Nearly all sidewalks in unincorporated Pierce County are wide enough to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while non-compliant curb ramps may be creating barriers to accessibility.
These findings are part of Pierce County’s Americans with Disabilities Act Public Rights-of-Way Self-Evaluation Report. The report details whether existing pedestrian facilities – such as sidewalks and curb ramps – located in the public right-of-way in unincorporated Pierce County are in compliance with the ADA.
The report is now available for public review at www.piercecountywa.org/ADAtransition. Public comment will be accepted through Nov. 25, 2015. The public can request copies of the report and submit comments by phone at (253) 798-2288, email at [email protected], or by mail at Pierce County Public Works, Attn. Dan Hansen, 4301 S. Pine St., Tacoma, WA 98409.
“The self-evaluation report and resulting public comments will be used to create a transition plan that will help Pierce County prioritize future projects to bring facilities into compliance,” said Brian D. Stacy, P.E., Pierce County Public Works county engineer. “We will also use ADA guidelines and standards to identify project locations with the highest need.”
The transition plan, which is expected to be completed in 2016, will guide the county when scheduling projects and requesting and allocating funding to complete the project list. Ultimately, all existing pedestrian facilities must be brought into compliance with ADA standards.
About the self-evaluation reportPierce County was required, under Title II of the ADA 28 CFR 35.105, to perform a self-evaluation to identify whether pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way meet ADA requirements. Pierce County also reviewed existing policies and created new policies to ensure compliance with ADA standards for future road projects.
Between summer 2013 and spring 2015, staff from Pierce County Public Works conducted an inventory of pedestrian facilities including sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian crossings, and traffic signal systems to evaluate ADA compliance.
The report also includes feedback from the public on which types of sidewalk defects pose the biggest impact to accessibility, and which locations are most important for the public to be able to reach without barriers to accessibility, such as office buildings and bus stops. The feedback was gathered during four public meetings held in November 2014 and from an online survey.
Dan Hansen, P.E., Public Works transportation engineer
Anne Radford, Public Works public information officer