Concord Public Works ADA Transition Plan for Public Rights of Way

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination based upon disabilities.  The Act is separated in to five sections known as Titles.  Title II of the Act deals specifically with state and local government, and prohibits them from discriminating against persons with disabilities or from excluding participation in or denying benefits of programs, services, or activities.

As part of Title II, state and local government agencies are required to perform a self-evaluation of their facilities to ensure compliance with Title II.  Agencies are also required to develop a plan to become compliant.  The “Transition Plan” must include the following:

  • Identification of physical barriers that limit the accessibility of facilities to individuals with disabilities,
  • Description of the methods to be used to make the facilities accessible,
  • Development of a schedule for making the access modifications, and
  • Identification of the public officials responsible for implementation of the Transition Plan.

The Town of Concord most recently updated its ADA Transition Plan in 2006, with consultant Adaptive Environments undertaking a comprehensive assessment of Town properties as well as policies and procedures to determine compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board standards.  “Section VII – Review of the Pedestrian Realm” provided recommended improvements to the Downtown Area specifically, but also provided general recommended improvements for the other Town rights of way and parking facilities as well as certain features.

Since the transition plan update, the Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) were promulgated by the US Access Board.  Formal federal rule making was expected to be completed within 2015, but is still in draft form.  However, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the MassDOT have adopted these guidelines as their respective accessibility standards.  These new standards have slight deviations to the current Town of Concord Public Works Design and Construction Standards and Details, which were adopted by the Public Works Commission in 2010. 

In evaluating the required changes to the Standards and Details to meet the updated PROWAG, CPW reviewed the existing transition plan and determined that the project should be expanded into the development of an improved Public Right of Way Transition Plan to build on the Town’s previous efforts from the 2006 “Review of the Pedestrian Realm”.  Over the past two years, CPW’s Engineering Division worked to develop Self Evaluations of Policies, Practices and Procedures as well as the Infrastructure within the Town Right of Way. 

Table of Contents
Sections 1-4
Appendicies
  1. Definitions
  2. APP #41 - Employment and Services for Disabled Persons
  3. Concord Public Works Design and Construction Standards & Details Works Section 4 – Pedestrian Accessibility Standards
  4. Sidewalk Plowing Program Policy
  5. Technical Infeasibility Determination Process and Policy
  6. APP#5 - Municipal Grievance Procedures Relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act
  7. Public Outreach Materials
  8. Implementation Schedule & Cost Summary
  9. Data Summary Maps