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The county published a draft plan to make pedestrian infrastructure on roadways compliant with federal standards.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - A person using a wheelchair approaches a tactile curb ramp feature called a "truncated dome."Multnomah County officials are seeking feedback on a plan to bring pedestrian infrastructure along its roadways into compliance with federal accessibility standards.

The county has published its draft transition plan for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which describes a process for making county-owned roads and bridges more accessible to people with disabilities, officials announced March 16.

All public agencies with more than 50 employees are required to create such plans under the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The act became law in 1990. Among other provisions, it allowed public agencies to make changes to existing transportation infrastructure over time to become compliant with ADA standards. Every two years, the county reviews and amends its transition plan.

People can provide comments on the plan until May 1. County officials created an online survey for people to share feedback on the plan.

Feedback will be considered as county staff prepare a final plan for the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to consider for approval this summer.

The 16-page plan identifies physical barriers for people with disabilities in the county's roadway infrastructure, describes methods to remove barriers and outlines a schedule to address the identified barriers.

Most of the infrastructure overseen by the county's Department of Transportation is in the East County cities of Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village, along with some roads in urban unincorporated areas such as Dunthorpe and the county's Willamette River bridges in Portland.

Without a dedicated funding source to address ADA compliance, the county has prioritized making curb ramps more accessible to best use limited funds, according to the draft plan.

Staff completed work to inventory the county's curb ramps in 2016. Of nearly 950 curb ramps inventoried, 890 of them were not ADA-compliant, the draft plan shows. The county estimates it will cost $40 million to replace all non-ADA-compliant curb ramps.

Certain curb ramps were prioritized for replacement over others, according to the plan. Prioritization was based on ramp condition, the presence of a tactile ramp feature called a "truncated dome," and several location factors such as proximity to libraries and hospitals, county officials said.

The draft plan also identifies accessibility deficiencies for signalized crossings, sidewalks and marked crosswalks.

The draft plan does not provide timelines for completing specific projects. It assigns the fiscal year in which its goals are expected to be completed.

Officials expect to bring 54 curb ramps into compliance in fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

The county's Office of Diversity and Equity oversees work toward ADA compliance. People are directed to contact Neisha Saxena, the office's civil rights administrator, with questions about the ADA Transition Plan.


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