As part of the ongoing commitment to create an inclusive environment and experience for all persons, the City of El Paso is taking the essential steps in furthering its Transition Plan supporting requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The City has been aggressively removing barriers for numerous years through various programs to include the ADA citywide facility/building barrier removal, Sun Metro barrier removal, Street Resurfacing, curb cut requests, parkway structure and sidewalk gap programs and street and drainage capital projects. These combined efforts provide at least $3.5 million dollars of critical improvements annually.
The Transition Plan advances this initiative by providing the necessary comprehensive guidance in addressing ADA compliance with regard to municipal policies, procedures, programs and facilities. The primary goal of the Plan is to optimize accessibility by removing existing physical barriers.
The original self evaluation of City facilities was completed in 1992 and was subsequently updated in 2002. Over the past several years, additional internal and external studies by multiple City departments and external agencies have presented a detailed assessment of required facility and infrastructure improvements needed. This allows the City to interactively view and prioritize repairs in keeping with ADA and Texas Accessibility Standards guidelines. Identified barriers include missing curb ramps, sidewalk gaps, inadequate routes to bus stops and bus stop landings, un-accessible facilities and buildings, signage, non compliant toilet rooms and other portions of City Buildings. Pursuant to this assessment the current estimate needed for these improvements is approximately 26 million dollars.
Collectively, the assessment findings in conjunction with community stakeholder involvement have provided for the prioritization of identified needs. The following is a listing of established priorities as part of the Transition Plan development:
- Removal of barriers in municipal buildings and facilities used by the public.
- Removal of barriers at bus stops, major and minor street arterials.
- Removal of barriers at other municipal facilities.
- Removal of barriers in the right of ways that access commercial facilities.
- Removal of barriers in the right of ways in residential areas.
The City is utilizing various programs and funding sources in addressing these listed priorities. Available funding mechanisms under existing City programs include the Curb Cut on Request Program, Sidewalk Gap Program and Sun Metro Barrier Removal Program.
The Accessibility Coordinator, through the Office of Accessibility is the designated individual responsible for the development and implementation of the Transition Plan. All interested individuals are encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility and ADA for more information by telephone at 212-3005.