Saturday, September 23, 2017

when ADA creates new problems

The installation of new ADA curb ramps across the city has definitely been a mixed bag. Some of them are very well done. Some create moats whenever there is any significant moisture - counter-productive when you're trying to improve walkability, and even worse in winter when the moats turn into mini skating rinks.

Then we have the special case of corners where a multi-use trail crosses a busy street, like the intersection of 87th, Damen and Beverly Blvd.  Sometimes large groups ride through this intersection, and these newly installed ramps create potential hazards.

Crosswalk for Damen - nice wide ramp, safer design
I rarely see anyone crossing here.
Ramp for crossing 87th, following Major Taylor Trail -
forces a sharp turn. Traffic waiting to turn (just out of frame to the left)
usually limits opportunity to use EB ramp as spillover space for riders
trying to go SB and get across 87th during one light cycle.
If you're riding with a group of people trying to get across
87th during walk signal, competing with turning cars,
does having this edge that could cause someone to fall
seem like a good idea?
Southwest corner - 87th at Beverly Blvd.
If you were riding from the opposite corner with a group of people
trying to get across 87th,  would you want this raised corner
in your path of travel, or would you want something like the corner shown below?
No hard edges next to curb ramp
Doesn't an installation like this make a LOT more sense 
for a location where a trail is crossing a busy street?
We need MUCH better oversight over contractors doing these ADA curb ramp installations.  Too many mistakes like this are made, causing close calls, accidents and injuries that could have been avoided.


John said...

The contractor is probably just doing whatever is on the plans. The problem is more the designer not understanding the context of the crossing.

Fargo said...

That makes sense. Now the challenge is how to ensure that whoever is designing installations like these DOES understand the context so that unintentional hazards are not created.