The Madison City Commission comes back from its hiatus (no meeting last week due to lack of agenda items—always nice when there aren't enough problems to warrant governing) to discuss, among other things, sidewalks. Tonight's agenda packet includes (pp. 11–13) City Engineer Chad Comes's evaluation of our compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the city will look at our progress in getting our sidewalks up to ADA snuff.
We've been doing all right, installing about 36 new sidewalk ramps a year. Comes says the city has some money available outside the planned sidewalk budget to respond to special requests for ramps (so if you're on pedestrian wheels and there's a curb you've been bumping over, give Chad a call!).
But even if we put in ramps at better than the expected 36 per year, we have a ways to go in rampifying our sidewalks. (Statistic of the day!): Comes reports that Madison currently has 1061 locations where sidewalk meets road. 74 for them fulfill ADA standards. 620 of those intersections have ramps but fail to meet all the standards. 367 are just plain not accessible.
Now 131 of those sidewalk-road intersections are along state highway, where the city says the state should bear the cost of the any ramp installation or upgrade. (Maybe the stimulus striping crew can bring jackhammers and bust out the curbs on their way by.) But we're also requiring homeowners to put in more sidewalks around town, which will require more ramps. So at current rates, it could take 10 years just to upgrade the non-accessible intersections. Lots of work to do!
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