Tag: Municipality

New Research Shows Many Chicago area Governments Lack Strong ADA Title II Transition Plans

Where the sidewalk ends cover pageA recent study conducted by the Great Lakes ADA Regional Center and the Metropolitan Planning Council indicated some Chicago Metropolitan Area municipalities may be lacking ADA Title II transition plans.

In an assessment of the status and quality of ADA transition plans for the public right-of-way in the Chicago area. The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and the Great Lakes ADA Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago worked with students in its urban studies program to analyze the presence and quality of ADA transition plans in the Chicago region.

What was found is surprising given the Americans with Disability Act just entered its third decade as a legal requirement:

Only 22 of the region’s 200 municipalities with more than 50 employees (11%) had a plan.

Among those 22 communities, none of the plans satisfied all of the five required plan elements.

Common weaknesses included a poor public engagement process and few details on how the plans would be implemented.

Of the 200 municipalities, only 42% were responsive to the students’ multiple inquiries.

To review the complete study please“Where the Sidewalk Ends” at: https://bit.ly/32WObRZ

Two Municipalities Make Progress on Their ADA Transition Plans

Pierce County Curb at WallerThis has been a good month for ADA accessibility as two municipalities have made progress in bringing their facilities and public right-of-way into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Last week, Pierce County, Washington, approved its transition plan for county-owned facilities and public right-of-way. As with all local municipalities, Pierce County was required under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to conduct self-evaluations of its facilities, public right-of-way, and programs and services, and integrate the findings into its ADA Transition Plan.

According to Pierce County News, “Pierce County’s Americans with Disabilities Act Public Rights-of-Way Self-Evaluation Report, which was completed in 2015, included the examination of county policies related to the ADA and an inventory that identified whether existing pedestrian facilities were in compliance with the ADA. This inventory was initially completed in 2015 and is updated as new facilities are built or improved.”

The City of Warrensburg, Missouri, also approved their ADA Transition Plan last week.

During the Warrensburg City Council meeting to approve the Transition Plan, Warrensburg Building Official Brett Penrose said, “The ADA Transition Plan is required by the ADA law of 1990. Starting in the spring of last year, we inspected all city-owned properties, including 13 buildings, nine parks and seven parking lots with the idea of inspecting previously identified ADA compliance issues as well as looking at new violations that may have come up since our last update.”

Penrose continued, “When we go out to look, to reinspect, I don’t just go out and look at what I’ve already identified. I’m out there to look with fresh eyes to look at the whole building or park.”

These two municipalities are great examples of local governments taking the lead and making the investments to not only come into compliance with the ADA, but also ensure their communities are accessible to all residents and visitors.

Sources:
Pierce County Council approves plan to bring existing pedestrian facilities into ADA compliance
The Suburban Times / Pierce County News
February 13, 2020
https://thesubtimes.com/2020/02/13/pierce-county-council-approves-plan-to-bring-existing-pedestrian-facilities-into-ada-compliance/

City Council approves ADA Transition Plan resolution
Daily Star-Journal
February 13, 2020
http://www.dailystarjournal.com/news/local/city-council-approves-ada-transition-plan-resolution/article_08fbbe6a-4dc1-11ea-a34b-e7e5b2ee9f41.html

Advancing Accessibility in Chattanooga

aerial view of chattanooga tennesseeTitle II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes specific compliance requirements for all government agencies with 50 or more employees.  The Transition Plan is the cornerstone of these requirements.  A Transition Plan paints a clear picture of the current barriers to access at municipal facilities, programs, and services.  It also describes the process of barrier removal, mitigation, and a timeline for corrections to be made. No plan is a perfect look into the future.  To remain flexible in addressing unforeseen challenges, while staying the long term course, requires a continual self assessment program focused on best practices and completing a feedback loop into Transition Plan updates.  This methodology creates what we at BlueDAG refer to as a Living Transition Plan.

In Chattanooga Tennessee, “several area municipalities recently completed self-assessments and established transition plans.”  The Cities of Red Bank and Soddy-Daisy, along with the Town of Signal Mountain are now putting those plans into action with millions of dollars.  The money will be put into multiple projects to improve accessibility for people of all abilities in the years to come. These plans ensure compliance with the ADA and are required to continue receiving federal funding.

Creating welcoming and inclusive public spaces and programs, while making accessibility a top priority, is an ambitious and worthy ideal to pursue.  A pursuit justified by the positive impact on people’s day to day lives. The importance of funding as fuel for accessibility efforts can not be understated.

Source: Chattanooga area municipalities improve accessibility of programs, facilities
By: Emily Crisman December 17th, 2019
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/community/story/2019/dec/17/area-municipalities-improve-accessibility-programs-facilities/510587/

New York City Settlement requires survey of 162,000 sidewalk curbs

vehicles traveling on road near buildings during daytime in New York City

Photo by Toni Osmundson on Unsplash

Accessible public right-of-ways are good for everyone. Gentle slopes, well defined landings and wide smooth pathways are all convenient for the able user. However, for some, they are more than convenient, they provide a path to independence that would otherwise be unattainable.  

In New York City, municipal administrators are starting important work to identify inaccessible sidewalks and curbs, and integrate them into a remediation plan. This work follows the resolution to two lawsuits. “U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels gave the final approval of a class action settlement resolving two separate lawsuits—the first filed by the United Spinal Association and the second by the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY)—and establishing a plan that will require citywide surveys of all ramps and identify which corners need curb cuts installed or upgraded.”

ADA compliance issues and lawsuits are becoming more common by the day. Municipalities have a choice to be proactive and move toward compliance and inclusiveness, or become the targets of lawsuits and DOJ investigations.

Source:
City to make more sidewalk curbs accessible
Lizeth Beltran, Crain’s New York Business  
July 23, 2019

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/transportation/city-make-more-sidewalk-curbs-accessible

 

Seguin City Council Unanimously Approves BlueDAG for ADA Support

The City of Seguin, Texas, is the latest municipality to take the challenge of ADA compliance head on with the support of BlueDAG.  “While the City of Seguin changed its policies to ensure new street and sidewalk projects meet ADA code, and made other city projects ADA compliant such as Park West, it has never formally adopted a transition plan”, Seguin City Attorney Andy Quittner said.   BlueDAG provides municipalities with a robust set of tools that help identify and manage ADA barriers, and seamlessly integrate them into a living transition plan. Many local governments are developing their ADA transition plans to ensure their communities are accessible to all and in compliance with Title II requirements.   All of us at BlueDAG look forward to working with another group of dedicated public servants to help create an accessible and inclusive community.  Source: City to create ADA plans for facilities Valerie Bustamante, The Seguin Gazette July 5, 2019 http://seguingazette.com/alert/article_794f923a-9ddc-11e9-acbb-57c322c8e3a5.html

The City of Seguin, Texas, is the latest municipality to take the challenge of ADA compliance head on with the support of BlueDAG.  “While the City of Seguin changed its policies to ensure new street and sidewalk projects meet ADA code, and made other city projects ADA compliant such as Park West, it has never formally adopted a transition plan”, Seguin City Attorney Andy Quittner said. 

BlueDAG provides municipalities with a robust set of tools that help identify and manage ADA barriers, and seamlessly integrate them into a living transition plan. Many local governments are developing their ADA transition plans to ensure their communities are accessible to all and in compliance with Title II requirements. 

All of us at BlueDAG look forward to working with another group of dedicated public servants to help create an accessible and inclusive community.

Source:
City to create ADA plans for facilities
Valerie Bustamante, The Seguin Gazette
July 5, 2019
http://seguingazette.com/alert/article_794f923a-9ddc-11e9-acbb-57c322c8e3a5.html

 

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