Springfield has long-term plan to meet federal disability guidelines for sidewalks and ramps | KY3

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

On Springfield’s ADA website in the opening paragraph there’s the admission that “much of the city’s older infrastructure is not compliant by today’s standards”.

“Cities are very far behind," Gardner said. "Now that we’ve realized through education that we haven’t done what we’ve needed to do in the past we are ramping up and trying to get there as soon as we can.”

That’s why the city of Springfield put together an ADA Transition Plan to determine and fix the problems. In 2017 contractors hired by the city used an ATV mounted with computers to collect data on the city’s 640 miles of sidewalks and found that only about 40 percent were in the “good-to-very good” category that is the city’s goal for all its sidewalks. The results also showed that 32 percent of the sidewalks were “marginal-to-very poor.”

Of the over 10,000 curbside ramps, only 30 percent were compliant with existing ADA standards and another 10 percent compliant with older standards.

With that information in hand the ADA Transformation Plan calls for $30 million to be spent over the next 16 years to bring all sidewalks and ramps into compliance using money from two capital improvement sales taxes and the transportation fund.

The project will not be fully completed until 2036.

MoBikeFed comment: Springfield's situation is typical for cities across Missouri and the U.S.--infrastructure built over decades makes life and everyday transportation nearly impossible for people with disabilities.

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President Bu9sh in 1990, buildings, streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure has gradually been rebuilt to accommodate the mobility needs of people with disabilities.

But it is a massive project--one taking decades to complete. And--cities like Springfield are on the forefront of this work. Many communities are far behind even Springfield's pace.