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Accessible Gates for Trails and Roads

Combination Wheelchair/Horse Accessible Gates

The greatest challenge was to find a gate that allowed horses and wheelchairs to pass, but restricted all motorized traffic. The "V" gate design (see figure 5) allows wheelchairs and horses, but only restricts ATVs—not motorcycles. We combined the kissing gate (see figure 1) with the horse stile to design the horse gate with wheelchair accessibility (figure 8). Wheelchairs are able to go into the center of the gate, turn around and go out the other side. Horses can walk over the two stiles. The gate dimensions work well together because the required turning diameter for a wheelchair is 60 inches. This corresponds to the minimum required spacing of the stiles for horses to step over them in stride. The stile should be no higher than 12 inches because horses may choose to jump over stiles that are higher.

Graphic image of a horse gate with wheelchair accessibility.
Figure 8. Horse Gate with Wheelchair Accessibility
click image for technical drawing

Road Closure Drawings

Many forest roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic by gates or other types of barriers. Often, foot travel is allowed beyond the restriction device. When foot travel is encouraged on the other side of the barrier, passage for someone in a wheelchair must be provided. The road closure drawings (figures 9 and 10) show four different ways to allow wheelchair access around a road closure gate, while restricting ATV use.

Graphic image of a forest road closure gate.
Figure 9. Forest Road Closure Gate
with Wheelchair Accessibility

click image for technical drawing

Graphic image of the plan view and elevation view of a forest road closure gate with wheelchair accessibility.
Figure 10. Plan View and Elevation View of
Forest Road Closure Gate with "V" and "U" Chicanes
for Horse and Wheelchair Accessibility

click image for technical drawing

Another concern is not having enough room to allow both horse and wheelchair access around a road closure barrier. This may be remedied by installing an accessible gate for wheelchair access (see figures 9 and 10) and replacing the road gate with a horse-friendly barrier (figure 11). The kissing gate (see figure 1) may be added adjacent to a cattleguard on a road to allow wheelchair access, while restricting cattle.

Graphic image of a horse-friendly road closure gate.
Figure 11. Forest Road Closure Gate with "V" and "U" Chicanes
for Horse and Wheelchair Accessibility

click image for technical drawing

Signs

Mountain bikes, motorcycles, and small ATVs may be able to maneuver around obstacles and gates. In these cases, signs should be considered for additional travel management. All signs (including object markers) must meet the requirements of the Sign and Poster Guidelines for the Forest Service (EM 7100–15), chapter 6. Additionally, signs are required when mountain bikes or motorized vehicles are allowed on Forest Service trails.

Summary

This project developed drawings for gates that meet the accessibility requirements for wheelchairs, horses, or both, but restrict motorized vehicle access. The new gates can help the Forest Service fulfill its policy of universal design, providing access to public lands for all people.

Web Sites for Gate Designs and Suppliers in the United Kingdom

Other Accessibility Web Sites

Other Related Projects

Beneficial Designs, Inc., is working on a project called Designing an Accessible Vehicle Barrier for Trails. Beneficial Designs, Inc.

Beneficial Designs, Inc.
2240 Meridian Blvd., Suite C
Minden, NV 89423-8628
Phone: 775–783–8822
Fax: 775–783–8823
Web site: http://beneficialdesigns.com/169/

Acknowledgments

For information and assistance, the author would like to thank Ellen Eubanks, San Dimas Technology and Development Center; Gina Reese, Ashley National Forest; Donna Sheehy, Northern Region; and Janet Zeller, Washington Office.

Thanks to MTDC’s publication and photography staffs, especially Sunni Bradshaw, for technical support and to Deb Mucci for design drawings.

Drawings

The drawings in this tech tip are available on the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm06232340/drawings/ (Username: t-d, Password: t-d)

These drawings can be viewed by Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees on their internal computer network at: http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/eng/facilities/accrec/gates/

About the Author

James "Scott" Groenier, professional engineer, began working for MTDC as a project leader in 2003. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Montana State University. He worked for the Wisconsin and Illinois State Departments of Transportation and with an engineering consulting firm before joining the Forest Service in 1992. He worked as the east zone structural engineer for the Eastern Region and as a civil engineer for the Ashley and Tongass National Forests before coming to MTDC.

Electronic copies of MTDC’s documents are available on the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/t-d.php.

For further information about accessible gates, contact Scott Groenier at MTDC:

Phone: 406–329–4719
Fax: 406–329–3719
E-mail: jgroenier@fs.fed.us

Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees can search a more complete collection of MTDC’s documents, videos, and CDs on their internal computer network at: http://fsweb.mtdc.wo.fs.fed.us/search/.

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