May  2009  Accessible Route
In new construction and in remodels of areas that contain a primary function of a building/facility at least one accessible route shall be provided. 
An accessible route is a continuous path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility.  The accessible route must also not have any hazards along the way.
Below are some situations that illustrate this .
I was asked to look at a handrail design to see if it met the requirements for 4.9 Stairs, figure 19.


Fig. 19(c)

This handrail below is on a stair which shows a straight post portion on the bottom and a rounded pipe on top (the top rail and the bottom post do not connect). 
Both top and bottom extend the proper amount, however the top does not "return" per the figure although it is rounded smooth.
In Texas this is an acceptable solution. 

The condition was found California which uses Title 24, where the rules require for a return handrail, so that it follows Fig. 19 (c) and Fig. 19(d).  The architect had to return the ends to attach back to the post. 

In This Issue
Two story retail spaces
Inspector's corner: Overhead Hazards under stair
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Two story retail space
What happens if an indoor shopping center has a tenant with a two story retail space, with two store front entrances opening up to the mall (one on  each floor), but the store itself does not have an elevator?  Essentially, if the patron wanted to go to the second floor he would have to exit the store, go to the mall elevator and enter the second floor from the mall level that has the second store front entrance.

If the shopping center has an elevator, and it is part of the accessible route to the second floor of the retail store then the tenant does not have to provide a second accessible route inside their space.
Of course, this would meet the "minimum" requirement to provide "one" accessible route from inside the building, but it might not prevent a patron from compliaining (i.e.:sue).  In our opinion, this is not best practice for a retailer, but the ADA and TAS does not require more than the "minimum".
two story retail
Inspector's Corner: Overhead hazard under stair

open stair

This was a n inspection I performed in a school.  The picture above shows a corridor that leads to the exit door.  The stair is along the path of travel to the door.
Open stair that are in the path of travel are considered a protruding object for people who are blind.  If you have a situation like this one, you need to provide some warning to the cane users that a hazardous situation is eminent. 
The ADAAG gives you  figure 8(c-1) to follow as a guideline.  


 Some things my architects have done as a solution are guard rails at 36" high, low rails at 6" high, potted plants, fixed furniture etc.
If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can help you with, feel free to contact me any time. 
Marcela Abadi Rhoads, RAS #240
Abadi Accessibility
214. 403.8714