Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dunwoody needs to access compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Is Dunwoody handicap friendly?

At least one resident wants me to review this aspect of the City because she believes we can do better and because of her, I have started asking myself a few questions and these questions will roll down to City Management in the very near future.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act, what does it mean to the newly created City of Dunwoody and who has the city designated to oversee compliance? Is Dunwoody in compliance as an employer and is there a formal grievance procedure that our employees should follow if needed? Has our police force been trained in the ADA requirements for the special circumstances in which they may face in dealing with the citizens of Dunwoody?

Are our (or still DeKalb's) public spaces like City Hall, the parks, library, cultural center and other public buildings friendly for all users? Are the current sidewalks wide enough to get a wheel chair though or maybe we just need to maintain what was originally installed? Are the known missing handicap ramps & curb cuts scheduled to be upgraded? If not, when, and on what schedule? Do our ordinances mandate enough parking spaces where needed in shopping centers and do we as a community need to do a better job of enforcing the laws currently on the books? Are the City ordinances on handicap parking effective enough to allow for proper enforcement on private property?

I believe that the City of Dunwoody needs to conduct a complete self evaluation for ADA compliance. Then the city should schedule a community input workshop to discuss the findings and allow the residents the opportunity to discuss existing needs and share ideas and concerns with staff. Finally the city should set forth a transition plan for both immediate and long range capital improvements describing any necessary structural or physical changes needed to make all required areas accessible and compliant with ADA.

We owe it to ourselves to do this and do it right.

Related - Chesnut ADA Renovations Scheduled.

Reminder: Comprehensive Land Use meeting, Tonight at 7 pm, details here.

1 comment:

Joe Seconder said...

ADA compliance can be part of the umbrella of "Complete Streets". Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. Creating complete streets means changing the policies and practices of transportation agencies.

The City of Roswell and Cobb County have formally adopted Complete Streets policy.

For more information, please see: www.completestreets.org