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New Arby’s has Required ADA Access Route

For a couple of years now I’ve showed project after project lacking a federally mandated ADA-compliant access route. The biggest culprits are often fast food joints with drive-throughs taking priority over the pedestrian (see post on recent Starbuck’s locations). Shopping centers are no exception and it wasn’t until I began highlighting the flaws at Loughborough Commons did they make changes to the original access plans. To date there is still not proper access to the Lowe’s. Granted a person in a wheelchair doesn’t come off the street to take home drywall but smaller items like light bulbs are still in need when you are disable.
I think the city’s former commissioner on the disabled used to just count the number of disabled parking spaces and give projects an OK if it met the required number. But I can assure you that not everyone arrives by car which means if they are not bicycling they are walking or using a wheelchair. And the ADA access route provides equally good access for those who are able bodied and those that are not. Those who are out pushing a baby stroller will appreciate the provisions as much as the person in a wheelchair.

So when the Arby’s on Lindell was rebuilt following the fire at the construction project next door (see post) I was not optimistic about what sort of pedestrian access they would provide. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the final outcome:


As you can see above it doesn’t take much — just a way to get from the public sidewalk to the main accessible entrance. Clearly here the pedestrian was given due consideration.

Given the urbanity of the apartment project next door it would have been nice to see the Arby’s be less suburban in nature — closer to the street, fewer auto drives, etc but at least they got the pedestrian access right. So if we are going to continue to build more suburban structures in the city, such as this Arby’s, we need to ensure they all have pedestrian access to the public sidewalk as this does.  Anything less is unacceptable.


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Bridgett says:

    It’s good to keep bicyclists and folks pushing strollers in mind. I know they don’t fall under ADA, but when I’m on my 10 speed with its thin little tires, the last thing I want to do is go down a huge curb with a bump onto the street. Or get off my bike and walk it up a curb. This becomes even more difficult when I have a trailer I’m pulling (with kids inside, heavy kids…).

  2. stlmark says:

    What happened to the cool old Arby’s sign?

  3. Jason says:


    I hate to say it, but I believe by looking at your photos its not “technically” accessible. The curb ramp you show in the foreground should have vertical side returns instead of the flared kind that is shown. The slope should not exceed 10:1 on the sides if they flare them out. In this instance you would use a vertical curb to keep the dirt back, but no side flares since there is no perpendicular paved area at the curb. I am working with a client now where all we do is go around and fix accessibility issues. They have over 5000 sites that need to be addressed so its going to keep us busy for a while. You would not believe the amount of issues that we have with subcontractors just following the drawings. In this instance for the curb ramp I would assume that the drawings may be shown correctly, but the contractor decided to slope the sides on their own. That happened to us on more than one occasion. All in all though it looks alot better than what went on at Starbucks and Loughborough.


    [slp — oh it is accessible but it may not be technically correct.  Compared to the new Starbuck’s that have zero such provisions this is great. We can debate flared sides and the use of truncated domes at a non-street location until will bore everyone but I am happy to see the effort.]

  4. john says:

    Steve & Jason, I would like to know more about ADA standards in order to judge the quality of installed ramps. What are the standards? Please give us more?

  5. Jason says:

    ADAAG has a great website with diagrams. Hopefully the link works.
    Check out section 4.7 on curb ramps with the hotlinks to diagrams

  6. Trent says:


    Your bicycle is a vehicle and it belongs on the street. I bet you don’t stop at stop signs or wait at traffic signals. What about riding against traffic, you do that too?

    If the ADA is really going to bitch about the curb ramps at the pictured Arby’s, then they need to reevaluate their entire organizational structure. Everytime I see a person who is unfortunate enough to be disabled and in a wheelchair while I’m on the job, I ask them about total ADA compliancy and every single person has been just fine with the accomodations that must be met due to right of way constraints. They just want curb ramps everywhere, which is entirely understandable.


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