Monday, April 18, 2011

Tulsa, Okla., earmarks $23 million to become more ADA compliant

From The Tulsa World. In the picture, a set of stone steps leads up to a fishing area on Lake Yahola at Mohawk Park in Tulsa

Tulsa’s self-evaluation of its Americans with Disabilities Act compliance has revealed nearly $23 million in necessary modifications for public buildings, parks, sidewalks, intersections and bus stops.

The city’s initial transition plan was completed two years after the passage of the 1990 civil rights law mandating equal access for disabled individuals to public facilities, programs and services.

But city officials said Tulsa’s landscape has changed significantly and the law has been amended multiple times since then.

“We are trying not only to address the law but also the spirit of the law,” said Michael Smith, compliance and investigations administrator for the city’s Human Rights Department.

The evaluation provides a list of needed changes, everything from installing disabled-accessible toilet stalls, drinking fountains and public transaction counters in some city buildings to providing accessible parking spaces and paths to facilities in parks.

There also are many areas where the curb ramps are non-compliant, access to pedestrian signal push buttons is problematic and sidewalks are cracked and broken apart.