304 Turning Space
Section 4.2.3 of the 1991 Standards and Section 304.3 of the 2010 Standards allow turning space to be either a circular space or a T-shaped space. Section 304.3 permits turning space to include knee and toe clearance complying with section 306. Section 4.2.3 of the 1991 Standards did not specifically permit turning space to include knee and toe clearance. Commenters urged the Department to retain the turning space requirement, but exclude knee and toe clearance from being permitted as part of this space. They argued that wheelchairs and other mobility devices are becoming larger and that more individuals with disabilities are using electric three and four-wheeled scooters which cannot utilize knee clearance.
The Department recognizes that the technical specifications for T-shaped and circular turning spaces in the 1991 and 2010 Standards, which are based on manual wheelchair dimensions, may not adequately meet the needs of individuals using larger electric scooters. However, there is no consensus about the appropriate dimension on which to base revised requirements. The Access Board is conducting research to study this issue in order to determine if new requirements are warranted. For more information, see the Access Board´s website at http://www.access-board.gov/research/current-projects.htm#suny. The Department plans to wait for the results of this study and action by the Access Board before considering any changes to the Department´s rules. Covered entities may wish to consider providing more than the minimum amount of turning space in confined spaces where a turn will be required. Appendix section A4.2.3 and Fig. A2 of the 1991 Standards provide guidance on additional space for making a smooth turn without bumping into surrounding objects.
304.1 General. Turning space shall comply with 304.
304.2 Floor or Ground Surfaces. Floor or ground surfaces of a turning space shall comply with 302. Changes in level are not permitted.
EXCEPTION: Slopes not steeper than 1:48 shall be permitted.
Advisory 304.2 Floor or Ground Surface Exception. As used in this section, the phrase "changes in level" refers to surfaces with slopes and to surfaces with abrupt rise exceeding that permitted in Section 303.3. Such changes in level are prohibited in required clear floor and ground spaces, turning spaces, and in similar spaces where people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices must park their mobility aids such as in wheelchair spaces, or maneuver to use elements such as at doors, fixtures, and telephones. The exception permits slopes not steeper than 1:48.
304.3 Size. Turning space shall comply with 304.3.1 or 304.3.2.
304.3.1 Circular Space. The turning space shall be a space of 60 inches (1525 mm) diameter minimum. The space shall be permitted to include knee and toe clearance complying with 306.
304.3.2 T-Shaped Space. The turning space shall be a T-shaped space within a 60 inch (1525 mm) square minimum with arms and base 36 inches (915 mm) wide minimum. Each arm of the T shall be clear of obstructions 12 inches (305 mm) minimum in each direction and the base shall be clear of obstructions 24 inches (610 mm) minimum. The space shall be permitted to include knee and toe clearance complying with 306 only at the end of either the base or one arm.
Figure 304.3.2 T-Shaped Turning Space
304.4 Door Swing. Doors shall be permitted to swing into turning spaces.