PURSUANT TO 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.130 (b)(7), (h)
“A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or
procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the
basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the
modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or
activity.” 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(7).
But, “[a] public entity may impose legitimate safety requirements necessary for
the safe operation of its services, programs, or activities. However, the public
entity must ensure that its safety requirements are based on actual risks, not on
mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with
disabilities.” 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(h).
Buffalo Township, along with the Butler Freeport Community Trail Council, has
completed an assessment of this trail and has found that fuel-powered vehicles
and golf carts, with the exception of staff-driven or emergency vehicles
necessary to eliminate safety risks by maintaining the property or providing
necessary assistance in an emergency, may not be used in this location due to one
or more of the following Department of Justice assessment factors:
- (i) The type, size, weight, dimensions, and speed of the device;
- (ii) The facility’s volume of pedestrian traffic;
- a. Specifically, this trail has a high volume of both pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This policy is necessary to ensure thesafety of bot
- (iii) The facility’s design and operational characteristics;
- (iv) Whether legitimate safety requirements can be established to permit the safe operation of the other power-driven mobility device in the specific facility;
- a. Specifically, this multi-use trail permits equestrian use. Combining equestrian use, pedestrian use, and motorized vehicle use creates a legitimate concern for safety and risk of serious harm to other trail users. Allowing fuel-powered vehicles or golf carts to travel freely on the trail would render the trail unsafe for other visitors; and
- (v) 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.