New Rules for Public Trail Access for Disabled

Department of Justice
Rules effective March 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued new rules regarding access to recreation facilities by people with mobility disabilities. These rules apply to land trust trails that are open to the public. The rules require the removal of barriers to wheelchair access to trails so that there are 32” openings for users. Rules include access for Other Power Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs), although there is nothing in the new rules that affirmatively requires any land trust or agency to make physical changes to trails to accommodate the use of OPDMDs.

The following resources can help clarify these rules and land trust responsibilities:

Public Trails and New Rules for Access
A presentation given at the Mass Land Trust Coalition Steering Committee meeting on Friday, September 9, 2011, by Gary Briere , Mass Dept of Conservation and Recreation
View or download presentation

Interim Procedure for the Use of Power-Driven Mobility Devices on Mass Audubon Sanctuaries
Provided as a sample, this interim procedure provides guidelines for the use of other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMD) on land owned and/or managed by Mass Audubon.
View or download sample procedure

The American Trails website which offers a growing library of land owner experiences with the requirements under the new rule.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations amending the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II regulation, 28 CFR Part 35, effective March 15, 2011.