Is it true that we have to start using a new handicap sign?

D9-6 handicapped sign

No, you should keep using the existing D9-6 sign.

As of last November, a change in Chapter 190 of the Executive Law added a new section 101 that requires the word “handicapped” be removed from any new signs or signs being replaced. A more neutral word like "accessible" may be used instead. The law also directs the Department of State to work with state agencies to implement the dynamic symbol. While some items, such as parking permits for vehicles have begun to use the new symbol, highway signs have to comply with requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The recent Official Ruling No. 2(09)-111 (I) – International Symbol of Accessibility makes is clear that there is no change in the D9-6 sign. Due to the law, there may be changes in the future, but for now highway agencies should keep using the same symbol.

New dynamic handicapped symbol
New dynamic handicapped symbol

The sign to be used is the existing symbol since it is still the official symbol according to the access board. The new dynamic symbol is not the official International Symbol of Accessibility. There is no new symbol that has been adopted by the Access Board. There are plenty of places along public highways that have parking and those are still covered by the MUTCD. The term parking area is for lots, not spaces next to the highway.

Here is a ruling from March 27 from the Access Board. It is generally agreed that the new dynamic symbol does not meet the standards of The Access Board.

Resources

Executive Law
Click on the drop down menu for Laws and select Laws of New York & scroll down to EXC – Executive

The Accessible Icon Project

Standard Highway Signs

The Access Board

Official Ruling No. 2(09)-111 (I) – International Symbol of Accessibility (pdf)

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This work by the Cornell Local Roads Program (CLRP) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.