2017-08-23 / Front Page

Downtown sidewalks ranked for ADA accessibility

by Trish Rudder

In preparation for Phase IV of the Town of Bath’s Streetscape project that is to begin next year, a sidewalk evaluation was done this past winter by Streetscape committee members, Pete Brown and Barbara Zimmerman.

They presented their findings to the Town of Bath council on August 15.

In order to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, data was gathered, evaluated and documented to help town officials proceed with its project.

The draft document is the first level of recommendations to help the town officials make good decisions going forward with the next phase of streetscapes and ADA requirements.

The six block area of Phase IV focuses on the continuation of improvements along Mercer and Wilkes streets as well as Green and Union streets. It also includes the south side of Fairfax Street between Washington and Mercer streets.

The document includes color coding the results and conditions on each street. Green indicates the condition is new or near new and meets ADA criteria. Yellow indicates more work is needed and is not fully up to ADA standards. Red indicates a poor condition and are not ADA compliant.

The assessment shows that a lot of work is needed on Congress Street from Wilkes to North Green streets where poor conditions exist.

The draft report will be available on the town’s website for the public to view.

Brown said the town council will have to make choices in the Phase IV project because “not all sidewalks can be done because of costs.” He suggested the council “use the money wisely and do the easy fixes where possible.”

“This is the best evaluation we’ve ever had,” said Town of Bath Mayor Scott Merki. The report “shows us where we need to prioritize.”

Brown said he and Zimmerman used guidelines written by the National Academy of Sciences for their self-evaluation checklist on each street.

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