Ramps are inclined surfaces that join different levels of a space. Commonly used at the entrances of buildings to accommodate level changes from the exterior grade to the interior floor, ramps provide accessibility for wheelchair users, individuals with disabilities, and wheeled equipment. The maximum slope of a ramp is calculated to provide comfortable and easy access to the building. Low ramp slope ratios will require longer runs, while steeper slopes can have shorter lengths.

Ramps Guides
Browse through our curated Ramps Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Ramps. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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Ramp - Straight Run

Straight run ramps are accessible ramps designed without any changes in direction along the accessible route. Requiring landings at both the top and bottom of the ramp run, straight run ramp landings must maintain widths that are at least the dimension of the ramp runs connected to it.

The length of landings along a straight rump ramp must be at least 60” (152.4 cm).

Dimensioned drawing of a straight run ADA ramp with landings
Straight run ramps are accessible ramps designed without any changes in direction along the accessible route. Requiring landings at both the top and bottom of the ramp run, straight run ramp landings must maintain widths that are at least the dimension of the ramp runs connected to it.

The length of landings along a straight rump ramp must be at least 60” (152.4 cm).

Dimensioned drawing of a straight run ADA ramp with landings
Ramp - Straight Run
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Landing Length (Minimum): 60” | 152.4 cm
Landing Width (Minimum): At least as wide as the ramp run

Drawings include:
Ramp Landings plan (wheelchair user), elevation

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Ramp Widths
Dimensioned drawing measuring the minimum widths and clearances of an ADA ramp

ADA accessible ramps must maintain are ramp surfaces that must maintain regulated dimensions and be constructed as slip-resistant, stable, and firm systems.

ADA accessible ramps must maintain a minimum clear width of 36” (91.4 cm) at all times. The cross slope along the width of any ramp must be less than 1:50 or <2%. The 36” (91.4 cm) clear width must be maintained between all including handrails.

ADA accessible ramps must maintain are ramp surfaces that must maintain regulated dimensions and be constructed as slip-resistant, stable, and firm systems.

ADA accessible ramps must maintain a minimum clear width of 36” (91.4 cm) at all times. The cross slope along the width of any ramp must be less than 1:50 or <2%. The 36” (91.4 cm) clear width must be maintained between all including handrails.

Ramp Widths
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Minimum Clear Width: 36” | 91.4 cm
Cross Slope: < 1:50
Handrail Height: 34”-38” | 86.4-96.5 cm

Drawings include:
Ramp Width section (wheelchair user)

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Ramp Handrails - Vertical

Vertical ramp guardrails are common safety systems used for accessible ramps that combine required handrails with a guardrail made up of a series of vertical balustrades. Vertical guardrails must double as both an assistive handrail and a guardrail that prevents users from accessing the edge of the ramp. For edge protection, vertical guardrails are made up of a balustrades that must be spaced to continuously prevent the passage of a 4” (10.2 cm) diameter sphere. Inner handrails on a switchback or turned ramp must always be continuous. The ends of any handrail should be rounded or returned smoothly to the floor, wall, or post.

Handrails along both sides of a ramp are required on any ramp system with a rise greater than 6” (15.2 cm) or a horizontal run greater than 72” (182.9 cm). The top grippable surface of any ramp handrail must be set at a height between 34”-38” (86.4-96.5 cm) above the ramp surface and a minimum clear width of 36” (91.4 cm) must be provided between handrails. In situations where a handrail is not continuous, handrails must extend at least another 12” (30.5 cm) parallel to the flat surface of the ramp landing.

Elevation and section drawings with dimensions of an ADA ramp with vertical guardrails
Vertical ramp guardrails are common systems used for accessible ramps that combine handrails with a guardrail made up of a series of vertical balustrades.

Elevation and section drawings with dimensions of an ADA ramp with vertical guardrails
Ramp Handrails - Vertical
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Handrail Height: 34”-38” | 86.4-96.5 cm above ramp surface
Handrail Extensions (Landings): 12” | 30.5 cm
Clear Width (Minimum): 36” | 91.4 cm between closest element (handrail or curb)
Vertical Balustrade Spacing: Prevents 4” | 10.2 cm diameter sphere

Drawings include:
Ramp Guardrails - Vertical Handrails

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Ramp Slopes
Diagram drawing measuring ADA ramp slopes dimensioned for accessibility

A ramp is comprised of horizontal sloped runs connected by level landings between runs. Any slope greater than 1:20 and less than 1:12 along an accessible route shall be considered a ramp that is required to comply with ADA accessibility codes and compliances. The least possible slope should be used whenever possible.

The maximum allowable slope in any new construction is 1:12 with a maximum rise of 30” (76.2 cm) without a landing. A ramp with a slope between 1:12 and 1:16 can have a maximum horizontal length of 30’ (9.14 m) without a landing. A ramp with a slope between 1:16 and 1:20 can have a horizontal run up to 40’ (12.19 m) before requiring a landing.

Multiple elevation drawings comparing ramp slopes based on incline and run lengths
A ramp is comprised of horizontal sloped runs connected by level landings between runs. Any slope greater than 1:20 and less than 1:12 along an accessible route shall be considered a ramp that is required to comply with ADA accessibility codes and compliances.

The maximum allowable slope in any new construction is 1:12 with a maximum rise of 30” (76.2 cm) without a landing. A ramp with a slope between 1:12 and 1:16 can have a maximum horizontal length of 30’ (9.14 m) without a landing. A ramp with a slope between 1:16 and 1:20 can have a horizontal run up to 40’ (12.19 m) before requiring a landing.

Multiple elevation drawings comparing ramp slopes based on incline and run lengths
Ramp Slopes
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Maximum Slope: 1:12
Minimum Slope: >1:20
Maximum Rise: 30” | 76.2 cm
Maximum Horizontal Run (1:12-1:16): 30’ | 9.14 m
Maximum Horizontal Run (1:16-1:20): 40’ | 12.19 m

Drawings include:
Ramp Slopes side elevation (detail), side (runs)

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Ramp Handrails - Utility

Utility ramp handrails are common all-in-one safety components used along any accessible ramp that typically provide user assistance and protection from falling off a ramp. As free-standing elements, utliity handrails must double as both an assistive handrail and a guardrail that prevents users from accessing the edge of the ramp. For edge protection, utility handrails must include either curbs or barriers at a minimum of 4” (10.2 cm) high along the ramp edge, or an integrated parallel bar at the bottom of the handrail that would restrict the passage of a 4” (10.2 cm) diameter sphere.

Handrails along both sides of a ramp are required on any ramp system with a rise greater than 6” (15.2 cm) or a horizontal run greater than 72” (182.9 cm). The top grippable surface of any ramp handrail must be set at a height between 34”-38” (86.4-96.5 cm) above the ramp surface and a minimum clear width of 36” (91.4 cm) must be provided between handrails. In situations where a handrail is not continuous, handrails must extend at least another 12” (30.5 cm) parallel to the flat surface of the ramp landing. Inner handrails on a switchback or turned ramp must always be continuous. The ends of any handrail should be rounded or returned smoothly to the floor, wall, or post.

Illustrations dimensioning an ADA ramp with utility handrails with measurements for height and length
Utility ramp handrails are common all-in-one safety components used along any accessible ramp that typically provide user assistance and protection from falling off a ramp. As free-standing elements, utliity handrails must double as both an assistive handrail and a guardrail for users.

Illustrations dimensioning an ADA ramp with utility handrails with measurements for height and length
Ramp Handrails - Utility
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Handrail Height: 34”-38” | 86.4-96.5 cm above ramp surface
Handrail Extensions (Landings): 12” | 30.5 cm
Clear Width (Minimum): 36” | 91.4 cm between closest element (handrail or curb)
Edge Protection (Curb): 4” | 10.2 cm high
Edge Protection (Lower Guardrail): Prevents 4” | 10.2 cm diameter sphere

Drawings include:
Ramp Guardrails - Utility Handrails side elevation, section, side (wheelchair user), section (wheelchair user)

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