Incorporating ADA Compliant Subway Grating into Facilities

There are many factors to consider when planning and designing new subway stations or overhauling existing facilities.  Grating is a necessity for subway stations.  Subway grating provides ventilation for the heat generated by the trains moving through the tubes and on the tracks and allows fresh air into the tunnel.  It also provides a way for smoke and steam to escape the tunnels if there is ever a fire or accident on the tracks.  Incorporating ADA compliant grates into facilities can create a safe way for patrons using wheel chairs, walkers or canes to access the subway as well as allowing for drainage and ventilation.

How can you make sure that your subway grating is ADA compliant? These few guidelines can help develop plans for safe subway access.

  • Make sure the grating will not be located in a pathway where wheelchair wheels or high heels can become stuck.
    • Subway gratings that are not properly located may cause accidents or slowdowns during high traffic times of the day.
  • If the grating must be placed in a pathway, make sure the opening is no more than ½” wide between the bearing bars.
    • Incorporating ADA compliant grating into these applications ensures that anyone who comes into contact with the surface will not become trapped and potentially cause injuries.
  • The grating must run perpendicular to the direction of pedestrian travel.
    • Making sure that the span of the grating does not run with the flow of traffic will prevent wheelchair wheels from becoming stuck or things being trapped between the grooves of the grating.
  • Specify a slip resistant surface option on grating to increase safety in slick conditions.
    • Non-slip surfaces will increase traction, preventing slip and fall accidents in areas that may have water, grease and other lubricants present.

Incorporating slip resistant grating into subway grating can create a safe surface both in the tunnels as well as above for the ventilation grates.  SLIPNOT Metal Safety Flooring manufactures an all metal slip resistant surface that is applied to subway grating.  Stainless steel, galvanized steel and aluminum gratings provide a corrosion resistant option for use in these applications.  Requiring little or no maintenance, the high traction gratings are available in a variety of spacing’s and can be customized to fit job specifications.

MBTA Guide to Access. October 1990. July 2012. “

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