ODOT Makes Progress on Accessibility

March 29, 2019

For more information, contact Tom Fuller, ODOT Communications Manager, 503.480.5143 or Jill Pearson, ODOT Stakeholder Communications Strategist, 503.986.3313.

SALEM — In 2018, ODOT continued to make progress on its settlement agreement commitments by enhancing outreach, communication, and access through or around our work zones while ensuring that curb ramps on or along the state highway system meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Today we release our second annual report as required by the settlement agreement. You can find it on our website.

Highlights

  • Updated curb ramp inventory based on about 800,000 data points collected for curb ramps around the state.
  • Launched a map-based website where you can zoom in on any location in the state and see the condition of curb ramps on any corner under ODOT’s jurisdiction.
  • Completed two pilot projects so we can most efficiently and effectively design and build ADA compliant curb ramps. Larger pilot projects will take place in 2019 and 2020.
  • Built ADA compliant curb ramps as part of other ODOT projects.
  • In 2018, ODOT work made 663 non-compliant curb ramps compliant. In the coming years, that annual number will increase significantly.

Public Outreach

ODOT engaged widely both within the organization and externally to share details of the settlement agreement, new technical guidance, how ODOT interprets accessibility guidelines, our work with the accessibility consultant, and plans for curb ramp construction. We made presentations to more than 50 groups in 2018.

“We are committed to a transportation system accessible to all users,” said Matthew Garrett, ODOT director. “We will deliver on our settlement agreement requirements with accessible curb ramps and pedestrian signals, accessible routes through our work zones, regular communication and outreach, and addressing access issues as quickly and directly as possible.”

New Standards

The Oregon Transportation Commission approved new standards for accessible parking. ODOT worked with the Oregon Disabilities Commission and the State Building Codes Division in updating these standards, which include increased pavement markings and improved required signage.

We took many other actions to improve accessibility including:

  • Updating guidance for design exceptions (when a location requires us to adjust the design while maintaining accessibility), temporary pedestrian accessible routes and curb ramp design.
  • Providing curb ramp design and inspection training to over 700 staff, consultants, and local city and county staff in 2018. These sessions allow for consistent understanding and application of requirements.
  • Evaluating comments, questions, concerns or requests thoroughly and in a timely manner, keeping the person who made the submission informed along the way.
  • Adding dedicated staff to focus on ADA and the requirements of the settlement agreement. The ADA Unit increased from one to six staff in 2018.
  • Continuing work with our accessibility consultant to develop and review policies, practices, and procedures to ensure we are following applicable standards.
  • Adjusting work zones as necessary to make getting through or around a project as easy as possible.

Updated curb ramp status

This is the updated curb ramp status by region, after the 2018 curb ramp construction

Curb ramp inventory broken down by region and condition

Work is just beginning on curb ramps and pedestrian signals. By the end of 2022, 30 percent of ramps will meet ADA standards; 75 percent by the end of 2027; and by the end of 2032, we will have completed improvements on all non-compliant curb ramp locations in the inventory.

ODOT’s Dropbox page contains numerous video and still images that detail training, assessment and construction of new curb ramps.

An accessible department

“I want to assure you that ODOT’s commitment doesn’t end with the settlement agreement,” said Garrett. “We are working to provide full access to ODOT programs. We have dedicated staff throughout the department ensuring all transportation system users, meeting attendees, and visitors to our website, for instance, can use our services and systems equally.”

ODOT’s website has details of the settlement agreement with the Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living (AOCIL).