Inaccessible Pedestrian Detours Around Construction

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Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit legal center, is investigating complaints throughout California regarding barriers that people with mobility impairments and people who are blind or low vision have encountered at areas of construction or other work zones along pedestrian routes.

When pedestrian paths are closed or partially blocked due to construction, maintenance, or other conditions, any pedestrian detours or the unblocked remaining pathway must be accessible.

If you have a mobility impairment, are blind, or have low vision, and have experienced any of the following barriers when pedestrian pathways are affected by construction or other activities, we would like to hear from you:

  • Pedestrian detours without ramps over sharp vertical steps, drop-offs, or curbs
  • Use of yellow tape to alert pedestrians to the detour or of the hazardous condition
  • Use of unsecured cones or A Frames to alert pedestrians of the temporary route or condition
  • Pedestrian detours that have steep slopes or cross-slopes
  • Lack of detectable warnings at pedestrian detours that cross roads or vehicle traffic
  • Objects protruding into the path of travel along the pedestrian detour
  • Pedestrian detours which are less than 36 inches wide
  • Narrowing of the existing pathway to less than 36 inches wide
  • Open trenches or other hazardous conditions posing dangers to pedestrians
  • Use of signage that is only accessible to sighted pedestrians
  • Loose gravel, unsecured plywood, or other terrain that is not firm, stable and slip resistant
  • Other hazardous or inaccessible conditions along pedestrian detours

If you have encountered barriers like these, please let us know. Send a description of the barrier, along with any cell-phone or other photos you can take of the problem, to investigations@dralegal.org.

We would appreciate any details about the barrier that you can provide, including:

  • The location of the barrier
  • When you encountered it
  • Whether the barrier seems very short term
  • Whether the barrier seems longer term
  • Who appears to have created the barrier and
  • Who has jurisdiction over the blocked pathway
  • ** Please include your name and contact information as well

You can also reach us by phone.  Call Mary-Lee Kimber Smith at (510) 665-8644 to share your story.

All communications will be kept confidential.

Thanks for your help in this important area of accessibility and safety.

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