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Thread: curb ramps cuts and the ADA.. going about getting them installed.

  1. #1
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    curb ramps cuts and the ADA.. going about getting them installed.

    I am trying to get the city to install new curb cuts to corners where at present non exist.

    A little background.
    I live within a downtown urban corridor, so you'd think that most of these crosswalks would already have curb cuts, but they've been randomly installed over many years so you have the humorous situation where one of the four corners will have a curb cut/ramp. As a case in point I live on a block where only one of the corners has a curb cut, so on my return journey I am forced to return home via this corner. Not such a big deal but irritating. What is annoying that sidewalks that are well traffic'd don't have ramps and I am forced to jump into the road and travel a few blocks in the road before getting back onto the sidewalk.

    So I've been emailing the city, in a pleasant manner and all I get back is we have no money. Ironically on streets in the middle of BFE, where only cyclists would use them you get to see fancy new curb cuts !

    So wondering if anyone else has experience with this?

    And wondering what kind of coverage the ADA would provide for forcing the city to put decent curb ramps in obvious areas, like the cross streets outside the city library.

    The best part is it seems like the curb ramp program is attached to traffic calming !!! WTF.

    anyway, just looking for peoples 2 cents while I consider how I can improve things a little.

  2. #2
    Thee ADA has no enforcement agency or people. The regulations are largely enforced by complaints filed by people with disabilities, or by them filing suits. Cities were required many years ago to have a plan for making required accessibility changes in things like curb cuts. Failure to have such a plan with deadlines, and following it, is a violation of the law. In San Diego a group of people with disabilities joined together (in the 1990s) to file a class action suit against the city for their failure to have such a plan. They won the suit, with a court order for the city to comply, and it was done. Still some places without curb cuts, but the city can point to their plan and dates for this, and it is so much better than it was before. Suggest you join with your local ILC to work on this type of project.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    You might contact your state's protection and advocacy system. Their activities vary from state but ours will take on accessibility problems. Ours also has a small but dedicated legal staff and have succeeded in taking on some tough issues.. Here is a link to yours:


    http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/
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  4. #4
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    and again CareCure rocks

    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    You might contact your state's protection and advocacy system. Their activities vary from state but ours will take on accessibility problems. Ours also has a small but dedicated legal staff and have succeeded in taking on some tough issues.. Here is a link to yours:


    http://www.disabilityrightswa.org/

  5. #5
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    thank you.

    my google skills are lacking today... what is "local ILC" ?


    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Thee ADA has no enforcement agency or people. The regulations are largely enforced by complaints filed by people with disabilities, or by them filing suits. Cities were required many years ago to have a plan for making required accessibility changes in things like curb cuts. Failure to have such a plan with deadlines, and following it, is a violation of the law. In San Diego a group of people with disabilities joined together (in the 1990s) to file a class action suit against the city for their failure to have such a plan. They won the suit, with a court order for the city to comply, and it was done. Still some places without curb cuts, but the city can point to their plan and dates for this, and it is so much better than it was before. Suggest you join with your local ILC to work on this type of project.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    ILC = independent living center. These are non-profit organizations run by and for PWD to serve as advocacy and education resources. You can find a list of those in your area here:

    http://www.ilru.org/projects/cil-net...tion-directory

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    I work as a Plans Review Technician with the Office of Disability Rights at the City and County of Denver and every once in a while receive a request for this. In Denver, you are able to put in a request for a curb ramp. A member from my office would contact the person making the request and inspect the location to determine the need. If determined that it is necessary, the request is added to a list for repairs or replacement. Annual funding for curb ramps is allocated by the City and repairs are made in the order of the list.


    It sounds like the City of Seattle does not have a similar system. Were you contacting their Office of Disability Rights or similar office? There should be some type of request process or general curb ramp replacement process regardless of if they have the funding to fix your specific ramp. No matter what, curb ramps are required to be replaced during adjacent road repair or new construction/alterations to the adjacent property.


    If needed, PM me and I may be able to find some answers for you.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the great informative responses. i'm slowly working on this. I'm not living in Seattle right now, just the fourth largest city in the state.

    I have found a ranked list of curb cuts the city has acknowledged require implementing.

    I have asked how they come to their ranking, but so far they're ignoring me.
    So just wondering how a city would rationalize their method of ranking one specific junction over another.
    All the corners around city buildings makes sense, but after that?

    It seems like they are allocated money for curb cuts, but they are somehow managing to massage these funds into traffic calming programs.

    Again thanks for information, helping me on my way.

  9. #9
    Just wanted to comment that I applaud your efforts!! Political activism is not dead yet. I will add that I feel the email contacts you said you are using may not be the most effective way to contact government entities. Great suggestions from other CC. Also, are you game for visiting a newspaper and requesting a reporter and photographer to document you "in the street" due to lack of curb cut?
    I'm sensitive to this as many decades ago, before curb cuts existed, I had to drop down a curb - backwards, with rear wheels of my wheelchair - only to find when I pivoted around to await a green light to cross in the crosswalk, that a bus was beginning to make a turn right into the spot where I sat! I quickly moved to the front fender of a parked car, leaning into it for dear life. The bus's rear wheel traveled right where I had been sitting.
    Your concerns are a real safety issue.
    Best of luck and thank you for what you are doing.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    Just wanted to comment that I applaud your efforts!! . . .Best of luck and thank you for what you are doing.
    x2!!

    and I now realize how blessed I am to live in a city with ubiquitous curb cuts (tons of pot holes, though - lol).
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