2 Self Evaluation Results
Self Evaluation Results
2.1 ADA Standard
Title II requires state and local governments to make pedestrian facilities within the public right-of-way accessible for people with disabilities. Accessible pedestrian facilities within the public right-of-way enable people with disabilities to reach their desired destinations and to enjoy the benefits of City services, programs, and activities.
Similar to the distinction made for architectural facilities, the ADA treats pedestrian facilities that were built before the law went into effect on July 26, 1990, differently than those built or altered after the law. Cities must upgrade or retrofit the pedestrian facilities built pre-ADA standards as needed to provide program access. All pedestrian facilities built after the ADA was enacted and all alterations to facilities within the public right-ofway must meet ADA standards. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) were released in 1991, and there have been a few changes to the standards in the time since. Sometimes an entity can claim a “safe harbor” on ADA ramps that were built according to ADA standards that are no longer in effect.
In their ADA transition plans, state and local governments must list physical barriers to accessibility, describe the methods used to remove the barriers, and provide a schedule for taking steps to achieve compliance with the ADA. For pedestrian facilities, this means assessing streets and sidewalks in the public right-of-way, listing the barriers discovered, and creating a plan for mitigating or removing these barriers by providing accessible paths of travel on sidewalks and curb cuts.
2.2 Self Evaluation Results
The majority of the City’s streets are improved, with curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Some neighborhood streets are unimproved, and lack curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Neighborhoods with unimproved streets tend to be primarily in the older areas of town built in the 1950s through 1970s, or areas that have been annexed from Washington County.
As of May 31, 2019, the City has the following inventory of pedestrian facilities within its public right of way:
- 443 miles of sidewalks
- 5,693 curb ramps
- 29,399 lineal feet of pedestrian paths
- 134 audible pedestrian signals
- 468 bus stops
A detailed summary of the self-evaluation results to date on how these facilities relate to ADA standards is found in Appendix A and will be updated periodically.
2.3 Policies and Practices
In recent years, Beaverton City Council has made a priority of improving the connectedness and condition of pedestrian facilities within the City’s public right-of-way. While the City, like all local governments, has competing demands on its limited resources, the City has consistently allocated funding through the budget process to measurably advance this priority.
Currently, unless special funding is allocated, the primary source of funding for ADA improvements to the public right-of-way is the street fund. In fiscal year 2017-18, the City spent approximately seven million ($7, 000,000.00) on improvements to the public right-of-way out of its street fund. A significant portion of this amount goes to making ADA improvements to pedestrian facilities. In the coming years, the City expects to at least maintain this level of funding. Any increases to this funding level will likely have to come through identifying new sources of revenue. Any new fee or fee increase would require City Council approval. Appendix B includes a list of representative costs for typical accessibility improvements which the City must take into account as it prioritizes work to be performed.
In recent years, the City has undertaken efforts to identify and prioritize areas needing sidewalk improvements. A GIS gap analysis of unimproved streets was completed in 2016. The analysis revealed where within the City there are streets without a sidewalk on either side of the street. That data was then evaluated to determine the priority areas where a sidewalk needed to be included. In total, approximately, $11,000,000.00 in sidewalk improvements were identified through this gap analysis.
In 2017, nineteen City employees completed ODOT ADA Curb Ramp Inspection training. Fourteen were 100% certified (passed levels 1 & 2; able to fill out ODOT ADA Curb Ramp Inspection forms), while the other five completed the level 1 class.
Through a public involvement process, Menlo Dr. from Allen Blvd to Fairmount Dr. (aka CIP 3106A) was selected from this list as the highest priority sidewalk gap to be filled. The City Council approved CIP 3106A beginning in FY16-17. In FY 16-17 and FY 17-18, $427,000 was allocated for engineering and right of way acquisition and in FY 18-19 and FY 19-20 $1,861,000 was allocated for construction. The funding sources for the project have been the General Fund and the Street Fund. Construction began in January 2019 and will be completed by June 30, 2019. Through the Active Transportation Plan and the CIP process, both of which are described below, these sidewalk projects will continue to be incorporated into the City’s CIP, consistent with available funding and City Council’s determination of transportation priorities.
Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) at signalized intersections are also a particularly important amenity. APS provide audible and/or vibro-tactile information coinciding with visual pedestrian signals to inform visually-impaired pedestrians precisely when the walk interval begins and when it is no longer safe to cross. The City incorporates APS at signalized intersections in response to citizen requests, significant alterations to an existing signal or corner geometry, or as new signals are added to an intersection that is not signalized currently. The City uses the most current standards for APS that are contained in the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
2.4 Policy Documents Relating to the Public Right-of-Way
To advance Council’s priority to improve the connectedness and condition of pedestrian facilities in a manner that is consistent with the availability of funds, City staff have developed transportation planning documents which have analyzed and identified areas where pedestrian facilities within the City’s public right-of-way need improvements.
2.4.1 Comprehensive Plan, including Transportation System Plan
The Comprehensive Plan describes the City’s long-range land use goals and policies. The plan outlines what Beaverton will look like in the years to come and provides a framework to get there. The Comprehensive Plan provides the basis for all land use decisions in the community and guides public infrastructure investments. It acknowledges the community’s aspirations and values when establishing land use goals and policies.
The Comprehensive Plan encourages density and transit-oriented development, which will tend to increase pedestrian accessibility because increased density decreases the distances that people must travel between their homes, jobs, shopping, recreation, and public transit. As new construction must meet ADA codes, the development of significant new mixed-use centers, as well as increased development downtown, will improve Beaverton’s overall livability and accessibility. Designing for people of all ages and abilities is listed as a key goal and success criteria in the Comprehensive Plan’s Urban Design element.
Specific to the rights-of-way, the Comprehensive Plan includes a Transportation System Plan (TSP). The Transportation Element sets the City’s transportation policies and the Transportation System Plan identifies specific projects to address bicycle and pedestrian needs. In early 2018, to supplement the TSP, the City Council adopted an Active Transportation Plan. The Active Transportation Plan is intended to supersede the TSP as it relates to bicycles and pedestrians.
Together, these documents identify specific locations as priority areas for planned pedestrian improvement projects, and will be considered in making future funding decisions. The pedestrian and crossing improvement projects identified in the Active Transportation Plan were prioritized based upon the following criteria: 1) safety; 2) demand; 3) connectivity; 4) existing conditions; and 5) equity. These planning documents are maintained by Community Development staff. The Active Transportation Plan and status of priority projects are described with additional detail in Appendix E.
2.4.2 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is approved annually as part of the City’s budget adoption process. The process involves a review of the proposed capital projects and their associated budgets by the City’s Budget Committee and formal approval by the City Council at a public hearing. The CIP identifies near term and long term projects out to 10 years; however, only the first year is formerly approved at the time of the adoption of the annual budget.
The project selection process involves multiple coordination meetings among staff in the following areas: Pavement overlays for arterials and collectors, pavement overlays for neighborhood and local streets, ADA ramp upgrades, traffic calming, transportation technology, sidewalk/path and active transportation, street light conversion, capacity enhancing and safety and the completion of ongoing projects (all of which fit into one of the aforementioned categories). Staff uses annual Council priorities, adopted CIP priorities, adopted plans such as the Active Transportation Plan, the Transportation Systems Plan, and localized plans such as the West Five Plan, available and projected revenue as well as citizen complaints and project nominations to select proposed projects. Also, the recommendations made by the Capital Improvement Project Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) are used in the selection of sidewalk/path projects.
Ultimately, City Council makes the determination of which CIP projects to fund when they approve the annual City budget. More information regarding the CIP and current accessibility improvement projects is included in Appendix E.
2.4.3 Engineering Design Manual
The Engineering Design Manual is the major policy document governing construction work in the public right-of-way. It describes the technical engineering standards that implement the City’s Site Development Ordinance. It provides the standards and specifications for sidewalks, curb ramps, streets, storm drains, sewers, traffic control devices, and the public water system. It references other standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and its implementing rules and regulations. As such, it is an essential tool that the City uses to ensure the accessibility of new construction in the public right-of-way. The City recently updated its Engineering Design Manual.
With respect to ADA ramps, the Engineering Design Manual provides that sidewalk ramps shall be located and constructed in accordance with the rules and regulations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Implementing this standard, the City follows the Oregon Department of Transportation (which is adopted from PROWAG) regarding curb ramps and pedestrian signals.
Maintenance of pedestrian facilities within the City’s public right-of-way will continue to follow the policies and priorities set forth by the City in Appendix D.
The City will continue to consider and respond to all accessibility improvement requests received from the public. All accessibility improvements that have been deemed reasonable will be scheduled consistent with transportation priorities. The City will also coordinate, as needed, with external agencies to ensure that all new or altered pedestrian facilities within the City are ADA compliant to the extent feasible.