Tacoma’s streets are in bad shape. Its sidewalks might be worse.
And that’s troubling for local disability activists.
The city identified 17,754 locations where ramps need to be installed during a December 2006 study, said public works’ Jim Parvey. Since then, they’ve installed 324.
And it will cost the city $97 million to get every sidewalk in full compliance with the federal American Disabilities Act, which was passed in 1992.
Washington law requires three curb ramps at intersections in private developments. City-funded projects must provide ramps to all four intersections.
John Briehl, Tacoma’s director of human rights and human services director, calls it an "enormous undertaking."
Michael Corsini, the director of advocacy group Access-ADA, has harsher words.
"It’s pandemic," he said, adding the lack of a curb ramping isn’t just an inconvenience for some; it can be dangerous when it forces someone in a wheelchair to ride in the traffic lane because the curb is too high.