March 3, 2010 > Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan updated
Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan updated
By Shavon Walker
Union City Council updated their Transition Plan for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on February 24, 2010. The ADA 1990 focuses on the ability of disabled persons to lead their lives with as few restrictions as possible. They should be part of programs or activities in which able-bodied people engage, with a few accommodations. Title II focuses on public agencies. The program itself requires these agencies to make the changes necessary to allow disabled people to access the agencies' programs and activities. The city must evaluate the systems it has in place and, if they do not meet the requirements, or changes cannot be implemented immediately, it must create a plan detailing the deficiencies and remedial costs.
In 1994, Council adopted the original transition plan and a Grievance Procedure to manage any issues that might arise from ADA transgressions on the city's part. They also identified and authorized funding for improvements, and focused on ADA-compliance for city facilities, such as parking lots, park restrooms and other buildings. Soon after the recommendations were made, they were implemented.
The update to the Transition Plan focuses on deficiencies in wheelchair ramps, sidewalks and traffic signals throughout the city and city buildings. The latter met most of the compliance regulations but the others did not. Out of a total of 1,939 street corners, 108 (5 percent) have no wheelchair ramps. Only 280 (15 percent) locations meet the latest standards. There are 1,551 (80 percent) locations that do not meet all the current ADA standards. It will cost around $3M to be fully compliant, excluding future inflation, project management costs, or conflicts with utilities. The standards for wheelchair ramps are constantly updated which quickly renders current standards obsolete.
Sidewalks were also examined, focusing on places that are not wide enough for wheelchairs, broken sidewalks, gradients and the absence of sidewalks. There are 11,000 ft. of missing sidewalk and 9,000 ft. of damaged or unsuitable pavement. It will cost $2M to fix this problem. However, much of the missing sidewalk is close to vacant lots and the situation will be remedied when the properties are developed. Tree roots are the cause of much damage. The city has paid for gutter and curb replacements while the owner is responsible for sidewalk repair.
Traffic signals were checked for appropriate pedestrian signals and accessibility of pedestrian push buttons for wheelchair users. Some locations need additional work at a cost of $300,000. Funding for the upgrades is available as part of Council-approved Capital Improvement Projects.
The total cost of repairs and improvements is roughly $5.3M. Grant funding is available towards these costs.
For more information, visit www.UnionCity.org.