|The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability. The ADA consists of five titles outlining protections in the followings areas: Employment, State and Local Government Services, Public Accommodations, Telecommunications, and Miscellaneous Provisions. Title II of the ADA pertains to the programs, activities and services public entities provide. As a provider of public transportation services and programs, local agencies must comply with the section of the Act as it specifically applies to local public service agencies and local transportation agencies.
To maintain eligibility for federal funding on transportation projects beginning in 2019, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is requiring local agencies to adopt an ADA Transition Plan. The Transition Plan is a self-evaluation of a local agency's facilities within public rights of way, and details how the agency will ensure that all such facilities are accessible to all individuals. The self evaluation primarily focuses on four main areas of accessibility within the public right of way:
1. Pedestrian Curb Ramps - Staff has and will continue to field review all curb ramps within the City for adequate slopes, presence of detectable warnings, accurate locations, and potential drainage issues.
2. Traffic Signal Control - Accessible Pedestrian Signals - Staff has and will continue to field review and coordinate with Anoka County to verify which signal systems include accessible push buttons.
3. Sidewalk and Trail Slope Improvements - Staff has and will continue to field and plan review trail and sidewalk corridors to identify locations that contained grades that exceeded 5% (one foot of vertical elevation change over 20 feet of horizontal distance).
4. Bus Stops - Staff has and will continue to coordinate with Metro Transit on the location and layout of all bus stop facilities within the City.
Over the past year, staff has collected data on the existing condition of the above listed facilities and coordinated with local partners that also contain facilities within the City limits (Anoka County and Metro Transit). The Plan requirements were outlined and discussed with the Safety Commission on November 10, 2016, and again on January 12, 2017 to collect feedback. As required, a City-wide public open house was also conducted April 13, 2017.
The Plan includes a grievance procedure for those that feel the City of Coon Rapids has not provided reasonable accommodations to their needs, and annual budget estimates that will bring the City into full compliance over time. The Plan also identifies priority area locations, and a schedule to become ADA compliant. Priority areas are near schools, medical facilities, government offices, and locations identified based on Commission, Council, and public feedback. The schedule provides a goal that 80% of accessibility features within the City of Coon Rapids right of way will be ADA compliant in 30 years. The Plan is intended to be a living document that will be updated every three to five years as conditions, standards, and budgets evolve.