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Accessibility Guidebook for Outdoor Recreation and Trails

Applying the Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (Continued)

Constructed Features for Campgrounds (Continued)

Utility Sinks

A utility sink is deeper than a standard restroom basin or kitchen sink and can be used to clean large pots or equipment. Usually, utility sinks are provided only in highly developed recreation areas. At least one of each type of sink provided in each accessible room or space and at least 5 percent of the total number of utility sinks must comply with the requirements explained below.

Clear floor or ground space that is at least 30 inches (760 millimeters) by at least 48 inches (1,220 millimeters) must be provided at each accessible utility sink and be oriented for either a forward or side approach. These requirements are identical to the requirements in ABAAS sections 305.3 and 305.5. The clear space at the utility sink must be connected to an ORAR, but it can't overlap the ORAR. The slope of the clear floor or ground space can't exceed 1:50 (2 percent) in any direction, although an exception permits a slope up to 1:33 (3 percent) in any direction where needed for proper drainage. The surface of the clear floor or ground space must be firm and stable and of a material that is appropriate for the setting and level of development.

The height of the counter or rim surrounding the sink can't be more than 34 inches (865 millimeters) above the ground or floor space. The bottom of the bowl must be at least 15 inches (380 millimeters) above the ground or floor space. If hot water is provided, the pipes should be wrapped or shielded to prevent someone from accidentally touching the hot pipes. Sink controls and operating mechanisms must comply with the provisions for reach ranges and operability specified in ABAAS sections 308 and 309 and explained in Reach Ranges and Operability Requirements. Figure 72 illustrates these requirements.

Illustration of a utility sink hanging from a wall at a picnic shelter. There is a wood bench beside the sink.  Dimensions show height and clear space requirements explained in the paragraphs above.
Figure 72—The requirements for utility sinks.

Other Constructed Features

Section 6 of the FSORAG addresses miscellaneous constructed features that may be provided in recreation sites and other recreation areas. These features include benches, trash and recycling containers, viewing areas at overlooks, telescopes and periscopes, storage facilities for assistive devices, pit toilets in GFAs, warming huts, outdoor rinsing showers, and signs.

Benches

Each bench that is provided in a recreation site must meet the provisions explained below and be connected to the other major features of the recreation area by an ORAR. Benches that are provided in GFAs must meet the requirements, but they do not have to be connected to an ORAR.

The front edge of the bench seat must be between 17 and 19 inches (430 and 485 millimeters) above the ground or floor space. When more than one bench is provided in a common area such as a campground amphitheater or a scenic overlook, at least half of the benches must have back support that runs the full length of the bench.

One armrest must be provided on at least half of the benches with backrests. Consider the visitors who will use a particular area when deciding where to locate an armrest. For people who have difficulty standing up from a seated position, having an armrest can be helpful. Armrests on both ends of the bench could prevent a person using a wheelchair from being able to transfer onto the bench.

A compromise design is a bench with a backrest and one armrest placed in the middle of the bench. Figure 73 shows a bench that meets these requirements. Another option is to place a single armrest on the end of the bench farthest from the clear floor or ground space.

Illustration of a woman and a man watching a small child sitting on the ground by an outdoor recreation access route. The woman is sitting on the end of a bench with an armrest in the middle. The man using a wheelchair is sitting beside her. Dimensions show height and clear space requirements explained in the paragraphs above and below.
Figure 73—The requirements for benches.

All parts of the bench must be able to withstand 250 pounds (1,112 newtons) applied vertically or horizontally at any point of the seat, fastener, mounting device, or supporting structure. This requirement is the same as the ABAAS requirement for bench strength in section 903.6.

A clear floor or ground space that is 30 by 48 inches (760 by 1,220 millimeters) must be provided adjacent to one end of each bench. This clear space can't overlap the ORAR. The slope of the clear floor or ground space can't exceed 1:33 (3 percent) in any direction. The surface must be firm and stable and made from a material that is appropriate to the setting and level of development. Exceptions to the slope and surface requirements are allowed if a condition for departure exists. These exceptions may be particularly applicable to benches provided in GFAs.

Trash, Recycling, and Other Essential Containers

Many recreation areas have trash and recycling containers for visitor convenience, to protect the environment, or to discourage visits to the area by wild animals. Some campgrounds also provide bear-resistant food storage containers. Each container must meet the requirements explained below. When containers are provided in a recreation site, they must be connected to the other major features of the recreation area by an ORAR. Connection to an ORAR isn't required for containers provided in GFAs.

In a multibin container, only half the containers for each purpose must meet the accessibility requirements. For example, if a trash container has four separate compartments, only two of the compartments are required to meet the technical provisions. But all the bins of a recycling container with four separate bins to collect four different types of recyclable materials must meet the requirements. Figure 74 illustrates these requirements.

Illustration of a two-bin waste container and a 3-bin recycling container. Each bin of the recycling container is labeled to accept a different type of material. Dimensions show height, slope, and clear space requirements described in the paragraph below.
Figure 74—The requirements for trash
and recycling containers.

A 30- by 48-inch (760- by 1,220-millimeter) clear floor or ground space positioned for a forward or side approach is required at each container. The clear space must be adjacent to the ORAR, but it can't overlap. The slope of the clear space must not be steeper than 1:50 (2 percent) in any direction. A 1:33 (3 percent) slope is allowed where necessary for drainage. The surface must be firm and stable and made from a material that is consistent with the setting and level of development. The slope, surface conditions, and ORAR connection requirements don't have to be met for containers in GFAs if there is a condition for departure.

Controls and operating mechanisms for containers must comply with the provisions for reach ranges and operability specified in ABAAS sections 308 and 309 and explained in Reach Ranges and Operability Requirements.

An exception is allowed for lids and controls designed to deter large animals, such as grizzly bears (figure 75). Large animals, especially bears, pose a real threat to humans when they become accustomed to wandering through recreation sites in search of food. Containers equipped with accessible controls and operating mechanisms are easy targets for hungry bears. The potential for unpleasant encounters between humans and bears increases if bears regard these containers as outdoor buffets. Containers in recreation areas where bears and other large animals pose a risk to humans don't have to comply with accessibility provisions for operating controls until containers are available that do so while meeting the requirements for bear control.

Photo of a grizzly bear attempting to bite through a large plastic container.
Figure 75—Grizzly bears have the power and persistence
to get food that is not secured properly.

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