Realizing that in order to make structural changes in order to provide access to programs, services, and facilities, would take time and money, the Department of Justice Regulations, Federal Register 28CFR Part 35 states that “ in the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, a public entity that employs 50 or more persons shall develop, within six months of January 26, 1992, a Transition Plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes.” In addition, “if a public entity has responsibility or authority over streets, roads, or walkways its Transition plan shall include a schedule for providing curb ramps or other sloped areas where pedestrian walks cross curbs, giving priority to walkways serving entities covered by the Act.”
The following is the City's Accessibility Transition plan as required under Title II of ADA. This plan is comprised of the following sections:
- Self-Evaluation of all city-owned buildings
- Gap Analysis of all accessibility deficiencies as required by ADA
- Transition Plan to bring all city buildings/services into compliance
- Prioritization of deficient items
- Timeline and cost analysis
The original self-evaluation was completed in 1992 as required by law. Subsequently, a study was completed in 2002 and again in 2006 while the City continued to address deficient locations. This evaluation identified locations that were not adequately accessible to the public as well as infrastructure that did not meet ADAAG and TAS guidelines. Additionally, the Streets Department and Sun Metro evaluated their own services and documented those areas that were lacking proper accessibility - ramps, curb cuts, sidewalks and audio signalization. This data was incorporated into an electronic repository (called ArcView) where the information is available for project management and follow-up purposes.
Click here to see Self-Evaluation Reports.
- Out of 414 facilities that the city owned at the time, 131 had elements that contained architectural barriers to accessibility
- Sun Metro had 3064 bus stops - out of which, over 50% contained some accessibility deficiency (missing bus landing, curb ramps, etc)
- Sun Metro: Out of 3,064 bus stops, 1,204 had curb ramps and 1,541 had bus stop landings. 31,400 Linear Feet of sidewalk needed for complete compliance.
- In addition to the Sun Metro deficiencies, there were an additional 7,996 corners that have been identified as needing curb ramps throughout the City.
In order to bring all the deficient items into compliance, the City relies on four major initiatives:
- The Audible Pedestrian Signal Program which started in 2003 at the request of visually-impaired individuals. The program takes existing signalized intersections and renovates the pedestrian elements and installs audible pedestrian signals to assist the blind and visually impaired. The Streets Department and CDBG provided some of the funding.
- The Capital Improvement Program, managed by the Capital Improvement Department, oversees all city-run projects throughout the community. These projects have an ADA compliance portion built into the schedule and must be performed prior to the project being deemed completed. Various funding sources come into play: Certificates of Obligation, Federal Transportation Funds, Grants as wells as voter-approved initiatives.
- Curb Cut on Request Program - The funding for this program comes from CDBG funds (Community Development Block Grant). Every year, a list of citizen requests is compiled and put into a grant application that once approved, is carried out by the City Capital Improvement Department. It includes sidewalks, curb ramps, ramps and audio signalization projects.
- Streets Resurfacing Program is run by the Streets Department and it is used to remove architectural barriers as new resurfacing and special streets projects are carried out throughout the community. Each time a new project is initiated, ADA non-compliance items are embedded into the project.
- Sidewalk Gap Program - Established in 2006 to install sidewalks where sidewalks did not exist (were never installed in the first place), is funded with Capital Improvement Funds and it is used mostly for City Right-of-Way (ROW) areas.
- Sun Metro Barrier Removal Program - Each year, Sun Metro invests funding to enhance the sidewalks, ramps and curb cuts, leading to/from a Sun Metro facility(bus stop, shelter, transfer center or transit corridor)
- Approved by City Council in 2016, an additional $500,000 will be used to address on-demand requests for sidewalks, curb ramps and other accessibility needs that directly impact path of travel by citizens with disabilities. This is addressed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Prioritization of Projects
After analyzing all needs based on safety and citizens input, the following prioritization shall be used:
- State and local government offices
- Places of public accommodation
- Employee Areas
- Other residential areas (where individuals are requesting sidewalks, ramps, curb cuts, etc)
- City-owned facility improvement estimated cost: 2.45 million dollars.
- Total cost to eliminate Sun Metro barriers throughout the City (in addition to the city-owned buildings): 3.36 million
- Cost to install 7,996 curb ramps throughout the city: $19,990,000.00
- At a rate of approximately 500K/yr to bring facilities into compliance, it will take approximately 5 years to complete.
- Sun Metro invests approximately 500K/yr to bring it's bus locations into compliance. It will take approximately 7.2 yrs to complete.
- If the City invests 2.5m/yr to install curb cuts, it will take approximately 8 yrs.
- Residential areas are being done as CDBG funding becomes available (on a first-come, first-served basis).