|October 28, 2002|
STATE OF COLORADO
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Chief Engineer’s Office
Dear Access Board,
As a result of the AASHTO Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska earlier this month, each state was encouraged to comment on the “Draft Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Ways”. Following are comments from Colorado concerning the Draft Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Ways:
§ Section 1108.2.1 – We agree that the square grid pattern does not work on Ramps with a radius. Since this section is currently mandated by law, we would appreciate interim guidance on how to meet offset requirements and direction of travel requirements.
§ The States need a better definition of what is considered a Maintenance project (a project which does not require upgrades to ADA standards). Colorado would like to include resurfacing projects in the category of Maintenance projects, when the primary purpose of the project is to improve or maintain desired pavement structural condition. This would include mill and fill projects, which maintain existing grades.
o We would agree that if curb and gutter or other adjacent roadway infrastructure are altered, ADA requirements should be upgraded in those areas.
§ Colorado has State Law that requires towns fund ADA access or upgrades adjacent to our highways. Our local FHWA Division has indicated that we will be ultimately liable to assure ADA upgrades are completed if we are the contracting authority on a project. CDOT would like to see some flexibility in working with local agencies.
§ This is a draft, and appears it will have numerous reviews lasting a couple of years. More clarity is needed on actual implementation dates. This could include the following issues:
o How are the states going to be informed of final acceptance of the Document?
o Once final acceptance is obtained, we would like to have a 1-year transition to provide adequate time for training, for implementation into design plans under development and for addressing budgetary implications.
o We would want wording that did not require any retroactive application to projects already under contract.
§ Our Public ROW’s are very wide in many areas, and may have existing separated bikepath/pedestrian facilities. We would like these areas excluded unless impacted by work.
§ We would like to have an option to approve variances to the regulations. This could apply to situations where there is difficult terrain, when meeting the standards would be totally cost prohibitive or when there is a question if the type of work requires action. Any decisions would be documented.
In summary, Colorado would prefer to address ADA compliance Programmatically. We could then focus on Programs, which typically would involve ADA compliance issues, and make sure we addressed and funded the issues on these projects. This would be an alternative to defining what is considered a Maintenance Project.
Thank you for allowing us to provide additional input on this document.
Colorado Department of Transportation
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