Curb cut

Curb cut

A curb cut (U.S.), curb ramp, dropped kerb (UK), or pram ramp (Australia) is a ramp leading smoothly down from a sidewalk to a street, rather than abruptly ending with a curb and dropping roughly 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) .

Curb cuts at intersections

Curb cuts placed at street intersections allow someone in a wheelchair, on a toddler's tricycle etc., to move onto or off a sidewalk without difficulty. A pedestrian using a walker or cane, pushing a stroller or buggy, pushing or pulling a cart or walking next to a bicycle also benefits from a curb cut.

It can also be used by someone on a bicycle, roller skates, skateboard, etc., as well as by a delivery person using a dolly. For the safety and comfort of pedestrians this may be a disadvantage.

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires that curb cuts be present on all sidewalks. Supporters of the ADA often point to curb cuts as an outcome of the ADA that benefits every user of public resources, even though the law is meant to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

The first such curb cuts in the United States were pioneered by the disability rights leader Ed Roberts in Berkeley, California, in 1970.

Other curb cuts

A wider curb cut is also useful for motor vehicles to enter a driveway or parking lot on the other side of a sidewalk.

Smaller curb cuts, approximately a foot in width, can be utilized in parking areas or sidewalks to allow for a drainage path of water runoff to flow into an area where it may infiltrate such as grass or a garden.

Design

Accessible curb cuts transition from the low side of a curb to the high side (usually 15 cm change in level). Accessible curb ramps are a minimum of 1 meter wide. They are sloped no greater than 1:12 (8.33%), which means that for every twelve meter of horizontal distance, they rise no more than one meter. The concrete curb ramp is sometimes scored with grooves which allow for traction and water runoff, may be stained a color that significantly contrasts with the adjacent concrete. If a curb ramp contains flared sides, they are usually no greater than 1:10 slope.

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