Advocacy

Incorporate PROWAG into Pedestrian Policies

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires ADA transition plans for jurisdictions. The Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right Of Way (proposed PROWAG) provide technical specifications required to make walking infrastructure accessible to people of all abilities. Once the Access Board issues its final rule, the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation will adopt these proposed PROWAG guidelines as standards. While PROWAG is not yet finalized, all new and altered facilities have been required to be “accessible to and usable by” individuals with disabilities since the publication of the ADA implementing regulations in 1991. Accordingly, jurisdictions should incorporate PROWAG into pedestrian policies and plans.

Guidance
  • Update the ADA transition plan as well as other relevant pedestrian policies to include proposed PROWAG
  • Address all existing infrastructure, prioritizing transit access and corridors
  • Require employees and contractors to demonstrate their knowledge of accessibility topics, and hold them accountable
  • Partner with transit providers and require them to include accessible transportation infrastructure
  • Consult with representatives from disability agencies and organizations throughout planning, design, and implementation of facilities
  • Include a means for residents to suggest locations for accessibility improvements
  • Ensure PROWAG are followed throughout planning, design, and implementation of transportation facilities
Benefits
  • Update the ADA transition plan as well as other relevant pedestrian policies to include proposed PROWAG
  • Address all existing infrastructure, prioritizing transit access and corridors
  • Require employees and contractors to demonstrate their knowledge of accessibility topics, and hold them accountable
  • Partner with transit providers and require them to include accessible transportation infrastructure
  • Consult with representatives from disability agencies and organizations throughout planning, design, and implementation of facilities
  • Include a means for residents to suggest locations for accessibility improvements
  • Ensure PROWAG are followed throughout planning, design, and implementation of transportation facilities
Considerations
  • Liability for having inadequate accessibility policies or inadequate implementation of accessible infrastructure
  • Funding for prioritizing and planning infrastructure improvements
  • Funding for implementing infrastructure improvement
Where to Use It
  • Pedestrian master plans
  • Street design guidelines
  • Complete Streets policies
  • ADA transition plans mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for all public agencies with more than 50 employees
  • All public rights-of-way as they are built or altered
Professional Consensus
  • Once comments are reviewed and vetted, the Access Board will issue final PROWAG guidelines that will be adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Transportation and become the new minimum design standards under the ADA for both new construction and alterations of pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way.
  • The 2005 draft PROWAG has already been identified by USDOT as the current best practice in accessible pedestrian design under the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal-aid (504) regulation.
Examples

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.