|October 25, 2002|
Section 1105.6.1. Roundabouts Separation. Requiring a continuous barrier along
the street side of sidewalk where people with visual impairments will be
precluded from inadvertently entering the vehicular way in “roundabouts” is
essential for their safety.
12. Section 1106.2. Signals. It is essential for the safety of persons with visual impairments that this section be adopted. Requiring audible and vibrotactile indications of the WALK interval at signalized intersections provides the same opportunities and safety provided for the general public. Lack of audible and vibrotactile indicators where the general public is provided signalized intersections is discrimination and precludes people with visual impairments from the use of the public right of way.
13. Section 1108.1. Detectable Warnings. Requiring truncated domes to be aligned in a grid pattern is necessary to allow the wheels of wheelchair users to travel over them without difficulty. I support wide dome spacing, in-line grid pattern and smaller surface coverage.
14. Sections 1111.4 and 1111.6. Barricades. It is essential for the safety of persons with disabilities, especially those with visual impairments, that the proposed guideline require a solid wall or fence for barricades to separate the sidewalk from adjacent construction sites, drop-offs, openings and other hazards, as proposed.
II. Comments on Portions of the Guidelines I Feel Should Be Revised
1. Sections 1102.5.1 and 1102.5.2. Protrusion Limits and Post-Mounted Objects. The proposed guidelines allow objects with leading edges less than 27 inches in height to project into the circulation path. People with visual impairments who use canes usually do not swing their canes as high as 27 inches in order to detect a barrier and can be severely hurt as a result of these proposed guidelines. The guidelines should be amended to require that only objects with leading edges more than six inches above the ground can project into the circulation path.
2. Section 1103.7. Surface Gaps at Rail Crossings. The proposed guideline allows 2.5 to 3 inch wide gaps where a circulation route crossing commuter and train rails. Such gaps are sure to entrap the wheels of wheelchairs and lives will be lost. The U.S. Access Board should demand immediate development and use of gap closures for where circulation routes cross rails.
3. Sections 1220.127.116.11 and118.104.22.168. Curb Ramp Landings. Curb ramp landings where a change of direction is required must be 60 by 60, as is required in the current Americans with Disabilities Act Access Guidelines (ADAAG.). See ADAAG 4.2.3. The proposed public-right-of-way guidelines allow a landing at curb ramps that is 48 inches by 48 inches, which is too small to allow people in wheelchairs to change directions as will be required at many curb ramps. The 48 inches by 48 inches for landings is particularly inadequate for the larger scooters, which are used, in the outdoor environment.
4. Sections 1104.2.2. Parallel Curb Ramps. The guideline indicates that the running slope shall be 1:48 minimum and 1:12 maximum. This requirement of 1:48 minimum triggers the requirement for detectable warnings on the running slope. This requirement should be changed to read 1:15 minimum and 1:12 maximum.
5. Section 1104.3.6. Counter Slopes. The slope of gutter at the bottom of a curb ramp creates a trough which can cause wheelchair mobile people to be thrown from their wheelchairs. The Public Rights of Way Access Advisory Committee proposed that the resulting combination of the gutter slope and the curb ramp slope not equal more than 11 percent. That is, if the gutter is 5 percent slope, then the curb ramp cannot be more than 6 percent slope. However, the U.S. Access Board did not follow the recommendation of the committee. I strongly urge you to adopt the 11 percent maximum sum for the addition of the gutter and curb ramp slopes in order to insure that not only wheelchair users, but users of the longer scooters will not be damaged by the trough created by the connecting gutters and curb ramps.
6. Section 1107.4.2. Multiple Telephones. The proposed guidelines require only one wheelchair accessible telephone and only one telephone with a TTY at a bank of telephones. This means that people with disabilities have no other telephones available when the accessible telephones are out of order. Accessible telephones are accessible to many users. Providing only one accessible telephone is inadequate and not equitable. Please amend the guidelines to require that 50 percent of telephones in a bank of telephones be accessible.
7. Section 1107.5 Public Toilet Facilities. The Public Rights of Way Access Advisory Committee recommended to the Board that toilet facilities in the outdoor environment have 48 inches of clear floor space in front of the toilet. This was recommended because the current ADAAG standards do not provide for a toilet stall large enough to accommodate people in larger wheelchairs and scooters. Particularly in the outdoor environment, more people with mobility disabilities use scooters and need to be able to use the public toilet facilities. Please follow the recommendation of the committee and amend the guidelines to require toilet stalls that are usable by persons who use larger wheelchairs and scooters. This will be particularly important for the increasing aging population.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Senior Deputy Compliance Officer
County of Los Angeles
Office of Affirmative Action Compliance, ADA Section
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