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Shoddy Curb Ramp/Crosswalk At 16th Street & Market St

May 31, 2016 Accessibility, Downtown, Featured, Walkability 6 Comments

Lately I’ve been focusing on my pedestrian experience in the city, some recent posts include:

Today post is another example of poor quality work.  This isn’t about being a cash-strapped city — this is incompetence at all levels.

Looking West across 16th St at Market, note the location of the crosswalk relative to the detectable warning mat, click image for map to intersection
Looking West across 16th St at Market, note the location of the crosswalk relative to the detectable warning mat, click image for map to intersection
From the crosswalk looking toward the "ramp"
From the crosswalk looking toward the “ramp”
Here's a closer view of the ramp.
Here’s a closer view of the ramp.

Looking at Google Street View I know this was done by the city sometime between September 2009 and August 2015.  It was during this time the city took possession of the building from the federal government. I remember the old ramp, there are still some like it. It was done during a period when detectable warnings weren’t required, plus the location had no relationship with their crosswalk. But it was flush with the street.

The maximum vertical hight change allowable per ADA guidelines is 1/4″  — but this curb ramp is substantially higher than that. Sadly, it is very common to have greater than 1/4″ at ramps. Many are so bad I email the Streets Dept’s asphalt guy directly so they can do a non-compliant patch. Many things can be non-compliant, but still useful. This, and others, are hard to use and they damage the drive wheel on my chair. This would be very challenging for someone using a manual chair, and a trip hazard for a person walking with a cane or walker. In fact — this is a trip hazard for anyone walking here.

I have no idea if this was built by city employees or by a hired contractor. Either way, we’s never tolerate such shoddy work on our homes or cars — it shouldn’t be allowed in the public right-of-way.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    In your first photo, it looks as if the actual (intended) ramp is on the right. In your second photo, the same ramp is on the left. For reasons un-explainable, someone stupidly placed the tactile strip behind a curb-ramp transition. Wouldn’t a reasonable, simple, temporary solution be to remove the detectable warning (which appears to be surface applied), then purchase another one (surface applied type) and center it on the actual ramp section of the concrete (on the right side of the 1st photo)? Unless I’m missing something, the temporary solution is simple.

    • No, the previous ramp was one for both Market & 16th. This change was to create a directional ramp for each crosswalk.

      • Mark-AL says:

        But the first photo APPEARS to show the old ramp located within the limits of the crosswalk striping. I can’t imagine that someone who really wants to IMPROVE the condition couldn’t fashion a reasonable solution until the corner gets a total restructuring.

        • The entire corner was replaced, the old is visible via the Google Street View link provided.

          • Mark-AL says:

            I must be blind! You’re seeing something that I just don’t see in Google maps. In both Google maps and in your photos, I see the same concrete–different paint striping. And I don’t see where there’s a REAL problem, provided the existing truncated dome strip mentioned in your post is removed, and a new one is installed, per my first post. There’s no end to the number of screw-ups that STL is capable of. But consider the fact that employees are selected among a very shallow politically-connected pool of applicants, and you’ll quickly explain all those otherwise un-explainable “how-did-that-happen” mysteries.

          • There was a time the ADA didn’t require tactile warnings, the truncated domes. In the 2009 view on GSV it didn’t have them at the one ramp.

            By 2015 the concrete changed and there was tactile warnings for each crosswalk.


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