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New sidewalk/curb cuts in Vintage Hills
Original post made
by Vintage hills resident, Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jun 16, 2009
Has anyone noticed the sidewalk work being done in Vintage Hills this week? I think it's terrific that the sidewalks will now be accessible to all with the cuts/ramps that are being put in, however, what is up with those neon yellow bumpy pads on the ramp part? If it's for traction, there have to be some better options. They are so ugly and really detract from our beautiful neighborhood. I'll bet they wouldn't stand for such ugliness in some of the neighborhoods in this town. Tried to send an email to the city tonight on their "Contact Us Online" and it won't go through. Not the first time that's happened either. Again, I'm happy sidewalks will be accessible and of course they need to be safe, but is this really necessary?
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Posted by Safety at what cost?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2009 at 8:12 am
Truncated domes are designed to assist visually impaired people.
I stand by my point that there is no free lunch here. There is a real cost to taxpayers.
Here's some initial research. It was not easy finding pricing. This is not uncommon, since suppliers want to avoid direct online cost comparisons it's a for-profit business opportunity.
"…designed for the visually
impaired to feel the raised, truncated domes
with their feet. This, in combination with the
tapping cane, can alert them to a different
surface than the surrounding concrete sidewalk
and an upcoming intersection."
Up front cost:
"Average cost to fix wet set tiles by replacing the entire ramp: $2,500.00"
"When I repair the glue down products, I have to grind the surface (without damaging the surrounding tiles), pressure wash to remove the concrete "talcum", let it dry for a few days, barricade, etc., etc., to the tune of $600.00 to $900.00. "
"… installed only by trained licensed installers , on site, fitting our product to your unique individual site conditions and contours, like no other product can. All pricing … includes labor, materials, and all installation costs, so there's no confusion as to how to install the materials, wondering if it's done right...it's all done for you by trained professionals, with their first focus on helping you achieve your goals."
Below is a memo from the United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration. This is an unfunded federal government mandate.
KEY POINT: From a read of the memo, it looks like Pleasanton is going beyond the requirement, since we are adding truncated domes to ramped corners that appear to be in good condition. The mandate says any new construction OR ALTERATION of sidewalk ramps must include truncated domes "State and local governments are required to apply the minimum design standards when constructing and altering pedestrian facilities, though we encourage higher than minimum standards where possible." (paragraph 4).
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Subject: INFORMATION: ADAAG Detectable Warnings
(Truncated Domes) Date: May 6, 2002
From: (Original signed by)
Dwight A. Horne
Director, Office of Program Administration In reply, refer to: HIPA-20
To: Resource Center Managers
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers
Recently a number of questions have been raised by people from various agencies concerning the use of detectable warnings, specifically truncated domes, when constructing or altering curb ramps. Truncated domes are the standard design requirement for detectable warnings for determining the boundary between the sidewalk and street by people with visual disabilities.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the lead agency that oversees the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)(1990). The U.S. Access Board develops the minimum design standards for complying with the ADA. The Department of Transportation is a designated agency responsible for enforcing the standards and implementing regulations of the ADA's Title II (State and Local Government Services). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the enforcement authority for overseeing pedestrian discrimination issues under the Title II implementing regulations.
Detectable warnings were required in 1991 by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessible Guideline (ADAAG) (regulatory standards) for hazardous vehicular ways, transit platform edges, and curb ramps. A suspension was placed on requiring detectable warnings at curb ramps and hazardous vehicular ways, but not for transit platform edges. The reason for the suspension was to conduct research on the performance of their detectability. The DOJ continued the suspension through July 26, 2001, which allowed 10 years for conducting research. The research determined that other designs used in place of truncated domes such as grooves, striations, and exposed aggregate, were not detectable in the sidewalk and roadway environment because of the similarities to other surface textures and defects. Truncated domes have a unique design that can be detected underfoot and with a cane, and other surfaces are not considered ADA equivalent and therefore do not comply with the ADA requirements.
The DOJ had the option of allowing the suspension to expire on July 26, 2001 or publish a Federal Register Notice to continue the suspension. They decided to let the suspension expire. Consequently, since July 26, 2001 detectable warnings are again required. FHWA is obligated to enforce the requirements, and State and local governments are required to apply the minimum design standards when constructing and altering pedestrian facilities, though we encourage higher than minimum standards where possible.
The original ADA design standard for truncated domes is found in ADAAG (4.29.2). After the research was conducted, a new design recommendation was made for the dimension and placement of the domes on curb ramps. Both FHWA and the U.S. Access Board are encouraging the use of the new design over the original. Information on the recommended design and other useful information are included in the attachment.
Sidewalks, crosswalks and other walking surfaces that were
installed before July 26, 2001 are not subject to the requirements."
Conclusion: It looks like we are spending more than we need to. Anything built after July 26, 2001, we need to retrofit. For all other construction, we should wait until the economy improves significantly before we retrofit. Scarce taxpayer dollars need to be spent wisely.