RESOLUTION 2011-16

Support for Detectable Warnings to be Installed in the Public Right of Way as well as at or within Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities

AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2011-16

SUMMARY:

1. ACB's national staff is directed to contact both the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice to emphasize the pressing need to revise the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design or take other actions to require installation of detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, blended transitions, roadway medians, islands, and roundabout splitter islands and low-slope blended transitions to crossings and other components of pedestrian networks found at or within public accommodations and commercial facilities.

2. ACB's national staff and all ACB affiliates and members are requested to support this vital initiative by providing written public comment to the U.S. Access Board in response to its Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Public Rights-of-Way emphasizing the need for requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces in the public right of way as well as at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

WHEREAS, detectable warning surfaces are an important and valuable aid to navigation for blind and visually impaired pedestrians, alerting them when they are approaching an intersection, a hazardous vehicular area, or the edge of rail platforms; and

WHEREAS, the features of complex intersections are not easily identified with the use of a white cane through tactile contact; and

WHEREAS, current Access Board regulations do not provide protection for people who are blind or have low vision because they do not recognize the need for detectable warnings in vehicular ways; and

WHEREAS, except for certain transportation facilities, current ADA Standards for Accessible Design do not require installation of detectable warning surfaces in either public rights-of-way or in private public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Access Board is scheduled to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking this Summer regarding a Public Rights-of-Way Guideline which is expected to propose requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces; and

WHEREAS, it will take years for the U.S. Access Board to issue a final Public Rights-of-Way Guideline which will still have to be reviewed and adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice as an enforceable ADA Accessibility Design Standard; and

WHEREAS, even if detectable warning surfaces are required to be installed in the public rights-of-way years from now, detectable warnings will still not be required at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

WHEREAS, having inconsistent ADA accessibility standards for detectable warnings in similar contexts is poor public policy and may call into question and ultimately undermine the legitimacy of requiring detectable warnings in public rights-of-ways

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the John Ascuaga Nugget Hotel Resort and Casino in Sparks, Nev. on the 15th day of July 2011 that ACB's national staff are directed to contact both the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Justice to emphasize the pressing need to revise the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design or take other actions to require installation of detectable warning surfaces at curb ramps, blended transitions, roadway medians, islands, and roundabout splitter islands and low-slope blended transitions to crossings and other components of pedestrian networks found at or within public accommodations and commercial facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ACB's national staff and all ACB affiliates and members are requested to support this vital initiative by providing written public comment to the U.S. Access Board in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Public Rights-of-Way emphasizing the need for requiring installation of detectable warning surfaces in the public right of way as well as at or within places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary