ADA Routes: When and where are they needed?

October 15, 2015 by Mike Reyes

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses and public improvement projects to provide access and accommodations to citizens with disabilities, with the intent that everyone can benefit from the businesses and services, both public and private.  The four main principles are access to goods and services, access to restrooms, accessible approach and entrance, and any other measure necessary to achieve equal access to amenities.

Image Source: US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Image Source: US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

All buildings are required to have ADA accessible entrances.  The idea is that people with disabilities should be able to arrive to the site, approach and enter the building as freely as everyone else.  Access is required to a public use site from a public street, which may require the use of accessible ramps.  On-site ADA parking spaces are required to have the shortest distance from the parking lot to the building entrance.

It’s important to note that cross-slopes for accessible routes allow for a maximum of 2%.  Running slopes along the accessible route allows for a maximum of 5% (can match the slope of the adjacent public street as long as that portion of the sidewalk is in the public Right-of-way) before having to provide a handrail.


Do you have questions about handicap accessibility requirements? Contact us today to learn how we can help. At BIG RED DOG, we’ve done this before.

Written by Mike Reyes

Mike Reyes

Mike Reyes, P.E. is an Assistant Project Manager in the Austin office of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Originally from San Antonio, Mike made his way to Austin to attend the University of Texas, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. He is a licensed engineer in the State of Texas. Mike enhances the BRD team with a broad range of experience of work in the public works sector on behalf of clients like the Austin Independent School District and the City of Georgetown. His project experience includes more than seven years of site development and utility design, and construction coordination of civil engineering projects throughout the Greater Austin Area. In his free time Mike is an active member of the Texas-Ex’s and enjoys watching Longhorn sports.