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Accessible Routes at Truckstops: Cross Slopes and Running Slopes

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Thought Leader, Americans with Disabilities Act


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Top 20 ADA Compliance Issues Seen in Truckstops and Travel Plazas. Join guest post by contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group on the second Friday of every month for his monthly column.

/// Guest post by contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group

We begin our series on the top 20 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance issues seen in truckstops and travel plazas by discussing accessible routes. I’ll give you tips on how to measure cross slopes and running slopes along accessible routes from parking spaces and public right-of-ways.

First we define the keywords within this issue. Along with the definitions I’ve listed the requirements under the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.


An accessible route is a continuous, unobstructed path connecting all accessible elements and spaces of a building or facility that meets the requirements of ADA Standards. Under these ADA Standards the minimum clear width of an accessible route is required to be 36 inches. One thing to pay particular attention to is that parked vehicle overhangs along accessible route do not encroach on the 36 inches.


The cross slope of a surface is the slope that is perpendicular to the direction of travel. The cross slope of any accessible route may not exceed two percent.

The running slope of a surface is the slope that is parallel to the direction of travel. The running slope of any accessible route may not exceed five percent. The running slope of a curb ramp must not exceed 8.33 percent. We will discuss curb ramps further in a future post.

You can easily measure slope with a digital level. Be sure to measure slope along the accessible route every three to five feet.

One other item to consider within the accessible route is the concrete joints. The joints should be no wider than one-half inch (1/2”) and no deeper than one-quarter inch (1/4”). The SmartGadget, pictured below, is handy when measuring concrete joints and many other ADA related items. This tool is available on our ADA Information Center website.


I look forward to continuing this series next month when we’ll discuss parking spaces.

Photo Credit: The McIntosh Group


Gaskins will be one of the Human Library experts available for one-on-one consultations at The NATSO Show. The Human Library is an interactive learning library on The NATSO Show floor where attendees can sign-up for 30 minute one-on-one consultations. Register for The NATSO Show here and email Kimberly Roberts at to set-up a Human Library appointment with Gaskins.

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Allied member Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group. The McIntosh Group is an architecture firm focused on providing accessibility solutions for clients nationwide. Learn more about The McIntosh Group.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

Brad Gaskins, AIA, CASp

Brad Gaskins, AIA, CASp

Brad has more than 25 years experience in the practice of architecture and a comprehensive understanding of professional practice nationwide. Brad brings a unique and valuable perspective to The McIntosh Group’s practice and clients, with a specific expertise in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and national building codes.  Brad has gained recognition as an expert witness for clients with ADA compliance complaints. He represents NACS, The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, as a full voting member on the International Code Council (ICC), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1, Consensus Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities. His objective is to share, with the committee for their deliberations, the potential impact of the standards on the convenience store and truckstop industry. Brad has an undergraduate degree in engineering and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently serving as president of AIA Oklahoma. 

Got questions about ADA guidelines? Let Brad help, he’s the ADA Geek.


The “Ask Brad” website educates visitors on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The site offers the knowledge of an architect, Brad, who has a specific expertise in ADA compliance. Visitors to the site are encouraged to submit questions regarding the ADA. Brad will answer the questions and post them to the site for all to take advantage. In addition to the Q&A section, the site offers timely information through instructional videos, white papers, articles and resource links.


Please visit the site at