New sidewalk/curb cuts in Vintage Hills Around Town, posted by Vintage hills resident, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 16, 2009 at 11:34 pm
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?
Posted by Safety at what cost?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 12:00 am
It's happening in Birdland and The Gates too. I want to know what the cost is, per corner.
The yellow bumps are the same as what you'll see at every BART station. I've seen them in grey color too. Downtown Sacramento has long runs of the stuff, what with trolly tracks next to the sidewalk. Could be an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)safety mandate.
Posted by Tory, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 7:51 am
Yeah! It surely helps the thousands of handicapped people strolling through Vintage Hills, Birdland and the Gates. And I'm sure the cost is close to zero. Well, at least we don't have school funding issues to worry about.
Posted by Answers, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 8:04 am
The yellow bumps are called "truncated domes". They are an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement. Cities and other municipalities across the US are being sued or threatened with lawsuits if they don't have a plan or projects in place to upgrade public facilities to comply with ADA requirements. I'm guessing that's why you're seeing these go in all over the place (not just in Pleasanton).
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 8:54 am Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I think it's fine to make the sidewalks accessible to those in wheelchairs, regardless of how much it costs and regardless of how many disabled people live in town. I actually see quite a few roaming around in motorized chairs. The truncated domes must be a relatively new requirement. Years ago when they made ramps in all the sidewalks in S.F. they did not include those.
Posted by Maxxed out, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 9:01 am
Hmmm, I wonder what happens when it's raining and someone riding a bicycle contacts this stuff at a less than 90 degree angle. One would think traction will be an issue. Watch out for the next step: warning signs at every one of these corners. Now we'll have the sing makers and the contractors and many others busy at work on phase two!
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 9:56 pm
I think many posts here are bordering on "sick". Normal, common sense thinking would suggest that the "bumps" cost almost zero dollars if the ramp needs to be put in anyways.
Now, it seems people in this post have to be objecting to the cost of putting in ramps in the first place. They appear to be against making our sidewalks and streets accessible to people, who by the grace of God, relegated them to wheelchairs and other devices that without, they would not be able to use the streets and sidewalks. I invite you to take a wheelchair or electric scooter and try to negotiate some of our neighborhoods that don't have ramps at intersections.
The comment about "thousands of handicapped strolling through...." is particularly sarcastic and unjust. Let's count the miles of sidewalks put in throughout Pleasanton at a cost far, far, far in excess of the ramps being put in at a relatively few intersections in a neighborhood. Where are the hundreds of thousands of fully functional people walking on them everyday? NOT!!!! Seemingly there was money to fund the installation of infrastructure that hardly any healthy being in Pleasanton uses, but let's scrutinize the few bucks spent on the handicapped. The healthy are all driving their SUVs on our expensive streets. The unhealthy can't even get from point A to point B because the cost is too much?
Many in Pleasanton really should get their priorities straight... Sick.
Posted by what a waste of our $$'s, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm
OK, folks ... you too, frank! What a crock and I can't believe the waste of money as I walk the streets of Vintage Hills. Most corners were already equipped with curb cuts and adequate traction for wheelchairs and pedestrians. Although I cannot imagine many in wheelchairs would dare attempt these steep streets, let alone cruise along the sidewalks in this neighborhood. This was an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars, and I wouldn't even comment if I wasn't familiar with this particular neighborhood. I can't speak for the flat lands of Birdland and the Gates, but I imagine the conditions there did not warrant change either. My guess is this was a budgeted item and our city leaders, in their infinite wisdom, decided to go forward anyway ... cause it's not THEIR money!!?? What a crock.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm
Would you please state some documentable facts as opposed to "I wouldn't be surprised"? Then, compare the cost to, say, a segment of sidewalk.
Also, break out the bumps added to a concrete surface versus to the cost of the concrete ramp without the bumps.
All you are doing in this thread is criticize the cost of a hypothetical that you created. You cite nothing that supports your complaint.
You go further and say I should do the work of looking into the costs, and clearly you have done none of this. I as well as other readers are not that stupid. You make the accusations, you do the work to support your arguments.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm
what a waste of our $$'s,
Okay, smarty, give me some numbers and comparisons about how this is a waste of money. You are talking to someone who understands how cities, school districts, counties, and states waste taxpayers money. All you folks do is express your indignation over things like intersection wheelchair ramps being fabricated in a neighborhood while you seem to tolerate real taxpayer waste such as government union mandated salary increases, overtime rules, and pension excesses. Real stupid in my opinion. You are living in some dream world when you say "Although I cannot imagine many in wheelchairs would dare attempt these steep streets, let alone cruise along the sidewalks in this neighborhood." Ever see the electric scooters and wheelchairs that many are using today? Are they supposed to drive over curbs to get around? Or do you expect them to drive cars and SUVs, like you do?
Posted by what a waste of our $$'s, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm
You obviously have strong opinions about this subject, and we can always say it's OK to "agree to disagree" BUT must we have gold plated sidewalks and wheelchair ramps in our community just because this is "Pleasanton" and we have millions of dollars to literally throw away. What about the unfunded retirement benefits of an admittedly underworked, overpaid city staff??? What financial crisis awaits our city government that has already impacted our school district???
Posted by Linda, a member of the Alisal Elementary School community, on Jun 18, 2009 at 8:12 am
“I invite you to take a wheelchair or electric scooter and try to negotiate some of our neighborhoods that don't have ramps at intersections ... Many in Pleasanton really should get their priorities straight... Sick.”
I would like you to take a walk through my kid’s schooling situation for the next 10 years. Thousands of kids will be in need of good education, and they tell us money is non-existent. I don’t people are sick because they don’t see it like you Frank. We do have our priorities straight, they’re called our kids.
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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.
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.
Posted by Julie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:28 am Julie is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I don't think it's about having "gold plated sidewalks", I think it's about providing a high quality environment for people with disabilities. I also don't think it's about taking money from education or any other group.
The truncated domes were found, after a decade of research, to be the best solution for the issue. It appears that it wasn't legally necessary to put them in if the sidewalks were older than 2001. It appears that the goal is the improved safety and livelihood of a disabled person and I don't feel comfortable holding that goal lower than my goals for my children. It's a shame that the economy stinks and that some groups have not been fiscally responsible, but what's worse is those two situations putting people against each other over what's more important: disabled people or children.
Just because you don't *have* to do something doesn't mean you shouldn't. Perhaps a blind person would argue that 5 more children in a classroom pales against his or her ability to move safely around town.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:42 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Frank wrote: "All you folks do is express your indignation over things like intersection wheelchair ramps being fabricated in a neighborhood while you seem to tolerate real taxpayer waste such as government union mandated salary increases, overtime rules, and pension excesses."
Posted by Safety at what cost?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:15 am
"All you folks do is express your indignation over things like intersection wheelchair ramps being fabricated in a neighborhood while you seem to tolerate real taxpayer waste such as government union mandated salary increases, overtime rules, and pension excesses."
It's not a zero sum game. What's real taxpayer waste is subjective. I happen to believe that government union mandated salary increases, overtime rules, and pension excesses AND the excess installation of these cones are all in the same catagory - real taxpayer waste. My opinion.
Waste and abuse happen when there is weak or no accountability.
Posted by Results, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm
Actions have consequences. You can read that in the affirmative or negative. It is true in both cases.
It all depends on your interests, or so it has.
See when you go in to vote, you and your vote are determining just exactly how our government is mandated to spend your and even your neighbor's money.
It's called responsibility. And it deserves some thought.
Little groups of people with self-interests meet up and establish their ideas for society. A little group of people walk around and tell their nifty idea to other people to get their signatures. Then this little group of people get a ballot initiative in place. Suddenly a little group of people influence how a big group of people are expected to spend their money/assets.
You see, it may sound good to vote "for" these things, but this is why they say, "Hindsight is 20/20". Here we are in an economic downturn. Suddenly random road work is being contemplated.
I didn't say, anything is wrong with the ADA, but consider this your learning curve the next time you think it will 'feel good' to check the box on anything that costs money and take money away from things we "really" want.