Updated: Oct 12, 2020
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) allows the use of either the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) or the federal Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) for elements in the public right-of-way (ROW). Please reference TDLR Administrative Rule (Rule) 68.102 for the official language of the requirements.
Although PROWAG is still a guideline and not an adopted standard, agencies such as TDLR are allowing for the use of PROWAG in the ROW.
The designer must decide which accessibility requirement to meet in his or her design. Furthermore, the designer notifies the RAS as to which standard or guideline should be used for the plan review and inspection.
Before 2017, designers could use Rule 68.102 as the requirements for projects in the ROW. For example, sidewalk running slopes could match, but not exceed, the running slope of the adjacent roadway. This modified rule no longer has that provision. However, PROWAG does allow for the running slope of the sidewalk to match the slope of the adjacent road. The designer must select whether to meet either the TAS or PROWAG requirements.
We often get asked what the differences are between the TAS and PROWAG. While there are too many differences to list in a blog post, the TAS was intended to address accessibility on projects within private property. The TAS “reserved” requirements for elements in the ROW for a future standard. The PROWAG is specifically intended for the ROW that further addresses elements expected to be encountered in the ROW.
We are also asked which is better to use, the TAS or PROWAG. The answer depends on the project scope and site conditions. A conversation at the beginning of the design is an ideal time to have the discussion and arrive at the best solution for the project.
Note that understanding of TDLR’s Administrative Rules is just the first step. The designer must also have detailed comprehension of each requirement and the impact on the project design.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or want further guidance on this or any other accessibility issue! (512) 410-7059