Disability Rights Advocates Seeks Comments About Pedestrian Pathway Barriers

The LightHouse has partnered with Disability Rights Advocates on a number of issues that affect our blind and visually impaired community. The following request illustrates the scope of the problem that affects our community.

Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a non-profit legal center, is investigating complaints 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 remaining unblocked pathway that is provided 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 that 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 PedDetours@dralegal.org. Please include your name and contact information as well.

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
– Who has jurisdiction over the blocked pathway

You can also reach us by phone. Call Zack Duffly at 510-665-8644 to share your story.