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Engineering for Accessibility

A transportation system that provides full accessibility results in a high quality system for all users. Accessible infrastructure has been linked to increased business opportunities, social development health benefits, and increased independence among community members.

Accessible design practices incorporate the needs of people with disabilities into the design and development of public infrastructure, allowing facilities to be accessed independently by people with disabilities. ​

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires pedestrian infrastructure be accessible and usable by people of all abilities. Some elements of an accessible pedestrian route include:

  • Sidewalks,
  • Curb ramps,
  • Crosswalks,
  • ​Pushbuttons at traffic signals, and
  • Accessible parking.

ADA requirements are integrated into all Oregon Department of Transportation standard drawings, details, specifications and design manuals. In addition, ODOT prepares guidance and element designs to maximize accessibility in new construction and existing facilities. Technical guidance documents clarify when, where, and how to provide access in the many unique situations found along the state highway system.​

Project Elements that Impact ADA Accessibility

For each project element, technical requirements are provided to guide the design of accessible public facilities. Project requirements for ADA can be found in the ADA Curb Ramp Process document.

​When curb ramps are included in a project, ODOT requires several processes to ensure the constructed curb ramp will comply with accessibility requirements. The processes are summarized in the ODOT ADA Curb Ramp Process document.

  • Design shall meet criteria in the ADA Curb Ramp Design Checklist,
  • Design detail sheet shall be provided for each corner, and
  • Constructed curb ramps must be inspected using an ODOT curb ramp inspection form to document compliance with accessibility requirements.

Technical Requirements

  • Curb Ramp Design Checklist
    • Exhibit B - Curb ramp style co​mpanion document. Please note: Standard drawings and design manual must be used to design curb ramp​s.​
    • Exhibit D - Illustrates the gutter flow slope requirements, based on the intersection control type.
  • ADA Curb Ramp Design Exceptions
  • RD16-01(B) - ADA Curb Ramp Design Exception Form and ADA Curb Ramp Guidance
  • RD17-01(B) - ADA Sidewalk Curb Ramp Detail: Minimum Requirements in Construction Plans
  • TSB18-03(D) - Curb Ramp Scoping and Right of Way
  • RD21-01(A) - Curb Ramp Gutter Flow Slop Design and Design Exceptions

Standards

External References

ADA Program Funded 2021-2024 Design Guidance

​An accessible path of travel is required on walkways to ensure an equitable transportation system and to provide transportation options for all users. The following documents explain requirements related to walkways.

Technical Requirements

The following documents explain walkway requirements.


The ADA requires that curb ramps be addressed when street pavement is altered with resurfacing. Curb ramps must be placed where they are needed or replaced if they are not compliant.

Technical Requirements

The following documents explain overarching project requirements, clarify ADA obligations for paving or resurfacing projects, and detail requirements for ongoing maintenance.

An accessibility evaluation of bridge sidewalks is required when:

  • A bridge is constructed;
  • A sidewalk is added to an existing bridge; or
  • The scope of work is classified as an "alteration."

Required ADA upgrades may be triggered by bridge rehabilitation and maintenance projects. See BDM Chapter 1, Section 16 for additional information.

Technical Requirements

The following documents explain requirements related to bridge sidewalk and curb ramp elements.

  • Bridge Design Manual
    • BDM Chapter 1, Section 16 - ADA Compliance for Bridge Work
    • BDM Appendix A - ADA Design of Bridge Curb Ramps
    • BDM Ap​pendix B - ADA Bridge Work Examples

Standards

​Per Oregon statute, every intersection is a pedestrian crossing unless the crossing is closed by official action.

Closing a Crossing

For ODOT highways, use the process detailed in the Traffic Manual. The state traffic roadway engineer approves all requests for crossing closures.

Use local jurisdiction approval processes when requesting a closure for a road owned by a local municipality.

Technical Requirements

Standards

Forms

​The location of pedestrian signal equipment should be determined in conjunction with the curb ramp and crosswalk layout.

You must evaluate the pedestrian push buttons for accessibility triggers as well as the surrounding area for reach, range and landing requirements, when a project includes any of the following elements:

  • Signalized intersections
  • Rectangular rapid flashing beacons
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacons

Accessible pushbuttons are required when traffic signal work is considered to be an alteration.

Technical Requirements

Technical guidance documents TR16-01(B) and TR16-02(B) have been incorporated into the Signal Design Manual​. These documents discussed requirements for pedestrian signal equipment and audible pedestrian signals.

The following document explains maintenance work requirements.

  • MG 144-03 - Traffic Signal Maintenance and Americans with Disabilities Act

Standards

Forms

Transit services provide a critical public service for people to complete a trip destination. Transit services stops requires a clear accessible area to board and exit the vehicle. Accessible routes must be provided from the transit stop to features including benches, shelters, ticket stations, parking lots and public buildings.

Technical Requirements

The following document explains requirements related to transit service stations.

Standards

  • RD908 – Detectable Warning Placement for Transit and Rail Services

Resources

​Accessible parking spaces must be addressed when a project alters a parking lot or on-street parking that is metered or marked.

If sidewalks and pavement are altered, the parking access aisle must also be addressed.

Standards

A Temporary Pedestrian Accessible Route is a required component of every Traffic Control Plan.

The TPAR details how pedestrians will be directed through or around a work zone. The level of detail required for the TPAR depends on the complexity of the project and the volume of pedestrian traffic.

Review frequently asked questions​ about temporary pedestrian accessible route design and construction.

Technical Requirements

  • TSB17-01(D) - Temporary Pedestrian Accessible Route Plans Required for Work Zones
  • MG Activities 2​ - Maintaining Accessibility During Maintenance Work

​Standards

References


​ODOT ensures that ADA processes are followed on federal-aid local projects, including for those certified local public agencies that do not have ADA certification from FHWA and ODOT.

Technical Requirements

  • LPA 101-19 - Americans with Disabilities Act Design Exceptions and Inspections

Contact the Roadway Engineering Unit

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, MS 5
Salem, Oregon 97302
Phone: 503-986-3568
Fax: 503-986-3749

Program Lead

Phone: 503-986-3727

Phone: 503-353-7213

Curb Ramp Inventory & Inspections Contact

Phone: 503-986-3493

Submit an Accessibility Request

www.ODOTADARequests.org

Watch a video about using the request form.

Related Links

ADA Program Information

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Public Transportation Advisory Committee - ADA Work Group

ODOT Collects Sidewalk Inventory

Submit an Accessibility Request