Unprecedented ADA Accessibility Settlement in CA

January 14, 2010

An immense, unprecedented settlement has been proposed between the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and civil rights activists representing the disabled.

The settlement provides for the agency to spend $1.1 billion over 30 years to repair and improve state-controlled sidewalks, crosswalks and park-and-ride facilities so they are accessible for people with disabilities. Additionally, the agency will upgrade or install curb ramps when needed as roads are resurfaced or reconstructed.

This case is expected to provide an important precedent for states and localities nationwide to make their transportation systems ADA accessible. When the disabled are able to use pedestrian facilities, they work well for all users.

The settlement will remove obstacles and otherwise make about 2,500 miles of sidewalks accessible along the Caltrans system as well as ensuring that the disabled can use park-and-ride facilities and safely cross state highways.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as saying, “This settlement is a win-win. It would be inexcusable to continue to delay these modifications. Instead of debating this through the legal process for the next decade, costing millions of taxpayer dollars, we are taking action to get this work completed.”

Click here to read a fact sheet about this issue.