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ADA Ramp Behind Stop Line

Over the years I’ve been asked how I find things to write about, the answer is always easy: I go places like the grocery store, to dinner, or, yesterday, to buy a gallon of paint.

Able-bodied pedestrians follow the green line but those of us in wheelchairs must follow the red
Able-bodied pedestrians follow the green line but those of us in wheelchairs must follow the red

When cars are stopped at the stop line they still block the curb ramp. This is similar to a situation on Magnolia at Grand, I posted about it in 2007 (St. Louis Crosswalk Ignores ADA Ramps). That got fixed quickly by moving the stop line back, but this seems a bit more complex. The sewer inlet and light post (just out of frame) make a ramp a tight fit. Curb bulbs like a few blocks north on Grand would provide the space needed.

— Steve Patterson

 

Jefferson Commons: Very Good ADA Access With One Big Exception

Jefferson Commons has done an amazing job retrofitting new tenant spaces into the old Foodland building on Jefferson (see Reurbanizing Jefferson & Lafayette Pt 2: Foodland). As I had hoped

One of two newly created ADA access routes into Jefferson Commons, this is the south one.
One of two newly created ADA access routes into Jefferson Commons, this is the south one.
From this access route you can see the newly constructed outlot building with two tenant spaces.
From this access route you can see the front of the newly constructed outlot building with two tenant spaces.
Turning to the north at the bottom of the route you can see pedestrian access was given considerable thought.
Turning to the north at the bottom of the route you can see pedestrian access was given considerable thought.
View from the new outlot building toward the ADA access route
View from the new outlot building toward the ADA access route
But approaching the building it was clear to me in May one detail was overlooked. Last month the problem remained.
But approaching the building it was clear to me during construction in May one detail was overlooked, but I wanted to wait to see just in case something was planned. Last month the problem remained.

UIC/Greenstreet Properties did a great job and, as required by the ADA, provided a non-drivewalk access route from each public transit stop. Shopping centers must do so, whereas stand-alone properties can provide access through a driveway. Yet an important detail for compliance was overlooked. It may have been shown on the drawings but overlooked during construction, or left off the drawings by mistake.

I’ve not seen any crossing paint here, drawing that in on construction plans can greatly reduce a design or construction error. I’ll be sending this to my contacts at the companies responsible and to city officials.

— Steve Patterson

 

Commercial Property Owners Need To Consider Accessibility When Making Alterations

Being an old city we have many old buildings that aren’t yet wheelchair accessible. When a business opens up they need to be aware of the ADA, especially when spending money remodeling.

The building on the SW corner of Jefferson Ave & Winnebago St has had many establishments over the years, including quite a few since the 1990 passage of the ADA. Most changes over the years have been relatively minor. According to city records the previous owner owned the property from December 1977 to July 2007. In 2008 the current owner added a new patio out front, mostly in the public right-of-way. This was the perfect opportunity to make the first floor of this 1890 building wheelchair accessible.

The 2008 patio at Jefferson Ave Bistro
The 2008 patio at Jefferson Ave Bistro
Looks very nice!
Looks very nice!
But it has steps up from the sidewalk.
But it has steps up from the sidewalk, maybe the door on the side is the accessible entrance?
This door is unlocked and also used as an entrance, the step makes it impossible to enter
This door is unlocked and also used as an entrance, the step makes it impossible to enter
My footrest ran right into the step up
My footrest ran right into the step up
I didn't find a building permit for the patio online, perhaps it was built without prior approval. This occupancy permit mentions patio expansion
I didn’t find a building permit for the patio online, perhaps it was built without prior approval. This occupancy permit mentions patio expansion

When the patio was built the owner could’ve easily modified the sidewalk to provide access to the side door. It would’ve been a relatively minor add on to the patio project. To do it now will be far more costly.

— Steve Patterson

 

Courtyard Apartment Buildings Gracefully Add Density

September 20, 2013 Featured, South City 6 Comments

St. Louis, like most cities, has a variety of housings types. I’m rather font fond of this type of apartment building.

5743 Chippewa was built in 1939
5743 Chippewa was built in 1939

It has 18 apartments, 6 one-bedroom & 12 two-bedroom, on a lot measuring 91 feet wide  x 120 feet deep. That’s 18 units on a quarter acre lot! To the west is apartments over commercial storefronts and to the west single family detached homes, all from the late 1930s.

These were new modern light-filled apartments, a contrast to the old tenement slums in the old part of the city. This was the suburban ideal at the time. You’re thinking it can’t be called “suburban” since it is in the city. Wrong, it was sub-urban compared to how flats were built decades earlier.

Many of these exist in St. Louis, north & south, as well as in the inner ring of suburbs. Though I’ve never lived in one, I enjoy seeing them as I pass by.

— Steve Patterson

 

Recycling Dumpsters Completely Block Sidewalk, Hopefully Just Temporarily

I’m a huge advocate of recycling. I also know making it easier will get more people to recycle. But that convenience shouldn’t come at the expense of walkability. Unfortunately that’s what happened in south St. Louis recently.

Trying to reach Chippewa along Clifton Ave behind Target I encountered a big blue obstacle blocking the sidewalk.
Trying to reach Chippewa along Clifton Ave behind Target I encountered a big blue obstacle blocking the sidewalk.
I had to go off into the grass to get around the bins. Not all wheelchairs/scooters are as capable. Someone walking with a cane or walker would have trouble walking on the grass.
I had to go off into the grass to get around the bins. Not all wheelchairs/scooters are as capable. Someone walking with a cane or walker would have trouble walking on the grass.
The six recycling bins, oriented to the street, viewed from across Clifton Ave
The six recycling bins, oriented to the street, viewed from across Clifton Ave

It wasn’t until  this point in writing this post that I realized the dumpsters probably sit on the road most of the time, they likely got moved to the sidewalk while Clifton Ave was being resurfaced. I’m going to verify with city officials to ensure this was only temporary.

— Steve Patterson

 

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