Comments being accepted on ADA/DelDOT compliance

Date Published: 
March 24, 2017

The Delaware Department of Transportation is updating its 2014 ADA Transition Plan to ensure everyone has access to state roadways and infrastructure.

Public comments will be accepted until about April 28 for the draft 2017 ADA Transition Plan, which DelDOT calls “an umbrella policy affecting everything we own (facilities, bus stops, infrastructure) and everything we do (programs, services, workshops).” It also reviews DelDOT’s current state of compliance and a path toward improvement.

On March 20, at DelDOT’s meeting on the issue in Sussex County, staff explained that DelDOT’s path forward includes establishing a Title II program, funding and staffing; filling the statewide coordinator position; conduct self-evaluation of current programs, policies and services; receiving input; and creating a formal complaints process, as required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

“It’s a plan for how to get from current state of compliance to a full state of compliance,” said David Nichol, the assistant director in Engineering Support and acting statewide ADA coordinator.

It doesn’t include DART bus service, but does include all infrastructure, such as sidewalks, bus stops, crosswalks and curb ramps.

One recent adjustment is requiring developers or utility companies to make ADA improvements when they want to change an intersection or sidewalk.

And DelDOT is adding ADA compliance to its own projects.

“We’ve already begun,” Nichols said.

For instance, during road paving or resurfacing, “You will see a lot more work in putting curb ramps in or building curb ramps that are compliant [or] bus pads being redone to provide access to disabled individuals.”

DelDOT is also writing a new Pedestrian Accessibility Standards (PAS) Manual to harmonize FHWA and ADA standards that otherwise compete with one another.

An online map shows an ADA compliance analysis all of Delaware’s state-owned roads. Features are color-coded green or red, based on whether the bus stops, sidewalks, curb ramps and more are ADA compliant, based on 2011 and 2012 data.

Visit www.ada.deldot.gov for the Transition Plan Draft, plus maps, policies, accommodations and more.

DelDOT staff said they would like public input on whether the plan is heading in the right direction, or if people have other ideas for improvement.

To submit comments, email dot.adarequest@state.de.us; telephone 1-800-652-5600 (in Delaware) or (302) 760-2080; or write to DelDOT Public Relations; P.O. Box 778; Dover, Delaware, 19903. Comments can also be submitted at the other two workshops, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 27 at DelDOT’s Bear Office in Newark or March 28 at the Kent County Levy Court Building, Room 202, in Dover.