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Project will design an accessible vehicle barrier

"Recreation Trail Vehicle Barrier Providing Access to Personal Mobility Devices," from the Fall 2005 issue of Trail Tracks, the magazine of American Trails

From Beneficial Designs Inc.

photo: Barrier for large motorized vehicles
Barrier for large motorized vehicles

Project Goal

This research project addresses the need for a trail gate that: prevents motorized vehicle access, allows all non-motorized users and personal mobility devices (PMDs), and is consistent with accessibility legislation.

People with disabilities are often prevented from using trails that prohibit motorized vehicles. Land management agencies are required to provide accessible facilities, but current gate designs that are accessible to PMDs, such as wheelchairs, also permit access by small motorized vehicles (e.g., snow machines, motorcycles). As a result, land managers must choose between providing access to people with disabilities and protecting the trail environment from degradation through motorized use.

photo of snake photo of cypress swamp













Accessible Trail Gate Barrier

This is a prototype Accessible Trail Gate Barrier. It is intended to allow all pedestrians with and without mobility impairments to pass through, including manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters. It is intended to not allow ATVs and motorcycles to pass through.

Inverted Bollard

This design will have concrete bollards on four inch steel posts. The system will be shipped with the steel posts and forms to allow the installer to pour the concrete into the form upside down to create each inverted bollard. A steel framework would be mounted into the ground requiring hand excavation or use of a mini-excavator to a depth of at least 18 inches. Then the steel framework would be installed into the ground and the inverted bollards would be placed into position and pinned underground. Concrete would then be poured into and around the anchor points of the steel framework. Surfacing material would then be installed up to the trail tread surface.

photo of snake photo of cypress swamp












Phase I Prototype Gate

photo: Barrier for small off-highway vehicle

Barrier for small off-highway vehicles


During Phase I, the feasibility of the vehicle barrier will be established, characteristics that distinguish between motorized trail vehicles (MTVs) and PMDs will be identified, initial design concepts will be developed and a market survey will be completed.

Objective measurements of the performance characteristics of MTVs and PMDs will be completed. Characteristics that distinguish MTVs and PMDs and input from trail and rehabilitation experts, gathered through focus groups, will provide the basis for the gate design concepts.

Prototypes developed in Phase II will be used to evaluate the designs' suitability for various trail environments, accessibility to users with and without disabilities, and effectiveness in preventing MTV access.



photo: Barrier for large motorized vehicles
Inverted Bollard accessible vehicle barrier gate


This work is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) under Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Grant #2005-00325.

For more information

Designing an Accessible Vehicle Barrier for Trails
Beneficial Designs, Inc., 1617 Water Street, Suite B, Minden, Nevada 89423
voice 775.783.8822 fax 775.783.8823 -

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