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ADA - AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

BARRIER FREE ACCESS IN THE US: IT'S NOW THE LAW
For the rest of the world it's either required or strongly recommended.

 

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) really does effect just about everyone. Most all recreational boating facilities, whether new facilities, altered, modified and/or reconfigured facilities, or even existing facilities just doing business as usual, will now have to comply with the new ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for Buildings and Facilities.

WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES IN THE U.S.?

The new rules can be found at  http://www.access-board.gov The industry has been working with the Access Board and the following relates to the what is contained in the final rule making.

GANGWAYS - Length and Slope – PERHAPS THE MOST SINGLE SIGNIFICANT issue to face marinas.

  • Gangways as defined - must meet 1:12 with certain exceptions.

  • Allow compliance with ADA by providing one gangway up to 80 feet in length without the requirement for intermediate landings, switchbacks or two or more gangways.

  • Numerous Technical Requirements including transitions plates, cross slopes, railings, etc.

  • Minimum of one Accessible Path and Gangway

  • Grouping of Accessible Slips

  • Slope Exception for Launching Ramps

Specific applicability of the overall ADA accessibility rules is somewhat complicated, and the specifics can differ based upon whether you are a governmentally owned vs. non governmentally owned facility, etc., but it basically boils down to:

  • "Fix what you touch"

  • "20% rule" - any time an improvement is made to a primary function area,  up to 20% of the cost of the project must be spent on improving the accessible path.

  • "Cheap & Easy" - actively remove barriers where readily achievable

While ADA has applied to most boating facilities for some time, just how they were to comply was particularly vague. Now there is a section of the ADA law specifically discussing compliance for recreational boating facilities, including docking facilities as well as launching ramp and fishing facilities.

ADA effects not only bathrooms and parking spaces, but also accessible routes (including paths, sidewalks, ramps, gangways, fixed piers and floating docks), almost any construction activity, work areas, and hiring and firing practices, as well as numerous other accommodations that may have to be made for customers and employees as well. ADA effects upland, shoreline interface and in-water physical facilities as well as a whole host of other issues.

Throughout the rule making process, the recreational marine community has been well represented. In an effort spearheaded by Dan Natchez, together with numerous national and state recreational marine organizations, a coalition was formed consisting of marine trades organizations throughout the US as well as state agencies in the western states. The Consensus group’s ideas were crystallized in writings and filings by Dan Natchez working together with Bill Curry, Supervising Civil Engineer - California Department of Boating and Waterways, as well as Dave Obern, Boating Facilities Manager - Oregon State Marine Board.

As one is undertaking improvements and changes to a facility, the NEW ADA requirements should be part of the plan.

FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD

On a more global basis, PIANC (the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, though still using the acronym of its former name, the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses), through it's Working Group #14 (of which DSN&A was a member), has created an international guidance document of conceptual goals to strive for in providing accessibility through recreational boating facility design. That document can be found at the PIANC website, which is www.pianc.org.

For the latest update and/or further information – contact us.

Dan Natchez explains the NEW ADA rules at the Annual States Organization for Boating Access Conference

ADA Articles and Speeches
  • ADA ACCESS TO THE WATERFRONT = ADVANTAGES FOR ALL, Docks Expo 2016, St. Charles, Missouri, November 30 - December 2, 2016

  • PROVIDING ACCESSIBILITY AT THE WATERFRONT, Docks and Marinas 2013, Department of Engineering Professional Development, College of Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON. Madison, Wisconsin, November 18-20, 2013

  • ADA ACCESS - REHABILITATING DOCKS AND MARINA FACILITIES, Education & Training for the Marine Industry, Engineering Professional Development, College of Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, Madison, Wisconsin, May 13-14, 2013

  • ADA at the Waterfront, 35th National Course & Conference, DOCKS & MARINAS 2009, University Education & Training for the Marine Industry, Madison, Wisconsin, October 5-7, 2009

  • Marina Design & Master Planning For Improved Marine Access & As A Calling Card For Tourism, ICOMIA Marinas Committee (IMC) MEETING #42, Saint Petersburg, Russia, September 4-6, 2009

  • Marina Design & Master Planning For Improved Marine Access & As A Calling Card For Tourism, the Swedish Marine Industries Federation, Göteborg Boat Show, West Sweden Tourist Board COAST CONFERENCE 2008, Göteborg Convention Centre, Göteborg, Sweden, September 30, 2008

  • MARINA PLANNING, SITING, DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT TRENDS - A PRACTICAL GUIDE,International Marina Institute’s UNDERSTANDING MARINA BUSINESS, Middletown, RI, April 23-24, 2007

  • Barrier Free Access for Marinas – IT’S WORKING! The essential ADA Tools for 2006, 32nd National Course & Conference, DOCKS & MARINAS 2006, University Education & Training for the Marine Industry, Madison, Wisconsin, October 16 - 18, 2006

  • BARRIER FREE ACCESS AT THE WATERFRONT – AN ACCESSIBLE ADA PRIMER, 31st National Course & Conference, DOCKS & MARINAS 2005, University Education & Training for the Marine Industry, Madison, Wisconsin, October 17 - 19, 2005

  • The NEW ADA Boating Facility Guidelines - FROM PARTICULARS TO PRACTICALITIES, SOBA 2002, 16th Annual States Organization for Boating Access Conference, Mystic, CT, September 21-25, 2002

  • AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT – UPDATES, National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Boating Facilities Development Committee, Miami, Florida, February 13, 2002

  • AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - UPDATES, 30th ANNUAL MARINA RECREATION ASSOCIATION of California, EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW, November 7 – 9, 2001, Las Vegas, Nevada

  • ADA UPDATE, Fifth Annual Meeting of the Northeastern States’ Boating Access Facilities Program Coordinators, March 27-28, 2001, Falmouth, Massachusetts