TULSA, Okla. – The City of Tulsa has initiated an update of its Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. This one-year process includes a citywide inventory of public facilities, programs and services to evaluate where modifications are needed for compliance. The City also will implement changes to remove accessibility barriers identified through the evaluation.
The City of Tulsa completed its original Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan in 1992. Since then, the city has experienced significant changes in population, physical size, streets, sidewalks and curb cuts, as well as added city facilities and programs. Under the leadership of Dr. Lana Turner-Addison, Director of the City Human Rights Department, City staff has been working to update the Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. In the Public Works Department, Brent Stout of Engineering Services serves as project manager, working with consultants Kimley-Horn & Associates and Accessology, Inc.
“Through a partnership between the Human Rights Department and the Public Works Department, we will successfully complete this comprehensive process to improve the city of Tulsa through increased accessibility,” said Michael Smith, Compliance Investigations Administrator for the Human Rights Department.
The City also has formed both a steering committee and advisory committee to help guide this project to completion and implementation. Committee members include professionals, concerned citizen groups and disabled consumers who require access throughout the City to maintain their independence.
A major part of compliance involves sidewalks. The City of Tulsa devotes a portion of every capital improvement funding measure – general obligation bond issues and the third penny sales tax – to sidewalk specific work. This includes repairs to eliminate tripping hazards, adjustments made for compliance, and additions made for continuity of travel.
Whenever the City of Tulsa constructs or repairs a sidewalk, it is brought into compliance. Arterial street rehabilitation and widening projects both include sidewalks and curb ramps. Every arterial street widening project includes construction of compliant sidewalks on both sides. The City coordinates with residents to include sidewalks with non-arterial street rehabilitation near parks, schools and public areas.
The City maintains an inventory of citizen concerns regarding existing and proposed sidewalks and curb ramp locations. The locations are addressed by priority as funding allows.
The 2005 Bond Issue provided $600,000 for citywide sidewalk work, most all of which has been spent. The 2006 Third Penny Sales Tax included $500,000 for sidewalks on arterial streets and $750,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets. The funds are made available each July for five years. Two more annual distributions remain in both July 2010 and July 2011: $100,000 for arterial sidewalks and $150,000 for non-arterial sidewalks.
The 2008 Bond Issue for streets includes $400,000 for sidewalks on arterial streets and $300,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets. The 2008 Third Penny Sales Tax extension includes $1.6 million for sidewalks on arterial streets and $700,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets.
More than $26 million of sidewalk projects have been identified citywide. Also, starting this summer, the City will begin an assessment of all sidewalks for 1,300 lane miles of arterial streets and their intersections both with each other and with side streets.
The City of Tulsa also has applied through INCOG for $23.8 million of transportation projects funded through the federal Jobs for Main Street. Of that amount, $3.1 million would be for sidewalks only. The arterial street rehabilitation projects in the application also include sidewalk work.