Accessible Design in Public Housing: NYCHA Staff Training Program

Version 4.0 July 9, 2001

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Edward Steinfeld and Danise Levine, 2001
Additional information Lobbies & Corridors
Section 4.3.10; 4.1.2(7d)
If more than one means of egress is required by the fire code, is more than one accessible? 
If only one means of egress in a multi-story building is accessible, are safe areas of refuge provided on each floor?

All NYCHA buildings have two means of egress. All apartments are separated from corridors with a two hour rated wall. Thus each apartment is a safe refuge.
Section 4.3.2(3)
Is there an accessible route connecting the accessible entrance with all accessible elements, spaces and dwelling units within the building?
Use other survey forms to determine whether or not these spaces have the necessary features:

Lobbies and Corridors
Doors and Gates
Section 4.3.3; 4.13.3
Figure 1

Is the accessible route at least 36 inches wide except at doorways and gates?

Techniques for measuring
clearance at doorways

Door width
Parameters for determining door widths.
Figure 2

Are doorways and gates at least 32 inches in clear opening width?

Section 4.3.3
U-turn around an obstacle
Figure 3

Where the accessible route makes a U-turn around an obstacle which is less than 48 inches wide, does the pathway width increase to at least 42 inches on the approach and 48 inches in the turn?

Section 4.3.4
Passing width
Figure 4

If the accessible route is less than 60 inches wide, are there passing spaces at least 60 inches wide and 60 inches long within reasonable intervals not exceeding 200 feet?

Section 4.4.1
Techniques for objects mounted to walls

wall-lite.jpg (14601 bytes)
The wall mounted sconce along 
the accessible route provides 80 
inches of clear head room.

Walking parallel to the wall

Walking perpendicular to the wall

Minimum clear headroom

Object mounted to wall
Figure 5

If objects mounted to the wall have bottom edges between 27 and 80 inches from the floor, do they project less than 4 inches into the space?
Note: Wall mounted objects with bottom edges below 27 inches may project any amount so long as they do not reduce the required clear width of an accessible route of travel (see 4.4.2)

Free standing object
Figure 6

Do free standing objects mounted on posts with the bottom edges between 27 and 80 inches high project less than 12 inches into the route of travel?

Is there an accessible path of at least 36 inches clear alongside the protruding object? (see Figure 6)

Section 4.4.2
Figure 7

Is there at least 80 inches clear head room?

If there is less than 80 inches clear head room in an area adjoining an accessible route, is there a barrier to warn visually-impaired persons? (see Figure 7)


Protect shaded area from cross traffic
Is the barrier within 27 inches of the ground so that it is cane-detectable? (see Figure 7)

Section 4.5.1
Are the floors in all accessible areas and routes stable, firm and slip-resistant?

What makes a floor slip resistant? There are no clear standards since the slip resistance of a floor is a function of shoe sole, floor finish product used and degree of moisture present.  Most floor surfaces used in NYCHA housing are sufficiently slip resistant when dry for a range of shoe soles.  Where water may collect, use of mats is advised. Mats must be carefully selected and installed so that they do not present a tripping hazard or a wheeling impediment for wheelchairs.

Section 4.3.8; 4.5.2
Changes in level
Figure 8

Are changes of level greater than 1/2 inch treated with a ramp?

Figure 9

Are changes in level between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2?

When floor materials change, does the vertical difference between them stay within these change of level requirements?
This typically refers to edges of carpet. It is unlikely that any space will be carpeted in NYCHA housing.

Section 4.5.3
If carpet or carpet tile is used on the floor, is it securely attached?

Note: In public housing, it is unlikely that any space will be carpeted.

Is it a level, low pile type of carpet with a firm pad or no pad at all underneath it?

Note: In public housing, it is unlikely that any space will be carpeted.

Section 4.3.7
Is the slope of the route no greater than 1:20 except at ramps?

Floors in NYCHA buildings are all level.

Is the cross slope no greater than 1:50?

Floors in NYCHA buildings are all level.

Section 4.13.2
Note that the door in Figure 10 does not comply with the requirement for a latch side clearance on the pull side of a door. This will be changed in a later revision.
Revolving door
Figure 10

If turnstiles or revolving doors are used on an accessible route, is there an accessible gate or door provided to facilitate the same use pattern?

Section 4.1.1(7); 4.30.2
Common problems with letters and numbers

Lack of contrast between number and background makes it difficult to see.

Width to height ratio is to large so that the letter becomes difficult to comprehend.
Figure 11

On signs, do the letters and numbers have a width to height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1, and a stroke width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10?

Section 4.30.3
Do the characters and symbols contrast with their background? (see Figure 11)

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