Tag: sidewalks

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

Funding ADA infrastructure with TAP Funds

Franklin County Mo, Courthouse

Ensuring infrastructure such as sidewalks, curb ramps, and buildings are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards are major issues for many states and localities across the nation. While good work is being done to create paths and spaces accessible to all, many municipalities are discovering that funding poses a major barrier to their efforts.

The Federal Surface Transportation Program provides funding to States and localities for transit capital projects like roads, bridges, and highways.  Unfortunately there are frequently more projects than money to go around. Cooperation among localities can be key to creating the most favorable conditions of approval for the most needed projects.  “At the Oct. 24 Franklin County Transportation Committee meeting, Union City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann requested that cities in the county, other than Union, not seek Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grant funding.”  The hope is, by limiting grant requests to the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW) to a sole project, the Highway 47 and Highway 50 improvement project would be awarded funds by default.

While it may seem unfortunate or unfair that these requests be made, in this situation at least, it is an idea that has wide support.  Fortunately STP funds are not the only source of money, provided the localities have been proactive with related requirements, such as having an up-to-date ADA  transition plan.

The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program authorizes funding for programs and projects including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, in addition to many other projects in the public right-of-way.  According to John Nilges, The City of Washington’s public works director, “the city has an advantage [in seeking TAP funds] over many other communities in the EWGW region because it has an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan.”

With increasing scrutiny around ADA compliance and funding being tied more closely to compliance with federal requirements in general.  Compliance work in creating an accessible and equitable community for all is critically important to bettering people’s lives and obtaining much needed funding for States and localities.

Source: City Still to Seek Grant for Sidewalks — Won’t Interfere With Request
By: Gregg Jones, Missourian Staff Writer, Nov 3, 2019
http://www.emissourian.com/local_news/county/city-still-to-seek-grant-for-sidewalks-won-t-interfere/article_312abc12-fcd4-11e9-afab-1fc732c616e2.html

ADA 101 – Walking Surface Slope

ADA 101 info-graphic with ADAS 2010 403.3 text and example pictures

2010 ADAS 403.3 Walking Surfaces Slope

The running slope of walking surfaces shall not be steeper than 1:20 (5%). The cross slope of walking surfaces shall not be steeper than 1:48 (2%).

Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

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

 

ADA 101 – Curb Ramp Landings

406.4 - Curb Ramp Landings  Landings shall be provided at the tops of  curb ramps. The landing clear length shall be 36 inches minimum. The landing clear width shall be at least as wide as the curb ramp, excluding flared sides, leading to the landing. In alterations, where there is no landing at the top of curb ramps,  curb ramp flares shall be provided and  shall not be steeper than 1:12.

2010 ADAS 406.4 – Curb Ramp Landings

Landings shall be provided at the tops of curb ramps. The landing clear length shall be 36 inches minimum. The landing clear width shall be at least as wide as the curb ramp, excluding flared sides, leading to the landing. In alterations, where there is no landing at the top of curb ramps, curb ramp flares shall be provided and shall not be steeper than 1:12.

* Code according to 2010 ADAS. Check your state’s accessibility laws. Some states such as California, Georgia and Florida have additional requirements and standards.

City of Columbia Starts Work to Create Accessible Public Right-of-Ways

City of Columbia Starts Work to Create Accessible Public Right-of-Ways This week, the City of Columbia, Missouri, started work to improve its public right-of-way for people with disabilities. Two major thoroughfares were closed to allow construction crews to improve pedestrian signal systems, replace sections of sidewalk that acted as barriers to mobility, and added new curb ramps to intersections. For many municipalities, fixing obvious public right-of-way barriers is an important first step in creating truly accessible communities for their senior citizens and residents with disabilities.

Source:
Ash Street closes to make repairs under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Logan Ball, KOMU 8
May 14, 2019
https://www.komu.com/news/ash-street-closes-to-make-repairs-under-the-americans-with-disabilities-act

 

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