Miscellaneous Sidewalk Inspection ProgramThis every other year program (even calendar years) includes the evaluation of public sidewalks in approximately half of Marion for code compliance and to notify adjacent owners to correct deficiencies.
Staff will inspect the sidewalks and place pink paint on sidewalk panels that are deemed deficient per City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 141.
Notification will be made by mail and owners will have typically until August to make repairs. Properties not complying will receive legal notice and potentially a legal process to provide for repairs.
Sidewalk Assessment ProjectThe Sidewalk Assessment Committee meets to determine areas that are without city sidewalk, locations are rated by most foot traffic. Sidewalk installation is the responsibility the adjacent homeowner, but for this project the city covers 50% of the cost. Notifications are sent out and a project is administered through the city.
This annual program for the construction of sidewalk ramps in areas existing ramps are considered non-compliant and recommended by staff for replacement.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights statute that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. Title II of the ADA addresses the law's requirements of state/local governments in their interactions with people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) regulations declare that state/local governments must perform a self-evaluation of their services, programs, policies, and practices and identify barriers that may limit accessibility for people with disabilities, and develop transition plans describing how they will address identified barriers.
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Title II, covers programs, services or activities relating to areas of public transportation and updating existing infrastructure. ADA places emphasis on the accessibility of infrastructure within the public right of way. To achieve accessibility and consistency, public agencies are required to modify their policies, practices and procedures to avoid discrimination without altering the fundamental nature of services, programs or activities. Facilities required to be ADA compliant include sidewalks, crosswalks, bus stops, pedestrian signals, pedestrian ramps, and other features related to the safe movement of pedestrians.
Agencies with more than 50 employees are required to prepare: 1) a self-evaluation of all roadways and pedestrian facilities within their jurisdiction; and 2) a transition plan for all non-compliant facilities. Agencies with 50 employees or less have the following requirements: 1) a self-evaluation of all roadways and pedestrian facilities within their jurisdiction; and 2) modify policies and practices to bring them into compliance. The transition plan must include a list of all non-compliant facilities, a detailed outline of the methods to be used to make facilities accessible, a schedule for compliance with ADA's Title II, and the name of the official responsible for the implementation of the transition plan. The transition plan will be viewed as a "living document" and updated regularly to reflect changes and to address new areas of noncompliance.
The Iowa Department of Transportation provides for a section of Frequently Asked Questions
What authority requires public agencies to make public right-of-way accessible for all pedestrians with disabilities?
Public rights-of-way and facilities are required to be accessible to persons with disabilities through the following statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) (29 U.S.C. §794) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12164). The laws work together to achieve this goal. (9-12-06)
Staff prepared a draft 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan and provided it to Council for review.
On Aug. 22, 2013 Council adopted the 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan for Marion and associated annual budget.
In 2013, an inventory of existing sidewalk ramps was performed utilizing GIS ArcMap and the summer 2012 aerial photographs. From this inventory, it was found that the City of Marion had 3,311 total sidewalk ramps. At the time, only 340 ramps were known to be ADA compliant. Over the previous year, an updated inventory of existing sidewalk ramps was performed. Staff evaluated all sidewalk ramps that were previously marked partially compliant to see if they met current ADA criteria. As of March 2018, the City has 3587 ramps, with 1091 ramps (30%) being categorized as ADA compliant.
The City is continuing to work on updating sidewalk ramps to bring them into ADA compliance. Each year, roughly $100,000 is allocated to replacing non-compliant sidewalk ramps throughout the City. Staff continues to regularly attend educational seminars to stay up to date on the latest specifications regarding ADA compliance. Currently, staff is working on implementing a sidewalk ramp inspection program to ensure that all new sidewalk ramps installed in the City are ADA compliant. It is the goal of the City that all new infrastructure is inclusive to every citizen.
Bridge Inspection ProgramStaff provides for biennial inspection for all bridges in Marion. Working with Calhoun-Burns & Associates, located in West Des Moines, inspections are performed including structural analysis of the bridges. The City currently owns 15 structures (bridges and culverts) which are under the Federal Bridge Inspection Program. This program requires the inspection and rating analysis for all structures with a span of 20 feet or more.
The inspection and analysis evaluates the condition of all components of the structure, the approaches and the stream. Components of the structure are evaluated based on defects which affect the integrity and safety of the structure as well as stream conditions which affect the foundations. A structure sufficiency rating is generated (0-100) which is used by the Iowa Department of Transportation to identify structures eligible for funding for replacement. Calhoun-Burns also identify maintenance issues which, if addressed will extend the functional capacities of the structures.