|October 28, 2002|
RE: Detectable warnings or truncated domes
As the Director of Denver’s Commission I’m concerned about the impact of re-implementing the requirement for truncated domes at curb ramps. Our experience with this issue 10 years ago was that, in our climate, the domes were: extremely difficult to maintain, damaged easily, difficult to repair, and created an obstacle. We also had difficulty finding an agreeable position among individuals in our disabled community on this issue as well.
With this in mind, we (the Commission and City) set out with a goal to create a curb ramp standard that complied with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and at the same time satisfied the major concerns of our disabled community. After months of development and negotiation we focused on a design that we felt met our goal. Our standard provides tactile warning and direction by the use of grooves. There is also color contrast, proper slope ratios, compliant width, and maintenance is no different than that of a basic sidewalk.
Since the ADA was established this City has worked hard at complying with its guidelines and installing a curb ramp that is functional. Our curb ramps are installed whenever there is new construction, repair to existing pedestrian paths of travel, or requested through our “curb ramp request line”. Needless to say, our curb ramp standard is very extensive throughout our city. Individuals look for it, feel for it, and identify with it for an accessible path of travel. Incorporating a new standard would only create confusion.
The City and County of Denver is considered to be one of the most accessible cities in the country. Part of this accolade is due to our extensive and consistent use of our curb ramp standard throughout the City. Our standard has also been duplicated and incorporated in other municipalities as well.
I urge the Access Board to seriously consider the impact of truncated domes at this juncture in time. Years have been spent not only by this City, but others as well; establishing standards and installing curb ramps. We want to continue in the direction that we initiated 10 years ago. We feel our curb ramp standard provides exceptional accessibility and serves the disabled community and others well. Providing a curb ramp that is functional to use and expected.
Director, Denver Commission for People with Disabilities
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