The City of Tulsa performed an assessment of programs, policies and practices to ensure that all residents of the City of Tulsa enjoy access to civic life. The project provided a written assessment of public facilities within the metro area, as well as recommendations to improve service and accessibility to programs for all residents of the City of Tulsa. The project information was combined into a single document, known as a Transition Plan, which will be used by City staff to prioritize improvements to pedestrian facilities throughout the community.
During the project, City staff and accessibility professionals sought citizen input to help identify areas that need accessibility improvements. The website has a listing of meeting dates and locations, as well as points of contact for questions related to the project specifically or accessibility in general. The City encouraged all citizens to provide input to the project staff in order to make the completed Transition Plan document as comprehensive and accurate as possible.
The City of Tulsa has initiated an update of its Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. This one-year process includes a citywide inventory of public facilities, programs and services to evaluate where modifications are needed for ADA compliance. The City also will implement changes to remove accessibility barriers identified through the evaluation.
The City of Tulsa strives to provide accessibility in all programs, services and activities. For transit operations, all buses operated by Tulsa Transit are accessible to those with disabilities.
The City of Tulsa completed its original ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan in 1992. Since then, the city has experienced significant changes in population, physical size, streets, sidewalks and curb cuts, as well as added city facilities and programs. The Partnership includes the City Human Rights Department, Engineering Services, consultants Kimley-Horn & Associates, the University of Oklahoma Outreach and Accessology, Inc.
The City also has formed both a steering committee and advisory committee to help guide this project to completion and implementation. Committee members include professionals, concerned citizen groups and disabled consumers who require access throughout the City to maintain their independence.
A major part of ADA compliance involves sidewalks. The City of Tulsa devotes a portion of every capital improvement funding measure - general obligation bond issues and the third penny sales tax - to sidewalk specific work. This includes repairs to eliminate tripping hazards, adjustments made for ADA compliance, and additions made for continuity of travel.
Whenever the City of Tulsa constructs or repairs a sidewalk, it is brought into ADA compliance. Arterial street rehabilitation and widening projects both include sidewalks and curb ramps. Every arterial street widening project includes construction of ADA compliant sidewalks on both sides. The City coordinates with residents to include sidewalks with non-arterial street rehabilitation near parks, schools and public areas.
The City maintains an inventory of citizen concerns regarding existing and proposed sidewalks and curb ramp locations. The locations are addressed by priority as funding allows.
The 2005 Bond Issue provided $600,000 for citywide sidewalk work, most all of which has been spent. The 2006 Third Penny Sales Tax included $500,000 for sidewalks on arterial streets and $750,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets. The funds are made available each July for five years. Two more annual distributions remain in both July 2010 and July 2011: $100,000 for arterial sidewalks and $150,000 for non-arterial sidewalks.
The 2008 Bond Issue for streets includes $400,000 for sidewalks on arterial streets and $300,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets. The 2008 Third Penny Sales Tax extension includes $1.6 million for sidewalks on arterial streets and $700,000 for sidewalks on non-arterial streets.
More than $27 million of sidewalk projects have been identified citywide. The City will begin an assessment of all sidewalks and curb ramps for arterial streets and intersections, as soon as a consultant agreement is in place.
The City of Tulsa also has applied through INCOG for $23.8 million of transportation projects funded through the federal Jobs for Main Street. Unfortunately, the $3.1 million that was to be dedicated for sidewalk construction did not materialize. The City of Tulsa will look to Transportation Enhancement funds, as well as other funding sources, for that work.