Wheelchair-ramp suggestions for city's curbs sought 

The City is seeking suggestions for where to cut curbs for wheelchair ramps.

San Francisco has $82 million reserved during the next 10 years for curb-cutting, but the Department of Public Works needs to know where to do it. If people who can benefit from ramps in their neighborhoods don’t contact Public Works about where to cut curbs, the department will just fund the ramps wherever it’s doing street improvements.

"There has been a noted lack of reporting in areas like Hunters Point and Bayview ... and we want to make sure people are aware of their rights to this money," Public Works disability-access coordinator Kevin Jensen said. "If we’re repaving a street or if Muni is replacing power lines, oftentimes we’ll just coordinate with them."

To get the word out, Public Works is sprinkling Muni buses with advertisements and mailing letters to residents to let them know they can make suggestions via e-mail or through the 311 call center. People must be available for a follow-up phone call.

Citizen requests will help Public Works prioritize curb-cutting. There are more than 2,900 intersections in The City that still need curbs cut and angled for wheelchair access, per the American Disabilities Act, which requires all pedestrian -crossings to have them.

"Of course in an ideal world every curb would have a ramp, but I don’t know any city that’s like that," -Jensen said.

Howard Chabner, chair of the Physical Access Committee for the Mayor’s Disability Council and who has used a wheelchair for about 20 years, has submitted more than 100 requests.

"I can’t really think of anything else that’s worse for a person in a wheelchair as a pedestrian than not having a ramp," Chabner said. "I don’t know how many people are coming forward, but they should because it’s such a helpful program."

It takes about $14,000 and a year to design and construct a new ramp. Jensen said new ramps will be put in based on the people who need them.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

 

Curb ramps

The Department of Public Works has surveyed 22,700 of the 26,700 intersections in The City. The rest will be surveyed this summer. Here are the results:

Ramps: 17,200

Curbs without ramps but no pedestrian crossing: 2,600

Curbs without ramps with pedestrian crossing (required by federal government): 2,900-plus

10-year plan price tag: $82 million

Time it takes to build one ramp: one year

Price for one ramp: $14,000

Source: Public Works Department

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Kamala Kelkar

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Saturday, Apr 21, 2018

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