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Where there is more than one point of entry or exit to a building where the voting area is located, these guidelines apply only to one path of travel from each of the following arrival points: accessible parking, accessible drop-off zones, public transportation, and the public sidewalk. When accessible drop-off zones or public transportation points are beyond the polling place property line, it is recommended that the path of travel to the voting area be measured to include a path of travel beyond the property line in an effort to include drop-off zones or public transportation loading and unloading zones. At least one accessible path of travel from the property line to the voting area shall be provided on Election Day. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24 § 1114B.1.2.) See Figure 4 below.
Sidewalks or other walkways shall be at least 48 inches wide. An exception to the 48 inches clear width is allowed when, due to right-of-way restrictions, natural barriers or other existing conditions, the enforcing agency determines that compliance with the 48-inch clear sidewalk width would create an unreasonable hardship. Only in these cases may the clear width narrow to 36 inches wide. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.7.1.)
When sidewalks slope to the side, the maximum cross-slope (the slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel) allowable is 2 percent. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.7.1.3.) A 2 percent slope, (the technical definition of "level") is ¼-inch of height for each 12 inches of distance. A limit to the sideways slope of the sidewalk is important to voters with balance disabilities or voters using walkers or canes.
Exterior accessible paths of travel to the polling place shall be free of steps. Abrupt changes in level from ¼-inch to ½-inch shall be beveled. (Cal. Code Regs., § 1133B.7.4., § 1124B.2.) Changes in height ½-inch or more shall have a sloping surface that complies with the requirements in Section 6 Ramps, Curb Ramps, and Slopes.
Path of travel surfaces shall be stable, firm, and slip-resistant. (Cal. Code Regs., § 1124B.1.) For example, sand, gravel, broken cement/asphalt, or wet slippery surfaces may not be accessible.
When there are grates or other gaps in the walking sidewalk surface, they shall not be more than ½-inch wide in the direction of travel. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1124B.4.)
Pedestrian routes intended for voters shall have a vertical clear space at least 80 inches high from the ground or floor. Tree limbs, signs, or other objects placed in the path of travel shall be at least 80 inches above the surface of the ground or floor. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24 § 1133B.8.2.) When the vertical clear space next to the accessible path of travel is reduced to less than 80 inches, a barrier to warn blind or visually impaired persons shall be provided. (Cal. Code Regs., § 1133B.8.6.2.)
Pedestrian paths shall be free of objects that project horizontally into the path of travel. When objects such as tree limbs or signs are located at a height between 27 inches and 80 inches above the surface of the ground or floor, they shall not extend into the accessible path of travel more than 4 inches. Pole mounted objects between 27 inches and 80 inches above the walking surface can extend into the path of travel up to 12 inches. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.8.6.1.) See Figure 5. Objects that extend horizontally into the accessible path of travel shall not reduce the path of travel to less than required by this section. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.8.6.1.)
Occasionally there is more than one path of travel to the polling place but only one is accessible. Signs using contrasting colors and displaying the ISA shall be used to direct elderly voters and voters with disabilities to the accessible path of travel. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24 § 1117B.220.127.116.11.) See Figure 6.
When necessary, temporary modifying equipment or measures may be used to provide compliance along the exterior path of travel.