Shared Path Guidelines

11.3 Accessibility of Shared Use Paths and Greenways
Shared use paths and trails provide important transportation options
and outdoor recreational opportunities. Shared use paths should be
designed to meet the needs of the widest possible range of users,
including people with disabilities.

11.4.12 Surfacing
When selecting paving and surfacing materials, long-term durability,
safety, availability, cost and maintenance are important selection
criteria. All paths need to provide a firm, stable, slip-resistant surface
in a wide variety of use and weather conditions. In general, surfacing
materials for paths in urban areas should be paved or consist of other
“hard-surface” materials. Paved pathways function best in areas with
high use and those that will be cleared of snow in the winter. “Stone
dust” and other unpaved paths may be suitable in areas with lower
levels of use, where the mix of users is more suitable for an unpaved
path, or where aesthetic or contextual factors suggest that an unpaved
treatment is appropriate. Unpaved paths are best located in natural
and historic surroundings where they fit well with the character of their
environment. Unpaved materials are not suitable for inline skaters or
bicyclists who travel at higher speeds.

For paved paths, a subbase of compacted aggregate or structurally suitable
soil is important to ensure the long-term durability of the
pavement. Exhibit 11-11 illustrates a typical pavement design for a path.
In most cases, a 4-inch bituminous concrete riding surface placed over an
8 to 12-inch aggregate base is recommended, especially if the path needs
to support occasional maintenance or emergency vehicles. The designer
must consider the site-specific soil, environmental, and use characteristics
of the path when determining the appropriate pavement design.

Both the
Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and the ADAAG require that
accessible elements be maintained. For example, if stone dust is used as
an accessible surface and rain washes a section of it out, the AAB and
ADAAG require maintenance to repair the section to meet their minimum
accessible design standards.

Concord MM Article (LaRocca?)
Only one stabilized aggregate product has been installed in New
England. We have ridden, walked, skated and scootered on two trails
with this surface in various weather conditions. One of our major
concerns is the variability in the surface condition based upon the
weather. After a wet period, the surface is softer (less firm) and
therefore more difficult for some users to travel. After a dry period,
the surface feels very hard, almost like concrete, and yet more
slippery due to the half-inch layer of loose stone dust on top. This
surface excludes all people using equipment with small wheels. In
fact, the surface can be damaged if this equipment is used on the
trail.

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