Although the parking outside the Columbus Community Building is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, the City is taking steps to address some residents’ concerns by adding more handicapped spots right outside the entrance.
During the Traffic Control Device Committee meeting held Monday, Sept. 11, in the Columbus Public Library, City Administrator Tara Vasicek suggested to the committee that two parking stalls just south of the building entrance be transformed into handicapped spaces. This would complement four stalls that are in the south building parking lot across 14th Street and three others that will go in a parking lot just east of the building that is still under construction.
The current handicapped parking outside of the Columbus Community Building in the south parking lot is ADA compliant based on size, distance and slope, according to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design handbook from the U.S. Department of Justice, the most current version provided by the federal organization.
“The east lot under construction is the official CCB lot and there will be three handicapped parking stalls, which is within the distance allowed per the ADA from the main doors,” City Engineer Rick Bogus said.
But, Vasicek said, the City wants to do more and appreciates the feedback it has gotten from some residents.
“It is a fair distance from the front door to the parking lot. We’re within the parameters of the law, but it could be better,” Vasicek told the committee. “There should be ADA stalls right here (pointing outside the front entrance) and we’re going to get them done.”
Vasicek said she would like to see two stalls just west of the building’s front entry on 14th Street revamped into handicapped parking and handicapped ramps added as quickly as possible. Two of those ramps will be west of the entry along 14th Street. She challenged staff to get it accomplished before it gets too deep into fall.
The committee, which also features Bogus, Police Chief Charles Sherer, Street Superintendent Clete Borchers and Public Works Director Chuck Sliva (who was absent Monday), then talked about punch-list items for the building that were being addressed and plans for continued improvements outside the CCB in next fiscal year’s budget.
The public parking lot directly south of the Columbus Community Building has been included by the Columbus City Council to be addressed in the capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2023-2024 (next fiscal year’s budget is scheduled to be voted on at the Sept. 18 meeting).
Vasicek and Bogus said the City will look in the next fiscal year to add a crosswalk/speed table directly south of the building’s entrance across 14th Street to the parking lot to help curb traffic and provide an extra layer of safety for pedestrians. Speed tables raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce traffic speed.
“We recognize the parking lot to the south needs work, and that’s why it’s in our capital improvement plan,” Vasicek said. “We’re trying to go along and fix what we can using the resources available. We certainly don’t want (anyone) to have a poor experience when you come into the building … We’re eager to get this done.”
The east parking area will be the official lot of the building and is under construction. It will add much-needed parking to downtown (62 stalls and three handicapped stalls which include three hatched aisles).
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