Town sidewalks are monitored to correct ADA deficiencies

by Trish Rudder

At the September 4 Town Council meeting, the council approved sending a compliance letter to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding a non-compliance issue with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act involving town sidewalks.

A complaint was made regarding sidewalk deficiencies in May, 2016 by a county resident.

Since Streetscapes is in the process of upgrading sidewalks and pedestrian features to meet ADA standards, the committee offered to handle the Letter of Finding for the Complaint for the town Public Works committee, Streetscapes committee member, Rebecca MacLeod, said.

The compliance letter had to be responded to by about September 12.

The Letter of Finding from the FHWA stated that in order to achieve compliance with the requirements of the ADA and Section 504, any deficiency of curb ramps and any gravel found on the sidewalks must be corrected along with any other deficiency that was raised in the 2016 complaint. The FHWA gave the town 90 days to respond.

Since receipt of the complaint, the Public Works committee and Streetscapes committee members worked together to resolve safety issues raised in the complaint and any future issues, as well as implementing a maintenance plan and scheduling regular inspections by the Public Works Department, MacLeod said. A complaint form for citizens to report problems was also designed and will be available on the town website.

“We have to comply when someone complains,” Mayor Scott Merki said.

“As long as procedures are in place, the town is showing good faith in addressing the problems,” MacLeod said.