USE OF AN “ELECTRONIC PERSONAL ASSISTANCE MOBILITY DEVICE” (EPAMD) ON PARK DISTRICT PROPERTY
The Chicago Park District is dedicated to providing all of its guests with equal enjoyment of the wonderful experiences offered by its parks. The Chicago Park District (“the District”) has taken into consideration the use of other power-driven mobility devices in accordance with 28 Code of Federal Regulations section 35.104 and factors such as impacts on other users, the safety of other users, impacts on property and infrastructure, and the noise level of such devices. The District has determined that it will permit the use of electronic personal assistance mobility devices, as defined below, at parks, on hard surface trails and at outdoor recreation facilities, and has developed this policy described below.
An electronic personal assistance mobility device (EPAMD) is a device used by a person with a mobility disability. This definition does not include gasoline-powered devices or vehicles, golf carts or riding lawn mowers. This definition is restricted to a device with the following specifications:
- Must not exceed more than one-half the width of any trail, path or sidewalk on which a device is being used; and
- For indoor use, must not exceed 36”; and
- Must not weigh more than 250 pounds; and
- Must be designed to travel on two or more low-pressure tires; and
- Must operate by electric-powered engine with a maximum decibel level of 55 or less.
In order to maintain a safe pedestrian environment and the desired pace and flow of visitor traffic, the District authorizes persons with mobility impairments to use EPAMDs at parks, on hard surface trails and at outdoor recreation facilities, subject to the following restrictions:
- The operator of the EPAMD must be a person with impaired mobility, and proof of such impairment may be requested by District personnel in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulation.
- The EPAMD is allowed only in areas of the park, on hard surface trail or outdoor recreation facility in which the general public is allowed.
- The EPAMD operator must not use or operate such a device at a park, on a hard surface trail or at an outdoor facility, if use of the device causes damage to the trail/path/sidewalk, the park grounds or infrastructure, or facilities.
- The EPAMD must be operated at a speed that is relative to surrounding foot traffic;
- The EPAMD :
- Must not be operated in a dangerous or reckless manner or at speeds that jeopardize the safety of the operator or other persons.
- Must not be driven into wet or ecologically sensitive or hazardous areas.
- Must not be operated when parks are not in operation.
- The District does not recognize the use of Segways® as an appropriate device for use inside District facilities for the following reasons:
- The congestion of foot traffic within the facility may create a hazardous environment
- The manufacturer’s recommendation for helmet and protective equipment for riders, much like bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades
- The District does not accept responsibility for storage of the EPAMD.
- The District does not accept responsibility liability for damage to the EPAMD or injury to the operator, whether caused by the operator, another visitor to a facility or site, or any other circumstance.
- The District reserves the right to suspend the use of facilities or sites by the EPAMD operator if doing so is in the best interests of the District and its participants.
- The District reserves the right to change, modify or amend this policy at any time, as it deems appropriate.