Draft Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-Of-Way (June 17, 2002)
Please find below the City of Gainesville, Florida’s comments from the
Transportation Services Division. Your consideration of these comments is
Pedestrian Signal Phase Timings (1105.3)
This requirement eliminates sound Engineering Judgment in the process of timing
traffic signals. It requires that pedestrian intervals be timed utilizing a walk
speed of 3.0 feet per second. It also requires that the distance crossed be
measured from the top of the ADA ramp to the top of the ADA ramp on the other
end of the crossing.
We currently time our traffic signals at the MUTCD recommended pedestrian
crossing speed 4.0 per second. We use the crossing distance as the FDOT
recognized edge of pavement to edge of pavement minus 6 feet. We conduct field
studies to determine where the appropriate locations are to utilize the 3.0 feet
per second crossing speed. When utilized, we utilize the full length of the
crosswalk and do not subtract out the last 6 feet. We also work with the MTPO’s
Transportation Disadvantaged Board to ensure that we are timing signals
appropriately for the disabled to cross and are optimizing the correct
intersections. With a University town and a high student population, utilizing
the 4.0 feet per second speed is often more than adequate.
The proposed change will increase minimum cycle lengths, thereby increasing
delay. The optimum goal is safety and efficiency of everyone utilizing the
transportation system. Undue increased delay increases incidences of red light
running. This decreases motorist and pedestrian safety.
This requirement is for all crosswalks at the splinter islands to have
pedestrian activated signalization. The advantages of roundabouts is that they
reduce delay and have reduced maintenance costs. Providing signalization will
re-introduce the delay and the maintenance costs. The back up states that this
is being done because motorists are refusing to yield the right of way to
pedestrians entering the cross walk. Instead of education and enforcement, our
solution is to implement a $100,000 per roundabout act. For us, the annual
maintenance cost would be $2,100 for electricity plus monthly maintenance and
service. We currently have 4 roundabouts inside the city where this would apply.
Turn Lanes At Intersections (1105.7)
This requirement is for all left turn or right turn slip lanes with an island to
have signalized crosswalks across each slip lane. The current practice of not
signalizing these slip lanes is that pedestrians only have to cross 1 lane of
traffic and only have to wait for a gap in traffic while watching traffic
approaching form only 1 direction. To my knowledge, this has not been a problem
Gainesville. We are being required to implement a costly remedy to solve a
problem that does not exist locally. There are numerous intersections in
Gainesville where we would be required to implement this fix.
Accessible Pedestrian Signal Systems (1102.8, 1106)
This is a requirement that all pedestrian signals be accessible. In that, they
go on to define that the signals and push buttons be both audible and vibrating.
We work with the Transportation Disadvantaged Advisory Committee to ensure that
the correct device is utilized in the correct location. Whereas it is necessary
to ensure the safety of all pedestrians, this is another retrofit item that will
be a significant financial burden to the City. This would cost the City several
hundred thousand dollars to implement.
On-Street Parking (1102.14, 1109)
1102.14 is a requirement that there be 1 ADA space per block face. This
requirement legislates our ability to place spaces where they are needed and not
install them where they are not needed. A more realistic requirement would be to
require 1 ADA space for each 100 on-street spaces. The current requirement is
for 1 ADA space for every 150-metered space. We would recommend that the word
“metered” be removed and that the requirement be changed to 1 ADA space for
every on-street space. This would allow Cities to provide parking where it is
needed. Such as multiple spaces in front of City Hall and none on a block face
that abuts a parking lot. Requirements such as this impair government’s ability
to work with disabled groups and place facilities where they are needed. The
standards need to have flexibility. The last line of the paragraph describing
the change states “The Board believes that the proposed requirement would be
easier to implement and enforcement”. The requirement needs to be logical, not
necessarily easy to enforce.
1109.2 requires an access aisle at 60 inches wide the full length of the space
at street level. We have built a couple of these in Gainesville and the access
aisle becomes a deposit area for sediment during and after a rain event (we
don’t get snow). This sediment rapidly builds as water runs off of the street
and through gutter, overflowing the gutter until the access aisle becomes
non-traversable to anything with wheels. There should be an alternative to
provide the space at the either end of the block as noted in the exception.
1109.3 is the access aisle for perpendicular or angular spaces. It should also
note that 2 adjacent spaces could share 1 common access aisle. NOTE: In this
design, with ramp leading up to the sidewalk, there is not a sediment trap as is
noted in the above paragraph.
Many states and local governments recognize the need for good engineering
judgment. That is why certain plans and reports are required to signed and
sealed by an Engineer of Record. The use of good engineering judgment allows the
right type of facility to be built and the right type of operation to be
utilized to fit each individual municipality. These narrow standards and their
lack of flexibility require each intersection to be designed identical
regardless of field conditions or other circumstances. The reason engineering
standards are broad is to allow the appropriate application to each situation.
Philip R. Mann, P.E.
Traffic Engineer II
Public Works Department
City of Gainesville, Florida
Brian Kanely, P.E.
Transportation Services Manager
Public Works Department
City of Gainesville, Florida