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ADA Compliant Curb Ramps: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

OnDemand Webinar (89 minutes)

Understand the importance of accessible design so features constructed in the public way are made usable and accessible.

Curb ramps are one of the most misunderstood accessibility design elements throughout the U.S. They can also be the most dangerous, as the most mishaps occur on the public right-of-way where curb ramps are not correctly designed and constructed. Topography, which is different for every city or town, can be a complicating factor. This topic will help those responsible for the design and construction of curb ramps to understand the importance of accessible design so features constructed in the public way are made usable and accessible. There will be discussion of priorities for curb ramps in large municipalities that have a large number of sidewalks, intersections, and curbs. The material explains the applicable regulations for curb ramps - the 2010 ADA Standards as well as the U.S. Access Board proposed guidelines - and provides guidance on proper design and construction. The information discusses solutions for challenging geographic conditions and addresses common design and construction errors. Failing to properly design curb ramps puts citizens at risk of serious injury and can create legal and financial risks for municipalities. Understanding proper design methodology is the first step in mitigating those risks for everyone's benefit.


John H. (Jack) Catlin, FAIA, LCM Architects


2010 ADA Standards: Scoping - What Triggers Curb Ramps

• New Construction - Sidewalks Crossing Curbs

• Existing Curb Ramps - Alteration of Streets Triggers Curb Ramp Compliance

Types of Curb Ramps and Technical Details for Proper Design and Construction

• Flared

• Built-up

• In-Line/Parallel

• Returned

Examples of Good Curb Ramps and Common Deficiencies in Curb Ramp Design and Construction

  1. S. Access Board Public Right-Of-Way Proposed Guidelines
  2. • PROW Addresses an Alteration of an Existing Condition

    • Parallel Curb Ramp Definition

    • Blended Transition

    • Steep Sidewalks

    - Curb Ramps at Steep Sidewalks

    - Sidewalks Serving Steep Streets

    • Detectable Warning Surfaces

    - Size

    - Perpendicular Curb Ramps