City still working to make April deadline for ADA compliance

City of Jacksonville workers put in new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps at the corner of Herschel and James Streets.

City of Jacksonville workers put in new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps at the corner of Herschel and James Streets.

Five years after the City of Jacksonville reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the April 2018 deadline to get public buildings, parks and sidewalks into compliance fast approaches.

When the agreement was made in April 2013 under Mayor Alvin Brown, the City originally had three years to comply to get 64 buildings into compliance, but in June 2016, the DOJ extended that portion of the deadline to the end of 2016.

The five-year deadline for everything, including curb cuts for sidewalks, has not changed.

The cost of compliance was estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars in 2016, when the five-year capital improvement program estimated $57 million for ADA compliance, with the bulk dedicated for sidewalks.

“Barriers within our community can be more limiting than disabilities, themselves. Ensuring accommodations, as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, allows for the full access, enjoyment and use of everything which makes our City great. It is the shared responsibility of every individual, regardless of their disability status, to help remove undue barriers and consider the needs of people with disabilities. The Independent Living Resource Center continues to work with our local and state government to achieve our shared goals in serving our community,” said Tyler Morris, executive director for The Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC).

Although The Resident requested information about the percentage of completion, particularly for sidewalk curb cuts and ramps in Riverside and Avondale, the City of Jacksonville did not respond.

Amended Feb. 10, 2018 — The City of Jacksonville sent a response on Feb. 6 as follows:

Presently, 76% of all ramps have been assessed and 16% of all ramps are complete. We are currently working with the DOJ to determine what our needs will be in regards to an extension.

As regards, project completion in Riverside and Avondale, City said, “Projects are handled on a city-wide basis and therefore, data for individual neighborhoods are not tracked. We take this effort very seriously and are working to complete these projects expeditiously.”

Click here to review the settlement agreement.

If you have ADA compliance concerns, let us know! Email [email protected]

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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