2012 Draft ADA Transition Plan
In 2010-11, the U.S. Department of Justice updated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) relating specifically to the accessibility of state and local government programs and services. To reflect these changes, as well as the accessibility improvements that were made when the City consolidated nine different departments in five buildings into the new City Hall (415 W. Sixth St.), the City of Vancouver updated its ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan in March 2012.
According to the ADA, local governments must develop a transition plan describing how it will ensure its facilities, services, programs and activities are accessible. The transition plan:
- Identifies physical barriers that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to individual with disabilities.
- Describes the methods that will be used to remove the barriers.
- Provides an estimated schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance.
- Identifies the city official responsible for implementation and provides information on how to file a grievance or complaint.
The City of Vancouver has updated its transition plan several times since the ADA became law in 1992 to reflect changes to its properties and programs.
This current draft plan is available for public review and input through March 2015. You can send comments, suggestions or questions about the draft ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan to the City's ADA Coordinator one of the following ways:
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone - Voice: 360-487-8616; WA Relay: 711
- Mail - City of Vancouver, City Manager's Office, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995
The draft plan is available in alternate formats, like Braille and audio recordings, at no charge. To request an alternate format, please contact the City's ADA Coordinator at the email address or telephone number listed above.
Improvement Projects List
Following are the lists of identified accessibility improvements projects in four key areas:
Appendix C: Vancouver Parks and Recreation ADA Transition Plan (2012 Draft) - comments about this particular plan should be provided separately
Table of Contents
The Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan establishes the City of Vancouver’s ongoing commitment to providing equal access to all its public programs, services and activities for citizens with disabilities. To develop this plan, the City of Vancouver has undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of its facilities and programs to determine what types of access barriers exist for individuals with disabilities.
This plan replaces previous self-evaluation and transition plans developed by the City and its departments, and will be used to help guide future planning and implementation of necessary accessibility improvements. The City will update the plan once per year and public comments will be accepted through March 2015.
This document is being developed in accordance with federal requirements outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Often referred to as the civil rights act for people with disabilities, the Rehabilitation Act requires that all organizations receiving federal funding make their programs available to people of all abilities. It states:
No otherwise qualified [disabled] individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of [disability], be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
City departments or divisions that receive federal funding must identify a Section 504 coordinator on its staff who will ensure that the program, service or activity receiving the funding meets the requirements of the law, and respond to any complaints from citizens or requests for information from a funding agency (see Appendix G).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Titles I and II
The U.S. Congress signed the ADA in 1990, and it went into effect in 1992. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in access to jobs, public accommodations, government services and programs, public transportation and telecommunications.
Title I of the ADA prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The City of Vancouver is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and adheres to the requirements of Title I. For more information about the City’s EEO program.
Title II of the ADA adopts the general prohibitions against discrimination contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, but applies to all state and local governments, regardless of whether or not they receive federal funding. It prohibits the City from denying persons with disabilities the equal opportunity to participate in its services, programs or activities, either directly or indirectly through contractual arrangements.
The administrative requirements contained in Title II that apply to the City are:
- Designation of an ADA Coordinator responsible for overseeing Title II compliance;
- Development of an ADA grievance/complaint procedure;
- Completion of a self-evaluation of facilities, programs and services; and
- Development of a transition plan if the self-evaluation identifies any accessibility deficiencies.
The City is also required to comply with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin or gender. This Act does not pertain to discrimination based on disability and, therefore, is not included in this transition plan.
The Director of the City’s General Services Department was designated as the ADA Coordinator in 2011. This position is responsible for ensuring that all programs, services and activities of the City of Vancouver are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. He/she reports to the City Manager. The City’s ADA Coordinator is:
City of Vancouver
City Manager's Office
415 W. 6th St.
P.O. Box 1995
Vancouver, WA 98668-1995
Phone: (360) 487-8616, or 711 (WA Relay)
Instructions about how to request accommodations (e.g. translator, barrier removal, etc.), or documents/materials in alternate formats may be included in a letter, email, newsletter or website used to announce, invite or promote the City program, service or activity. If this information is not provided, please contact the City’s ADA Coordinator to make your request (see contact information above). Please make requests for accommodation at meetings or events at least one week in advance.
Requests for accommodation at a City meeting or event should include:
- The requestor’s name, address, email and telephone number (if any)
- A description of the program, service or activity where the accommodation is required
- The location of the program, service or activity
- A brief description of why the accommodation is needed
Requests for materials in alternate formats should include:
- The requestor’s name, address, email and telephone number (if any)
- The name or description of the City document or materials to be reformatted
- What type of format is desired (e.g. Braille, audio recording, computer disk, etc.)
- A brief description of why the alternate format is needed
The City ADA Coordinator or the responsible City department will respond to the request within 15 calendar days or in advance of a scheduled meeting or event. If the response does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the requestor may file a formal grievance with the City. All requests for accommodations and alternate formats will be kept on file for at least three years.
The City of Vancouver has a formal grievance procedure in place to provide citizens a means to file complaints regarding:
- City of Vancouver policies or its provision of services, activities and programs to persons with disabilities;
- Alleged violations of Title II of the ADA or Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by the City of Vancouver, its departments or employees; and
- Structural and parking accessibility issues on City-owned or controlled property.
The ADA Coordinator is limited to the funding already available for capital improvement projects when responding to grievances that request barrier removal or structural modifications. In the event that the available funds are insufficient or already expended on other projects, improvements will be prioritized and scheduled in subsequent fiscal years.
The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not preclude filing a complaint of discrimination with any appropriate state or federal agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite in the pursuit of other remedies.
Step 1: To file a grievance, please send a letter or an email to the ADA Coordinator (see contact information on page 2) that includes the following information:
- Your full name, address and telephone number;
- The full name of the person who was discriminated against (if someone other than yourself);
- The name and address of the program, service, activity or facility where the incident took place;
- A description of the incident, the date(s) it occurred and the name(s) of any city employees involved (if known); and
- Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint. Please send us copies of any relevant documents, but keep the originals for your own records.
The ADA Coordinator will notify the complainant in writing if any additional information is needed. If the requested information is not provided, the ADA Coordinator shall close the complaint.
Step 2: The ADA Coordinator will meet with or contact the complainant within 15 days of receipt of the grievance to discuss possible solutions.
Step 3: Within 15 calendar days of that meeting or discussion, the ADA Coordinator will respond in writing or in a format accessible to the complainant, explaining the position of the City of Vancouver and offering options for resolution of the complaint.
If the response does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant may appeal the decision to the City Manager within 15 calendar days after receiving the response. Steps 1-3 will then begin again, this time with the City Manager or an appointed representative as the primary contact. Complainants should also provide an explanation about why the City’s initial response was not satisfactory.
All formal grievances received by the ADA Coordinator, appeals to the City Manager and responses from the ADA Coordinator and City Manager, will be kept on file for at least three years.
The Self-Evaluation is the City’s internal assessment of the accessibility of its facilities, programs, services and activities. It included site assessment surveys of all public facilities, parks and roads owned by the City of Vancouver, and a written survey of all City departments about the accessibility of their programs, services and activities.
According to the requirements of the ADA, a Transition Plan must include a list of necessary improvements to be made based on the results of the Self-Evaluation, including estimated time frames and costs for each. This information is available on page 15 of this document.
The City should update the Transition Plan once per year to reflect completed accessibility projects or other changes.
Previous versions of this plan have been available on the City’s website since 2003. This current update has also been posted on the City’s website. Key stakeholder groups and the general public are invited to review and provide input on it for at least three years. Comments can be directed to the ADA Coordinator (contact information above).
The City will update the plan and its associated improvement project lists once per year to reflect completed improvement projects, or additions or changes suggested by the public, as appropriate.
ADA Program Web page: www.cityofvancouver.us/ADA
Identified Stakeholder Groups
- General public
- City and county citizen advisory boards or committees
- The ARC of Clark County
- WA State School for the Deaf
- WA State School for the Blind
- Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Access to Recreation Steering Committee
- Clark County ADA Advisory Committee
- Southwest WA Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- ALS Association
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Polio Outreach of Washington
- Columbia River Mental Health Services
- Clark County Commission on Aging (future)
The State of Washington officially adopted the International Building Code (IBC) as its building code in 2004 (RCW 19.27 and 70.92). The IBC includes provisions ensuring that public facilities are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
Pursuant to requirements of RCW 19.27, the City of Vancouver also adopted the IBC as its building code in 2004.
This Transition Plan pertains only to City-owned or administered facilities, programs, services and activities. Clark County and other cities and towns are responsible for developing and implementing their own self-evaluation and transition plans. Clark County’s ADA Transition Plan is available on the Web.
The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department developed its own Transition Plan because it is a consolidated department serving both the City and Clark County (Appendix C).
The primary sources of funding for accessibility-related improvement projects on City property is the General Fund, real estate excise taxes, the Utility Fund, and grants. However, the ongoing economic recession has resulted in significant reductions to most of these funding sources in recent years. Due to reduced tax revenue for the City’s General Fund and real estate excise taxes, reduced support for grant programs and competing priorities, the City of Vancouver is experiencing a limited ability to fund accessibility improvement projects. However, it should be noted that over the past five years, the City has successfully resolved most of its previous accessibility issues by renovating existing facilities or relocating City services to new, ADA compliant buildings.
Accessibility improvements that can be made through general maintenance of City facilities (e.g. signage, clear pathways, relocation of restroom fixtures, etc.), or as part of the regular administrative duties of department staff (e.g. providing documents in alternate formats, training, website improvements, etc.) will typically be completed first; with larger capital improvement projects being completed when necessary funding is available.
According to the ADA, the City does not have to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity, would create a hazardous condition for other people, or would represent an undue financial and administrative burden. This determination can only be made by the ADA Coordinator, department head, or designee and must be accompanied by a statement citing the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
The determination that an undue financial burden would result must be based on an evaluation of all resources available for use in a program. For example, if a barrier removal action is judged unduly burdensome, the City must consider other options for providing access that would ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.
In early 2012, the City surveyed all its departments to learn how they communicate with the public and what tools and techniques they use to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to programs, services and activities. Most City Departments felt that they currently provided full and equal access to all its services, programs and activities for people with disabilities. However, the responses to specific questions indicated a need for some improvements. The following is a summary of the citywide improvements that are recommended in this transition plan. A full list of the identified improvement projects is included in this plan, starting on page 15.
The City has done an excellent job addressing physical accessibility problems at its facilities identified in previous transition plans through renovation of existing facilities and relocation of key departments and services to compliant buildings. In addition, the City has fully embraced and encouraged use of electronic communications tools, like the Internet and email, to interact with and provide information to its customers. Recommendations of this Transition Plan are:
- Provide at least one TTY text telephone.
- Publicize the City TTY number in all email signature blocks, letterhead, phone books or Web pages that include the City’s main information telephone number (360-487-8600).
- For departments that use automated phone menu systems on their main, public line (i.e. press 1 for…), ensure there is an easy one-step way to bypass the message and reach a live person during regular business hours. If lack of staffing makes this impossible, ensure there are other ways for people to reach your staff (e.g. email addresses posted on your Department’s Web page, allow in-person drop-in visits, etc.).
- Publicize the state Relay service number used by the City (711) in all email signature blocks, letter head, phone books or Web pages that include an individual employee or department’s regular voice telephone numbers.
- Ensure that pathways are clear of temporary or permanent barriers such as tables, chairs, coat racks, easels, signs, equipment or boxes.
- Ensure that all permanent directional and room identification signage use large fonts, high contrast colors, non-reflective materials, raised lettering and Braille translations where appropriate, and are clear of visual or physical obstructions.
- Install signage at any non-accessible entrance to a public facility with directions to the nearest accessible entrance.
- Include the following information beneath the signature line of every letter or email sent to a customer:
To request other formats, please contact [your department or division name here].
Voice: xxx-xxx-xxxx | TTY: xxx-xxx-xxxx (if any) | Relay: 711 |
Or, you can include the above contact information in your signature line and simply add this (or similar) sentence to your email or letter:
Please contact me to request this document or its attachments in another format, such as Braille, audio recordings or text-only documents.
- Whenever possible, make sure that any documents sent to a customer as an attachment to an email are in an accessible format (i.e. a PDF that was created using Adobe Acrobat, NOT a document that was scanned electronically and converted to PDF or TIF).
- Post a Notice of Program and Service Accessibility flyer in the lobby or public reception area of each department or facility clearly stating the City’s intent to provide equal access to all services, programs and activities (see Appendix F).
The City works hard to ensure its public meetings, hearings and events are open and accessible to all citizens, regardless of disability. In addition, the Special Events office works directly with community event organizers to help ensure events using City streets, parks or other resources are compliant with the ADA. Recommendations of this Transition Plan are:
- All departments that host public meetings, hearing or other public events must be able to provide accommodations to people with disabilities, as requested. This includes providing American Sign Language interpreters, providing additional wheelchair seating and providing additional disabled parking spaces close to the entrance(s). Instructions about how to accommodate these requests should be provided to all employees, with reminders sent out once a year.
- Ensure that doorways and primary paths of travel at a meeting or event location are clear of obstructions or barriers, such as signs, boxes, chairs and electrical cords.
- Locate and inventory all assistive listening devices/FM transmitters and create a system for making them available to all departments (e.g. Outlook calendar checkout system), and include step-by-step operating instructions for use with each device. Verify that devices are operational once per year or in advance of any requested use, and replace/repair devices promptly.
- Include the following statement (or something similar) at the end of any email, news release, advertisement or mailed invitation sent out about a City-sponsored meeting or event:
To request reasonable accommodations at this (meeting/event), please contact (name of event contact, phone #, TTY # - if any, Relay: 711, Email: email@example.com) by (insert date – usually 1-2 weeks before the event, depending on when the notice is sent out).
The City produces a variety of informational and promotional materials for public use, including maps, brochures, forms, newsletters, fact sheets, reports, plans and the Senior Messenger newspaper. Recommendations of this Transition Plan are:
- All departments must be able to provide documents and other printed materials in alternate formats, as requested. This includes Braille, audio recordings, enlarged print and computer disks at no charge to the individual making the request. Instructions about how to provide these alternate formats should be provided to all employees, with reminders sent out once a year.
The only Braille printer owned by the City is located at the Luepke Senior Center. A system by which all departments may use this printer should be developed to include reimbursement for staff time and materials, or additional Braille printers should be made available at key public facilities (e.g. City Hall, Firstenburg Community Center, Water Resources Center, etc.) for use by all staff in those buildings.
- Include the following information (or similar) on the all printed materials provided to the public, including brochures, fact sheets, handouts, flyers, maps, plans, forms, reports and newsletters:
To request other formats, please contact [your department or division name here].
Voice: xxx-xxx-xxxx | TTY: xxx-xxx-xxxx (if any) | Relay: 711 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: If a document is going to be used for more than one year without updates, please select a generic customer service telephone number and email address for your department, if available.
In 2012, the City of Vancouver will complete a comprehensive redesign of its website. The new design will include a variety of accessibility-related improvements, including text size and color, providing alternate text on photos and other graphics consistently, and providing accessible PDF documents. Recommendations of this Transition Plan are:
- Ensure that all fillable electronic forms are accessible by computer screen reading software for those with sight limitations. The Webmaster may want to purchase screen reading software like that used by people with such disabilities, in order to test the accessibility of certain key Web pages, forms and documents.
- Post links to PDF documents only if they were created using Adobe Acrobat from the original, editable document.
- Do not use TIF or JPG formats for documents with text unless another link to an accessible PDF or text-only document is provided along with it.
Example: 2011 Project Fact Sheet (PDF | JPG)
- Do not use a document scanner to create a PDF or TIF for your Web pages unless you also provide a text version of the document along with it.
Example: 2011 Project Fact Sheet (TIF | HTML/TEXT ONLY)
CVTV does not close-caption any of its produced programming. The station plans to start captioning the Vancouver City Council meetings, Clark County Board of Commissioners hearings and local election coverage both on its broadcast station and on videos posted on the CVTV Web page by 2014, at a cost of $25,000 a year. CVTV’s total operating budget is under $500,000, and providing captions for all 600 hours of its annually produced programming would be prohibitively expensive ($60,000-$95,000 a year).
Shorter CVTV videos posted on YouTube by the City can be captioned automatically by the viewer using software provided by YouTube. City departments may request that promotional videos produced by CVTV be captioned at an extra cost.
The only recommendations of this Transition Plan for CVTV are to take advantage of any computer-based real-time captioning software programs that may be developed in the future, and take advantage of any grant opportunities that might arise to help provide more complete captioning services. It should be noted that CVTV has already committed to doing so.
The City currently uses criteria that do not discriminate based on disability when selecting contractors, consultants or vendors for City projects or services. However, federal regulations also require that any outside contractors receiving City funding, or receiving federal funding through the City, comply with the requirements and regulations of Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Recommendations of this Transition Plan are:
- Include a statement in all Request for Proposals, contracts or other bid solicitation documents or Web pages explaining that businesses, organizations or individuals contracting with the City of Vancouver must comply with Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and provide links to Web sites or other resources about the ADA and Section 504.
- Require all City contractors, consultants or vendors sign a statement attesting to their intent to comply with Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This statement can be added to existing contract documents or can be a separate form. For the City’s small works roster, make submitting the signed form a requirement for inclusion on the roster.
A key deficiency revealed by the self-evaluation survey conducted in early 2012 was the need for regular and recurring employee training about a variety of subjects related to the requirements and regulations of the ADA. This information can be provided to employees through written procedures and other self-directed training tools (e.g. PowerPoint presentations, videos, etc.), through online training courses or through formal classroom training. The Northwest ADA Center is a great resource for ADA training. The City’s training and education needs include:
- Location and use of TTY text telephones (placing and receiving calls)
- Use of the State of Washington third-party Relay telephone system (placing and receiving calls)
- Responding to requests for materials in alternate formats, including accessing Braille printers, getting audio recordings, providing enlarged text, etc.
- Responding to requests for accommodations at public meetings and events, including getting a sign language interpreter, securing additional disabled parking spots, etc.
- Providing accessible Web content (alternate text, fonts, PDFs)
- General information about working with disabled customers (culture and etiquette)
- General information about the ADA and its legal requirements as it pertains to the City
- General information about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its legal requirements
- How both the ADA and Section 504 are different from Section VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
In addition to providing this information to all existing employees and new hires, the City should provide all employees with annual reminders about the ADA requirements with links to instructional information. Any changes to the law affecting the City should also be monitored and shared with employees as appropriate. This continuing education effort should occur in coordination with the annual updates that will be made to this transition plan.
Self-Evaluation Survey: Findings
The City of Vancouver owns and either operates or leases a number of municipal and utility buildings, public streets, historic properties, parking lots, community centers, parks, trails, sports fields and lease properties. Some of these properties are not open for public use or do not house public services or programs, but many do.
The City has conducted a variety of site visits, surveys and inventories of its facilities, sidewalks, curb ramps and parks starting after the ADA became law in 1992. Today, the majority of the City’s public facilities are ADA compliant and it continues to make progress on installing curb cuts and sidewalks along its roadways, and providing increased access to its indoor and outdoor parks and recreation facilities. The following is a summary of the currently identified accessibility improvement priorities and needs.
“Public Facility” is defined here as any building or other facility owned by the City that is open to the public or houses City departments or private businesses that meet with or conduct business with the public from that location. This does not include parks, trails and sports fields, which are addressed separately in this plan (page 13).
The City of Vancouver initially surveyed its public facilities after the ADA went into effect in 1992. Since then, it has regularly updated and maintained these survey results, and conducted an aggressive program of repair, renovation and relocation to correct many identified barriers and deficiencies.
The City of Vancouver adopted the International Building Code as its building code in 2004, which includes provisions ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities. The City also uses the Americans with Disabilities Act Guidelines for Building and Facilities (ADAAG) and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design in the design and construction of its facility improvements and construction projects.
Since the first ADA facility surveys were conducted in the 1990s and early 2000s, the City has made improvements to several of its buildings built before 1992, sold other non-compliant buildings and relocated most of its important public services into ADA compliant buildings.
Public Facilities Owned or Operated by the City of Vancouver (2012)
- Amtrak Station, 1301 W. 11th St. (historic building)
- Brookside Utilities Warehouse, 2323 NE General Anderson Ave.
- Blue Building/Records Warehouse, 615 W. Sixth St. (not open to the general public)
- City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.
- Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St. (historic building; leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Covington House, 4115 Main St. (historic building)
- Esther Short Building, 610 Esther St. (leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Esther Short Commons, 505 W. 8th St., 710 Esther St. & 720 Esther St. (owned by the Vancouver Housing Authority)
- Fire Station #1, 900 W. Evergreen Blvd.
- Fire Station #2, 400 E. 37th St. (limited/emergency-only public access)
- Fire Station #3, 1110 N. Devine Rd. (limited/emergency-only public access)
- Fire Station #4, 6701 NE 147th Ave.
- Fire Station #5, 7110 NE 63rd St.
- Fire Station #6, 3216 NE 112th Ave. (limited/emergency-only public access)
- Fire Station #7, 12603 NE 72nd Ave.
- Fire Station #8, 213 NE 120th Ave.
- Fire Station #9, 17408 SE 15th St.
- Fire Station #10, 1501 NE 164th Ave.
- Firstenburg Community Center, 700 NE 136th Ave.
- Ft. Vancouver Regional Library - Operations, 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. (leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Fruit Valley Neighborhood Center, 3202 Unander St. (leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Marine Park Engineering Building, 4500 SE Columbian Way
- Marshall House, 1101 Officer's Row (historic building)
- Marshall & Luepke community centers, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
- Old Slocum House, W. Sixth Street & Esther Street (historic building; leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Operations Center, 4711 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
- Parking lot #1 - Smith lot, 501 Washington St.
- Parking lot #2 - Evergreen & Broadway, 915 Broadway St.
- Parking lot #5 - Park 'n Go West Coast Bank, 500 Broadway St.
- Parking lot #9 - Main Place, 1111 Main St.
- Parking lot #10 - Riverview Tower, 900 Washington St.
- Parking lot #11 - 11th & Broadway, 1100 Broadway St.
- Parking lot #18 - Park 'n Go VancouverCenter, 601 Columbia St.
- Parking lot #20 - Esther Short Building, 610 Esther St.
- Pearson Field - 101 E. Reserve St. (owned by the National Park Service)
- Pearson Air Museum - 1111 E. Fifth St. (owned by the National Park Service)
- Police Dept. - East Precinct, 520 SE 155th Ave.
- Police Dept. - Headquarters, 605 E. Evergreen Blvd.
- Police Dept. - West Precinct, 2800 Stapleton Rd.
- Police Evidence Building, 2325 W. Mill Plain Blvd.
- Vanco Golf Driving Range, 703 N. Devine Rd. (leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- Vancouver Landing amphitheater, 100 Columbia St.
- Vancouver Tennis Center, 5300 E. 18th St.
- Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way
- Webber Machine Building, 400 Columbia St. (leased to non-city businesses or organizations)
- West Side Water Treatment Plant, 1800 Kotobuki Way (limited/emergency-only public access)
Of these 46 public facilities, only 14 (30%) have one or more identified ADA deficiencies. These deficiencies are included in this plan, along with estimated completion time frames and costs, starting on page 15.
The City prioritizes its ADA facility improvement projects based on how much public use the facility receives and the types of services it houses. The facilities with identified deficiencies that are currently the highest priority are:
- Fire Station #1 (900 W. Evergreen Blvd.)
- Operations Center (4711 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.)
- Vancouver Tennis Center (5300 E. 18th St.)
The City is committed to bringing all its facilities into full compliance with the ADA as soon as possible, based on available funding and other resources.
The City of Vancouver has over 500 miles of public streets and 5,900 intersections to maintain and upgrade. It has been a priority for the City to improve accessibility for pedestrians and the disabled through the expansion of an accessible sidewalk network. The City has implemented several programs and policies, and developed funding mechanisms to address the tremendous system needs for accessibility, including:
- Ensuring all new transportation capital projects include pedestrian access and meet the current ADA design standards and guidelines
- Completing annual updates of the Transportation Street Standards to address changes and clarifications on ADA design from the federal Access Board and to better incorporate pedestrian facilities
- Providing funding in all pavement management overlay projects for building missing, or repairing existing ADA sidewalk ramps and sidewalks
- Requiring that all new developments and site expansions or improvements include ADA facilities
- Creating an on-going funding source for completing projects identified in the system inventory and to address specific citizen requests
- Adopting a revised Comprehensive Plan with policies that strive to meet the requirements of the ADA (1994, 2004 update, 2011 update)
- Continuing to seek a funding program to complete the projects identified in the Capital Facilities Plan
The City continues to work towards completing a full inventory of sidewalks and curb ramps for all streets in Vancouver. A sidewalk inventory was completed in 2001 as part of the development of City Transportation System Plan. This inventory compiled data from several sources to identify which streets had sidewalk on one or both sides. This inventory was then used to create a database and mapping tool to develop a project needs list and project prioritization. With this information, the City completed a full curb ramp inventory in 2007 and plans to complete a full sidewalk assessment when funding allows.
Sidewalk Inventory and Needs
Out of the 500 miles of roadway in the City of Vancouver, close to 60% have sidewalks on at least one side. Approximately 56% of the arterial street system has sidewalk on both sides of the roadway, and another 18% has a sidewalk on one side. Close to 40% of local streets have sidewalk on both sides, and 15% have sidewalk on one side.
While over half of the City’s transportation network has sidewalks, there is still a substantial need for more. Arterial sidewalk projects are included in the City’s adopted Transportation Capital Facilities Plan. The total cost to complete all the arterial sidewalk projects included in the City’s adopted Transportation Capital Facilities Plan equals $30 million. The estimated cost to upgrading the local street system to include sidewalks is just under $100 million.
Curb Ramp Inventory
In 2003, the City of Vancouver hired a private consulting firm to complete a curb ramp inventory for all streets in the City. The inventory included all streets with sidewalks on at least one side and covered both arterial and local streets. Over 1,700 intersections and approximately 7,000 corners were inventoried.
For each intersection, data was collected showing whether or not there were any existing curb ramps, and whether or not existing curb ramps met ADA standards, including slope, lip, ramp width and landing area. This data allowed the City to create a list of missing curb ramps and a list identifying what elements of existing curb ramps were out of compliance. The final results showed:
- 439 curb ramps are missing along arterial roadways
- 160 arterial roadway intersections are missing at least one curb ramp
- 1,472 curb ramps are missing on local streets
- 485 local street intersections are missing at least one curb ramp
- Approximately 4,000 existing curb ramps in some way do not meet ADA standards
Curb Ramp Project Prioritization
Generally, the City’s primary focus is given to intersections on arterial roadways without existing curb ramps. Subsequently, the following criteria are used to help determine which intersections are completed first:
- Proximity to government facilities
- Streets with higher traffic volumes
- Streets with public transit service
- Streets with pedestrian attractors like schools, parks and shopping
- Proximity to medical facilities
- Improved system connectivity
The City does allow exceptions to the criteria if it helps ensures public safety, is more efficient or maximizes the overall benefit. A list of all identified curb ramp projects, along with estimated costs, is available in this plan, starting on page 15.
The total estimated cost to make all the curb ramp improvements is $7.8 million, or $3.1 million just for the arterial roadways. These figures don’t include other related upgrades, like sidewalk repair, driveway replacement or installation of audible crossing signals.
The City allocates $50,000 each year for curb ramp improvements and completes as many projects as possible with this funding, based on the ranking of the priority list.
The City also continually looks for and has successfully obtained additional funding for these projects from other sources, including grants from local, state and federal programs, the Neighborhood Traffic Safety Real Estate Excise Tax program and the Neighborhood Action Plan (NAP) program.
Vancouver Parks and Recreation (VCPRD) is a consolidated department serving both the City of Vancouver and Clark County. In the City, VCPRD is responsible for:
- acquiring, planning, designing and building new parks, trails and sports fields
- operating and making major improvements to existing parks, trails and sports fields
- providing a variety of recreation classes, camps, programs and activities at the Firstenburg Community Center, Marshall/Luepke community centers, the Vancouver Tennis Center and in local parks and sports fields
The City’s General Services Department is responsible for maintaining the three community centers and the buildings and structures in parks (e.g. restrooms, picnic shelters, water features, amphitheaters, etc.). The City’s General Services and Public Works department are responsible for daily maintenance of the parks, trails and sports fields.
VCPRD designs and builds all its new park construction projects and park improvement projects in accordance with the International Building Code, ADAAG, the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, and the Access Board’s draft Outdoor Developed Areas Guidelines. Recent examples of the current accessible design standards used in parks include the new picnic shelter and nature play area at Marshall Community Park, Brickyard Neighborhood Park, the new playground at Hidden Neighborhood Park, West Minnehaha Neighborhood Park, Endeavour School Neighborhood Park, LeRoy Haagen Community Park and MyPark Neighborhood Park.
VCPRD surveyed all its City and County-owned parks, trails and sports fields in 2005 and 2009. In 2011-12, VCPRD conducted an additional self-evaluation survey of all its programs, services and activities, and developed a Transition Plan covering all aspects of the department (Appendix C).
The ADA improvement project list for City-owned parks, trails and sports fields are included in this plan, starting on page 15. The ADA deficiencies identified in the three community centers are included in the “Public Facilities” project list in that same section.
Access to Recreation and Inclusion Program
VCPRD operates the Access to Recreation and Inclusion program, which provides both integrated and separate classes, camps and programs for people with physical and mental disabilities. In 2011, the Access to Recreation and Inclusion program made more than 7,000 accommodations to disabled citizens to encourage participation in a variety of recreation programs offered by VCPRD. In addition, VCPRD offered 257 classes, camps and events designed specifically for people with disabilities in 2011.
Section 35.133 of Title II of the ADA states that:
A public entity shall maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment that are required to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities by the Act or this part. This section does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs.
Additionally, Section 220.127.116.11 of the Access Board’s “Accessible Rights of Way: A Design Guide” states that:
Public works departments should respond quickly to citizen reports of damaged surfaces along high-priority routes, so that pedestrians with mobility impairments do not have to seek alternate routes.
Because the City does not have the staff or resources to monitor the condition of all its facilities, roadways and parks on a continual basis, it relies on reports from citizens to facilitate its maintenance efforts. Priority will always be given to maintenance needs that impact safety and accessibility.
It should be noted that within the City of Vancouver, it is the responsibility of the abutting property owner to maintain sidewalks free of defects and obstructions. The City is responsible for maintaining sidewalks abutting the properties it owns (see Public Facilities section).
To report maintenance problems for City-owned buildings, roads/sidewalks, park, trails or sports fields, please contact the Public Works Operations Center at (360) 696-8177 (WA Relay: 711), or submit an electronic report on the City website.
Following are the lists of identified accessibility improvements projects in four key areas:
These lists includes estimated time frames for completion and estimated costs. This list will be updated each year to reflect additions to the list or recently completed projects.
The lists are only available as PDFs on the Web. To request them in a different format, please see the "Alternate Formats" section at the top of this page.