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Revised Draft Accessibility Guidelines Published

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration published revised draft guidelines for public rights-of-way.

The memorandum dated January 23, 2006 reads as follows:

The purpose of this notice is to inform you that the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) published revised draft accessibility guidelines (the Draft Guidelines) for public rights-of-way in the Federal Register on November 23, 2005. The Draft Guidelines are available at http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/index.htm. They cover pedestrian access to sidewalks and streets, including crosswalks, curb ramps, street furnishings, pedestrian signals, parking, and other components of public rights-of-way.

The Access Board published the Draft Guidelines to incorporate public comment received in response to the draft guidelines published in June 2002. The Access Board placed these revised draft guidelines on its website (http://www.access-board.gov/prowac/index.htm) for public information. The Draft Guidelines are under consideration by the Board, and the Board could change these guidelines in its final rule.

The purpose of placing the Draft Guidelines in the docket is to facilitate gathering of additional information for the regulatory assessment and the preparation of technical assistance materials to accompany a future rule. The Board is not seeking comments on the Draft Guidelines. The Board will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking at a future date and will solicit comments at that time, prior to issuing a final rule.

The Draft Guidelines are not standards until adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The present standards to be followed are the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) standards. However, the Draft Guidelines are the currently recommended best practices, and can be considered the state of the practice that could be followed for areas not fully addressed by the present ADAAG standards. Further, the Draft Guidelines are consistent with the ADA's requirement that all new facilities (and altered facilities to the maximum extent feasible) be designed and constructed to be accessible to and useable by people with disabilities.

The FHWA is responsible for implementation of pedestrian access requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This is accomplished through stewardship and oversight over all Federal, State, and local governmental agencies that build and maintain highways and roadways, whether or not they use Federal funds on a particular project.

Please distribute this information to the States, and work with the States to distribute these revised draft guidelines widely. FHWA Point of Contact: Ms. Lisa MacPhee, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Chief Counsel (202) 366-1392, and Ms. Candace Groudine, Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Civil Rights (202) 366-4634.


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