News from NW ADA Center – Idaho
Who is Responsible for snow removal under the ADA? It’s that time of year when we must work together to ensure snow removal plans give citizens of all ages and abilities the chance to get around. Right after the first big snow storm I get calls and emails about who is responsible to remove snow. Let’s work to identify common sense plans that can be included in municipal codes. It’s important for governments to include snow removal in their ADA transition plans. Personally, I am tired of being stuck in my home, my van or wheelchair because of snow fall and poor removal plans. Communities ensure that public walkways are clear and treated so all people can travel safely. Trends in health and transit are moving to support active transportation options. So accessible pathways and effective snow removal are a must.
> Government obligations:
Clearing snow from public right of ways, public accessible parking spaces, is critical. They must maintain walkways with only isolated interruptions in accessibility.
> Under Title II, Day to Day Maintenance:
Public agencies must ensure that day to day operations keep the paths of travel open and usable. This includes snow removal, debris removal, sidewalks in work zones, etc. Alternate services should be provided if snow and ice can’t be cleared in a timely manner, including curb cuts.
Most complaints are received when snow is plowed into accessible parking spaces for storage. And snow blocked curb cuts due to plowing are a significant ADA issue. Other complaints come from residential areas, such as apartment buildings. If management doesn’t clear sidewalks and parking lots, disabled individuals may be imprisoned in their apartments.
For more on this check out Effective Snow Removal, adainfo.org and ADA Guide for Small Townsada.gov/smtown.htm#anchor20083
Next month we will look at the business owners responsibility for snow removal.
If you have concerns about accessibility, contact your nearest ADA Center.
For more information about the ADA contact:
Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website: nwadacenter.org/idaho
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7