News Release: Major milestone reached in making Portland’s streets and sidewalks more accessible

(June 5, 2018) The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced a major milestone in the City’s efforts to make Portland’s streets and sidewalks more accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Yesterday, United States District Court Judge Marco Hernandez issued a preliminary approval of the settlement in Hines, et al. v. City of Portland. The class action seeks to ensure that the City’s corners are ADA compliant. The City of Portland has over 38,000 corners. Approximately 11,000 corners do not have curb ramps. Many other corners have ramps that do not meet current ADA standards.  Corners that do not have ADA compliant curb ramps represent a significant barrier to safe and convenient mobility for people with mobility disabilities. This landmark settlement will take a major step forward in correcting this situation. According to the settlement’s terms, the City of Portland has agreed to construct and/or upgrade 1500 curb ramps per year for the next twelve years for a total of 18,000 ramps. The City has also agreed to survey all ramps in the next two years and establish a Transition Plan to map out how the City will ensure accessibility. “We have nearly 40,000 corners in Portland,” said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “Each corner is an opportunity. With the correct curb ramps, each of these corners represents a chance for our city to provide safe and accessible mobility to for all Portlanders regardless of whether they are living with a disability or not. That is why I am so supportive of this settlement. Thanks to this settlement, we will double the number of ADA compliant curb ramps we build each year...

Seattle Commits to Ensuring an Accessible City

The official press release from the Seattle curb ramps settlement is below. A copy of the Proposed Consent Decree is also available for review. SEATTLE, WA, July 18, 2017– The City of Seattle has settled a landmark class action lawsuit by committing to installing over twenty thousand accessible curb ramps throughout Seattle over the next eighteen years. Curb ramps provide people with mobility disabilities a safe way to get on and off sidewalks as they travel through the pedestrian right of way.   People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the country; census figures estimate that 56.7 million, or 1 in 5, Americans has a disability. In Seattle alone, there are approximately 26,000 people with mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, or other mobility devices to get around. Missing, broken, or poorly maintained curb ramps prevent people with mobility disabilities from safely using city sidewalks, crosswalks and other walkways to participate in daily activities like getting to work or going to school.   “As a lawyer with a disability practice in Seattle, I am beyond thrilled with this agreement,” said Conrad Reynoldson, one of the plaintiffs who brought the case. “This means that both my clients and I will have full, equal, and safe access to an inclusive community. It has been hard finishing up law school, setting up my practice, or even getting to court, when I have to figure out a way to get there that doesn’t involve me going blocks out of my way or traveling in the street due to a missing curb ramp.”   David Whedbee, another plaintiff, explains “beyond the thousands of new curb ramps, one of Seattle’s most promising commitments is improving how...

Denver “Ramps Up” Pedestrian Ramp Program

CREEC and our fantastic co-counsel at the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) are happy to announce that our organizations and the City and County of Denver have reached an agreement that will put Denver at the forefront of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramp installation requirements. This work will have widespread benefits for people with disabilities and other pedestrians across the city. “This is a monumental step toward ensuring Denver is an accessible and welcoming city,” said Mayor Michael B Hancock. “Not only has our city been able to catch up on critical curb ramp installation work, but we have a roadmap that will result in better, safer and more multimodal transportation choices for people with disabilities and other pedestrians.” CREEC and CCDC approached Denver in December 2013 about curb ramps that should have been installed in conjunction with recent street improvements. The city immediately acknowledged the need for compliance, began to install the curb ramps and worked with CREEC and CCDC to craft a comprehensive roadmap that would have enduring impacts on the city’s curb ramp program and put Denver at the forefront of accessibility nationwide. “This settlement will guarantee that Denver’s curb ramps are accessible to people with mobility disabilities,” said Timothy Fox, Co-Executive Director of CREEC. “It will make it much easier for people with mobility disabilities to get to and use government facilities, to find or get to jobs, to go shopping, to go to the doctor, to participate in community life, and to be with their friends and families.” Julie Reiskin, Executive Director of CCDC, said, “This important agreement will ensure that Denver...