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ADA standards

Accessible Routes in the ADA Standards (Chapter 4 Part 1)

There are several kinds of accessible routes a building or facility must have, according to the Department of Transportation’s set of ADA Standards, of which all accessible routes must comply.

Accessible routes are required where there are site arrival points, accessible routes within a site, as well as accessible routes within a building or facility.

According to the United States Access Board, an “accessible route” is classified and defined as “a continuous unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility.”  Furthermore, it goes on to explain that these accessible routes can also be described as, and include, corridors, ramps, elevators, lifts, and the like.

Overall, accessible routes are all about allowing whatever or whoever travels throughout your site to access other parts and spaces easily via routes or paths.

Site Arrival Points

To meet the ADA Standards, it is a requirement that there is at least one accessible route that leads to accessible facility entrances.

Additionally, these routes must be provided from within the site.

From these site arrival points, there must also be accessible parking zones, accessible passenger loading zones, public streets and sidewalks, and each public transportation stop.

Accessible Routes Within a Site

Similar to the requirements for site arrival points, the ADA Standards require that accessible routes from within a site contain at least one route within the site boundary.

Additionally, this route must also originate from the site arrival points and must connect all accessible on-site buildings, facilities, elements, and spaces.

This is common sense.  If a site is going to have multiple buildings, therefore multiple accessible routes from within the facility’s grounds, it has to lead to or connect something.

Accessible Routes Within a Building or Facility

For routes available for access from inside a building or facility, there are yet another set of rules.

These internal routes must contain at least one fully accessible route that connects all the accessible spaces and elements around it.

Furthermore, for circulation paths, if one is interior, then the accessible route must also be interior.

Additionally, vertical interior circulation routes must be in the same location as stairs and escalators.  It is against the ADA Standards for a vertical interior circulation to be located separately in the back of a building or facility.

Accessible Routes Are an Important Part of Construction Sites and ADA Standards

To ensure that you have the proper routes and structure you need for your site, building, or facility, it is always best to reinforce ADA Standards within your construction team.

So, do your research, play by the rules, and create good, effective, and safe, accessible routes for your site.

An accessible route is all about getting someone from point A to point B.  By following the ADA Standards and making sure your facilities comply with them, it is guaranteed your visitors will get from their starting point to their destination with ease and safety.

Help with ADA Standards

Serving clients in New Jersey, New York and Eastern Pennsylvania, the experienced professionals at East Coast Paving and Site Development are prepared to help you achieve the standards for ADA compliance.

For additional questions about ADA compliance, contact the paving experts at East Coast Paving and Site Development at 732-329-3600 or email

Read more on this series:

The Ultimate Guide to ADA Compliance: Using the ADA Standards (Chapter 1)

Scoping Requirements and ADA Standards for New Construction (Chapter 2 Part 1)

Construction Alterations and the ADA Standards That Affect Them (Chapter 2 Part 2)

ADA Standards for Floor and Ground Surface Construction (Chapter 3)


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