ODOT To Upgrade 26,000 Curbs

posted by Brad Ford - 

Photo: ODOT

In 2017, ODOT updated an inventory of curb ramps, named an Americans with Disabilities Act program manager and project coordinator and committed funds for high priority upgrades to improve transportation system accessibility for people with disabilities. These are just a few of the accomplishments outlined in the annual report of progress, required by a Nov. 2016 agreement with AOCIL, the Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living. Milestones include:

  • An updated statewide curb ramp inventory, highlighting locations that need work. The updated inventory now includes segments of highway transferred to other agencies after the agreement was signed.

  • A $5 million dollar commitment to upgrade curb ramps and associated signals identified by AOCIL as a priority. An additional $18 million is set aside for the 2018-2021 period.

  • Individual inspections for each curb ramp. These capture over 25 data points to ensure compliance.

  • Hiring Cole & Associates as Accessibility Consultant, a firm chosen jointly by ODOT and AOCIL.

  • Naming an ADA program manager and coordinator.

  • The Oregon Transportation Commission approved ODOT’s plan to bring the entire highway system up to ADA compliance.

In addition, ODOT created a process to solicit, track and respond to ADA comments, questions, concerns or requests from the public. ODOT also trained over 800 staff, consultants and contractors on curb ramp inspections and how to capture measurements to ensure full ADA compliance.

“Our commitment to providing a safe, reliable transportation system for all is unwavering,” said Matthew Garrett, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. “This is the beginning of what will be more than a decade of work. I’m confident we can deliver on our promise to remedy all non-compliant curb ramps within the agreement by 2032.”

In 2018, work begins on curb ramps and pedestrian signals listed by AOCIL as priority intersections. ODOT plans to address curb ramps beyond that (see attached).

“One of our commitments in the settlement is providing better access through construction zones,” said Director Garrett. “We’ve updated our processes to provide temporary and accessible pedestrian routes through and around work zones. Part of that process is to inform organizations that serve people with disabilities.”

Work has just begun on curb ramps and pedestrian signals. By the end of 2022, 30 percent of ramps will meet ADA standards from the time of the agreement; 75 percent by the end of 2027; and by the end of 2032, improvements on all non-compliant curb ramp locations in the inventory will be complete.

Source: ODOT

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