Making street crossings safer for all Oregonians

Last fall, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) agreed to make the largest commitment to an accessible transportation system in state history.

The agency promised to install missing curb ramps, fix substandard ones and upgrade crossing signals on the entire state highway system.

On March 27, a U.S. District Court judge approved that agreement.

What led to this historic commitment?

People with physical disabilities rely on being able to safely cross the street to be able to live independently, travel to doctor’s appointments, visit the grocery store and participate fully in community life. But in communities across the state, they were unable to.

Read Springfield resident Martha Mae Bryson’s story in this Q&A.

Other examples of problems people with physical disabilities experienced:

Springfield resident Martha Mae Bryson and two of her grandchildren.

Clatskanie woman who was cut off from the grocery store and city hall because of a curb ramp slope that was too steep

A Portland woman who relies on public buses to travel to medical appointments and socialize with friends who could not reach the crossing signal buttons at numerous intersections.

 

 

Snapshot: Oregon’s Landmark Agreement

Portland resident Laurie Sitton with her dog.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires ODOT to provide accessible curb ramps where pedestrian walkways cross curbs and provide accessible pedestrian crossing signals at curb ramps with traffic lights.

In early 2016, the Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living (AOCIL) and eight individuals with mobility and visual impairments, charged that ODOT had failed to build and maintain accessible curb ramps and pedestrian signals across the state.

Last fall, ODOT agreed to this historic undertaking. These improvements will connect parts of communities that have been difficult or unsafe to access, and enhance safety along highways.

How do I report a problem that I’m having with access?

Complaints related to the agreement:

Use the “ADA Accessibility Requests” complaint form on ODOT’s website.

Complaints not covered by the agreement:

Submit your complaints about issues outside of this agreement, but within ODOT’s control—such as railroad crossing without barriers or sidewalk obstacles that make it impossible for you to reach the curb ramp or use the signal—using the “Ask ODOT” form on its website.

Video

HASL Center for Independent Living in Grants Pass created this video.

Additional Resources:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
AOCIL-v.-ODOT-Final_Settlement_Agreement
AOCIL, et al. v. ODOT, et al. Civil Rights Complaint
Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living

 

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