Tag: transition plan

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

New Research Shows Many Local Governments May Lack Strong ADA Title II Transition Plans

Three people inspecting a curb ramp at a street intersection

A recent study conducted by the Great Lakes ADA Regional Center, and funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, indicated some local government’s ADA Title II Transition Plans may be lacking.

Researchers used a sample of 401 cities, counties or townships with at least 50 full-time employees. The researchers carefully reviewed each plan to identify which of the required elements were included.

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

  • 54 of the 401 municipalities (13%) had an ADA transition plan available to the public.
  • 28 municipalities (7%) reported having plans in progress.
  • 32 published the transition plan on their websites while 22 others made it available upon request.
  • By region, the highest percentage (17%) of municipalities with transition plans are located in the Midwest.
  • The northeast region had the lowest percentage of municipalities with transition plans (3%).
  • Of the 54 municipalities with transition plans, only 40 addressed the public right-of-way.
  • 14 plans only addressed access to government buildings.
  • Of the 40 plans that addressed the public right-of-way, only 7 met all of the minimum criteria required by the ADA.
  • Less than half of the plans included a specific schedule for barrier removal.
  • Only 12 transition plans included a detailed process for monitoring and periodic reporting on progress toward barrier removal.

Please visit the National Rehabilitation Information Center’s website for more information on this and other ADA related studies.

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

El Paso County Releases Draft ADA Transition Plan

El Paso County Judicial Complex

Across the nation, federal investigators are continuing their audits of municipalities for ADA violations. From curb ramps and sidewalks to facilities and services, many cities and counties are taking the necessary steps to identify their barriers and update their transition plans.

El Paso County, Colorado, recently completed an ambitious effort with a draft transition plan to set the foundation of their ADA compliance initiative.  “El Paso County is committed to full and equal opportunity for all its citizens, including individuals with disabilities,” said Vince Maciunskas, Infrastructure Project Manager. “The County recognizes that its community’s continued vitality, strength and vibrancy results from the valuable contributions from the entire community.”

El Paso County’s work is critically important to creating an accessible and equitable community for all. For those that haven’t made it a priority, the DOJ is imposing fines of several million dollars and has frozen federal funding from other agencies.

Source: El PAso County Public Notice, October 24, 2019

https://www.elpasoco.com/seeking-public-comment-ada-transition-plan/

More Suburbs Comply with ADA in Fear of Losing Federal Funding

ADA Compliant

ADA Compliant

Now more than 28 years old, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has literally paved the way to help people with mobility impairments navigate their communities.

While many communities are making good progress to develop up-to-date transition plans, something BlueDAG has been very successful in, some communities are pushing forward with substantial ADA projects to avoid the potential risk of losing federal funding.

In Minnesota, many communities are developing their transition plans to ensure their communities are accessible for all residents, and to ensure the money they receive from the federal government is protected.

Read to full story at http://www.startribune.com/afraid-of-losing-federal-funding-more-suburbs-plan-to-comply-with-ada/504272442/

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