permit turning space to include knee and toe clearance. Commenters urged the Department to retain the turning space requirement, but exclude knee and toe clearance from being permitted as part of this space. They argued that wheelchairs and other mobility devices are becoming larger and that more individuals with disabilities are using electric three and four-wheeled scooters which cannot utilize knee clearance.

The Department recognizes that the technical specifications for T-shaped and circular turning spaces in the 1991 and 2010 Standards, which are based on manual wheelchair dimensions, may not adequately meet the needs of individuals using larger electric scooters. However, there is no consensus about the appropriate dimension on which to base revised requirements. The Access Board is conducting research to study this issue in order to determine if new requirements are warranted. For more information, see the Access Board’s website at http://www.access-board.gov/research/current-projects.htm#suny. The Department plans to wait for the results of this study and action by the Access Board before considering any changes to the Department’s rules. Covered entities may wish to consider providing more than the minimum amount of turning space in confined spaces where a turn will be required. Appendix section A4.2.3 and Fig. A2 of the 1991 Standards provide guidance on additional space for making a smooth turn without bumping into surrounding objects.


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