Metro Parks Tacoma

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Power-Driven Mobility Devices

Use of wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids

A public entity shall permit individuals with mobility disabilities to use wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids, such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces, or other similar devices designed for use by individuals with mobility disabilities in any areas open to pedestrian use.

Wheelchair means a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c)(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207(c)(2).

Inquiry about disability: A public entity shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or other power-driven mobility device questions about the nature and extent of the individual´s disability.

Use of other power-driven mobility devices

A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of other power-driven mobility devices by individuals with mobility disabilities, unless the public entity can demonstrate that the class of other power-driven mobility devices cannot be operated in accordance with legitimate safety requirements that the public entity has adopted pursuant to § 35.130(h).

Other power-driven mobility device means any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines--whether or not designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities--that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, electronic personal assistance mobility devices (EPAMDs), such as the Segway® PT, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair within the meaning of this section. This definition does not apply to Federal wilderness areas; wheelchairs in such areas are defined in section 508(c)(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12207(c)(2).

Assessment factors: In determining whether a particular other power-driven mobility device can be allowed in a specific facility as a reasonable modification under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a public entity shall consider the type, size, weight, dimensions, and speed of the device; the facility´s volume of pedestrian traffic (which may vary at different times of the day, week, month, or year); the facility´s design and operational characteristics (e.g., whether its service, program, or activity is conducted indoors, its square footage, the density and placement of stationary devices, and the availability of storage for the device, if requested by the user); whether legitimate safety requirements can be established to permit the safe operation of the other power-driven mobility device in the specific facility; and whether the use of the other power-driven mobility device creates a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources, or poses a conflict with Federal land management laws and regulations.

Inquiry into use of other power-driven mobility device: A public entity may ask a person using an other power-driven mobility device to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person´s disability. A public entity that permits the use of an other power-driven mobility device by an individual with a mobility disability shall accept the presentation of a valid, State-issued, disability parking placard or card, or other State-issued proof of disability, as a credible assurance that the use of the other power-driven mobility device is for the individual´s mobility disability. In lieu of a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card, or State-issued proof of disability, a public entity shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the other power-driven mobility device is being used for a mobility disability. A "valid" disability placard or card is one that is presented by the individual to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance´s requirements for disability placards or cards.

SEGWAYS: Give the above requirement that other power-driven mobility devices meet legitimate safety standards, Metro Parks Tacoma does not recognize Segways as an appropriate devise for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Northwest Trek for the following reasons:

  1. The slope of the natural terrain, which exceeds 5% in many areas.
  2. The congestion of foot traffic on the shared paths of the facility.
  3. The manufacturers recommendation for helmet and protective equipment for riders, much like bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades.
  4. The unrealistic administrative burden of identifying FDA approval or speed, weight and safety features of each device upon entry, including any form of assessment of rider abilities; or managing pedestrian traffic throughout the facility for separated movement.