Power-Driven Mobility Devices on Trails

Trail Accessibility Policy


Effective March 15, 2011, the Department of Justice amended its regulation implementing Title II and Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The amended regulations require organizations managing trails that are open to the public to conduct an assessment of each trail to determine if individuals with mobility disabilities can be accommodated on all or portions of the trail using "other power-driven mobility devices" (OPDMDs).

According to the rule, other power-driven mobility devices are defined as 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 carts, 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.

A trail organization is required to 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 trail organization can demonstrate that specific power-driven mobility devices cannot be operated in accordance with legitimate safety and other requirements based on actual risks documented in a formal trail assessment.

The ruling defined Trail Assessment Factors as the following:

(a) The type, size, weight, dimensions, and speed of the device;

(b) The volume of trail devices and pedestrian traffic;

(c) The design and operational characteristics of the trail;

(d) Whether legitimate safety requirements can be established to permit the safe operation of the other power-driven mobility device on the specific trail or trail section; and

(e) 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.”

The Superior Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department conducted 19 assessments of its trail segments and gathered data on each trail’s characteristics, for example the width of the trail, the trail base, grade changes, and the presence of wetlands, etc.

Recommendations for Access to Persons with Mobility Disabilities
  • The weight and width of 4 X 4 trucks and automobiles is inappropriate for any recreational trail, recreational area, or park managed by the City of Superior; therefore, they will not be allowed on City trails, recreation areas, or park land unless they are located in a designated roadway or parking area
  • Other power-driven mobility devices weighing 1000 pounds or less are permissible by permit only (see link below for permit)
  • Permit requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but generally will follow the recommended time frames according to the attached Trail Assessments (Table 1)
  • Power-driven mobility devices will operate at a speed of no more than 5 miles per hour on all City of Superior trails
  • Permits may be issued with additional conditions
Power-Driven Mobility Device Application and Permit for Access to City of Superior Recreation Areas

Mail the completed form and any necessary attachments to:

City of Superior
Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director
1316 N. 14th St. Room 200
Superior, WI 54880

IMPORTANT: The application will be reviewed by the Director of Parks, Rec & Forestry. The applicant will be contacted to set up a meeting to review the regulations. If the application is approved, the proper authorities will be notified by Parks and Recreation (e.g., Police Dept., Sheriff's Dept., and DNR) before usage. Applicant must take this into consideration when applying, as turnaround time could take several days.