Is BG ‘Heritage 2000’ project ADA compliant?

Marco Wong and Marco Wong

Wow! The city of Bowling Green has sure made our downtown area beautiful. “Heritage 2000” was a success. OK, maybe it will be a success when it’s completed in June and complies with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA).

That’s right, with $5.5 million of your tax money and millions to go, a broad ADA survey has raised questions as to whether the layout is within compliance.

Has anyone attempted to walk across the crosswalks on a rainy day? I mean slide across the crosswalks. What is that stuff made of? I wouldn’t be surprised to see that stuff on kid’s Slip ‘N Slides this summer. It will definently make for a more interesting experience. Just wait until the snow arrives, won’t that be a treat to watch?

Grading on the slopes would help those in wheel chairs slow down before they enter the street. That would be helpful, but where is it? On some streets it is nowhere to be found, and on others, the distance between grade lines is close to illegal.

Something that the city planner has done well was making sure that the sidewalks are the correct width. Very well done. I just hope that someone in a wheelchair doesn’t have to make a quick turnaround where there are light posts on one side of the sidewalk and cement blocks on the other. The minimum width required by law is 36 inches. Those areas come in at 38.75 inches – not much breathing room.

What are the point of those posts just standing out there? They can’t be for looks because they are the ugliest things I’ve seen in the downtown area. Do they serve a purpose other than being a hindrance and an annoyance? They will end up doing more harm than good.

Just a quick point for businesses downtown. Your doors have to be wide enough for a wheelchair to fit through.

Also, those inclines in front of the doors are probably a bit too steep. Oh yeah, fix the stairs that lead to your establishments, as well as railings. That’s right, some of you don’t have railings. Not a good idea.

Although none of the above information has been proven by engineers, a quick survey of the downtown area and the general plans for “Heritage 2000” have raised some questions as to the city’s compliance with ADA.

More research will be done and the results will be published.