Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Caltrans Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ADA, Reaffirms Commitment to Improving Access

As the nation and California commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Caltrans is celebrating the progress that has been made and recommitting to its efforts to allocate $1.1 billion over 30 years to improve access on its sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities for persons with disabilities.

Since the early 1990s, Caltrans has been improving sidewalk access through its roadway and bridge rehabilitation programs. In 2010, Caltrans committed to: 

Developing and designing projects totaling $1.1 billion over the next 30 years to improve pedestrian access. Caltrans’ goal is to remove more than 1,500 pedestrian access barriers each year. 

Ensuring that each new construction or rehabilitation project addresses access barriers as part of that project. 

Revising design guidance to ensure that any maintenance projects performed by Caltrans adjacent to pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, include the installation or upgrade of curb ramps.  Additionally, in cases where projects include work on lanes and shoulders that would be used by pedestrians, Caltrans must ensure they comply with accessibility requirements. 
Caltrans also created the ADA Infrastructure Program in 2010 as a single statewide focal point for infrastructure-related ADA compliance issues. This program’s primary functions are to develop and coordinate guidelines and policy improvements. For example, starting in 2011, Caltrans made it easier for people with disabilities and the public to let it know which access barriers are of greatest concern through Caltrans’ online access request form. As a result, the department has removed more than 400 access barriers based on public requests. 

Caltrans also formed the Caltrans Access Advisory Committee (CTAAC), which includes members from various ADA organizations statewide, to provide input on the department's policies, practices, procedures, project priorities and methods of communications with departmental divisions and community advocates.

More information about Caltrans' ADA program is here.