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Keep Your Ramps to Yourself

Beginning in 1987, accessibility laws required all new buildings in New York to have entrances at grade. However, in an effort to improve accessibility in older buildings, the Department of Transportation allows pre-1987 buildings to construct entrance ramps extending beyond the property line under revocable consent.

Many buildings built before the 1987 law were not built at grade. The city realizes the enormous difficulty and costs in modifying existing entrances to include accessible ramps. Under revocable consent, the DOT allows buildings before December 6, 1969 to include a ramp extending up to 44-inches over the street line. Buildings built between December 6, 1969 and September 5, 1987 are allowed a ramp to extend more than 44-inches over the street line if that ramp will make the primary entrance accessible.

Revocable consent is a DOT grant allowing private structures on city property. A revocable consent is typically granted for a ten-year period, then renewed as necessary. The DOT has the authority to rescind a revocable consent allowance at any time.

Currently the Building Code requires that new buildings are built at grade whether they include ramps within the property line or not.

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