4 Important ADA Requirements For A Sidewalk For Easy Access By Persons With Disability


Recently, the concern about the safety of people with disability in public areas has arisen more and more often. As such, businesses that wish to stay in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should be aware of some essential ADA requirements for sidewalks. Promoting accessibility for all is vital to creating a genuinely accessible community. But what are the requirements for a sidewalk to be ADA compliant, and how can you make sure yours is?

1.   ADA Sidewalk Width Requirements

For the most part, ada sidewalk width must be at least 36 inches or broader if street furniture exists, such as tree grates, light poles, or utility boxes. The requirement allows room for walking routes, wheelchair passage and wheelchair turning space.

For the entrance to a building or facility, the minimum clear width is 60 inches. Paths of travel are 32″ wide. An accessible route connects all accessible elements. The minimum clear width of an accessible way is 36 inches.

2.   The Sidewalk Must Have A Feature Or Texture That Identifies Edge Lines

To qualify for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one must easily locate a building using a long cane. The sidewalk in front of your business must have a feature or texture that identifies the property line, such as the tactile truncated domes. The cane’s tip should drop when placed on a tactile truncated dome. Also, make sure no obstacles cause the cane to rebound from the tactile truncated dome.

3.   Slope Requirements For A Sidewalk

The ADA requires that driveways and sidewalks provide a smooth transition between the street, the sidewalk, and adjacent landings or curbside parking spaces. Sidewalk access is essential for those with disabilities in an urban environment. Particularly for streets and sidewalks commonly used as a thoroughfare destination or pedestrian corridor, the transition from street to sidewalk should be seamless from a usability standpoint.

The ADA requires sidewalks to be a particular slope, a safe drop-off tolerance. The law requires cross slopes of not more than ½ inch per foot. Slopes on sidewalks and other routes are the numbers of inches of height change over a specified distance, like a stair step. Sidewalks also need to have ADA-compliant ramps, sloped curbs, or a combination of both.

In most cases, bus stops need to have slopes perpendicular to the roadway, except when boarding from a sidewalk level platform. All platform boarding areas must have slopes no greater than 1:20 for every one-inch change in platform height.

4.   Curb ADA Requirements

Curb ramps are built at the junction of a street and curb or sidewalk, helping to provide smooth transitions for making turns. The end of the curb ramp must have a long enough slope that gives people a smooth transition surface using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Curb ramps are necessary when streets and intersections have raised curbs or other barriers that block the road from being accessible. Curbs must have a slope of no steeper than 1:12 (an 8.33% slope). The width should be 36 inches, with adjacent slopes no steeper than 1:20. However, it’s crucial to use caution when negotiating any curb ramp. For raised surfaces, curb ramps must have a level of 48 inches long and 36 inches wide.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk standards facilitate individuals with disabilities to access buildings, facilities, and commercial spaces easily and without limitations. The standards apply to buildings, facilities, and elements that are newly constructed or altered. However, they do not apply to historic preservation projects. You can make your sidewalk ADA compliant with tactile truncated domes by contacting ADA Adatile Solutions for all your sidewalk ADA requirements.

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