Illegal curb ramps in Oregon: Study finds 97-percent aren't compliant with regulations

ODOT study shows that 97-percent of Oregon's curb ramps violate the law (SBG).

OREGON - New data from the Oregon Department of Transportation shows that nearly all of the curb ramps on Oregon's highways and state roads violate the American's with Disabilities Act.

The data shows that ninety-seven percent of the sidewalks and curb ramps aren't in line with the law.

Sometimes, it's just centimeters that make the difference; the little things that cause big problems when it comes to curb ramps.

Tim Shearer and Erycka Organ work at Lane Independent Living Alliance on behalf of accessibility for all. They say they're disappointed, but not surprised by ODOT's findings. ODOT says that many of the ramps were compliant at one point, but over time the ground has settled or changed, making them no longer compliant.

In some cases, it's the width of the ramp, which have to be at least 36 inches wide, or the slope of it, which must be one foot in length for every inch in height.

"For folks to have safe access crossing streets, doing their daily business, it's just unfair and it's against the law," said Shearer. "You can fall going down them -- I've broken foot rests and been stopped and fallen over from that."

Now, as part of a lawsuit settlement, ODOT has a plan to make all state curb ramps compliant by 2032. Meanwhile, Shearer says he uses his best judgement on what's safe and what's not sa they wait for the state to make improvements.

ODOT is starting a pilot program this Spring at six locations, including one in Springfield to find the best ways to make these ramps compliant, and add ramps where there are none.

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