Opinion & Blogs » Letters

Restroom Doors Should Be Even Wider

One minor correction to your article on restroom doors at City Hall ("Do City Hall Bathrooms Violate Law?" Street Talk, Dec. 20):

The 32-inch dimension you note applies to the "clear opening width" — that is, the width of the actual available opening when the door is in an open position. This includes the approximate 2 inches that the door edge occupies when the door is in a 90-degree open position, as well as the width of the door frame's doorstop (typically another inch).

To achieve the 32-inch requirement, therefore, the actual width of the door must be at least 35 inches. We typically use 36-inch doors to do this, since this is the closest standard door size. Therefore, the 30-inch-wide door would need to be 6 inches wider to meet ADA, not just 2 inches.

A minor issue, but I thought it worth noting that adding just 2 inches to the actual door width, as was implied by the article, would not be adequate to bring it into compliance.

Stephen C. Weisensale
Principal, Architects Dayton,Thompson & Associates
President, AIA Richmond Chapter

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