Community Question Corner

BY PAUL ROBERTS, CITY ATTORNEY

Question: Why does the City replace perfectly good pedestrian curb-ramps when they do roads projects?

Answer: We receive regular updates as to what is required to meet our obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act on our sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. We are not required to tear out non-compliant curb ramps and replace them as a stand-alone project, but if we alter the right-of-way abutting them, then they must be replaced.

Infrastructure that is more than ten years old is likely out of date. Requirements for sloping and detectable warnings – like the yellow, truncated dome panels that we install at pedestrian crossings – are new or updated requirements.

Last year, the Public Works Department completed a comprehensive survey of all curb ramps in the City (we maintain 1,730 of them). It has a mandate to update the approximately 1,000 ramps that did not meet current standards: a big job, and one that will take many years to complete.

If you or someone you know has a disability and a non-compliant curb ramp is interfering with their ability to safely use the sidewalk, call us! We may be able to correct it sooner rather than later.

Do you have a community question? Submit your question to proberts@syracuseut.com.

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