Main Entrance More Accessible to Disabled Gators
August 4, 2004 7:59 PM
The pathway leading from the corner of 19th and Holloway Avenues between the HSS and Administration buildings has been reconstructed to comply with
Work on the path, along with reconstruction of the HSS building entrance nearest to 19th Avenue, is the latest in a long series of projects the university has undergone in order to be more accessible to its disabled students, faculty and staff.
According to SF State’s Illustrative Landscape Plan for the project, the work ran from June 24 to Aug. 23, both widening and lessening the steepness of the pathway, removing the concrete stairs to an HSS entrance to make it accessible to wheelchairs, and adding more greenery around the path.
Gene Chelberg, director of SF State’s Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC), said the problem with the path was not its obvious steepness as one climbs the hill from the center of campus, but a cross-slope – a slope running perpendicular to the main climb. The main slope from 19th and Holloway runs east to west; the cross-slope runs north to south.
Cross-slopes are defined as barriers to accessibility in ADA guidelines; the guidelines note that too steep a cross-slope can make it hard for wheelchair users to guide their chairs in a straight line.
The path reconstructed at SF State had a cross-slope steep enough to make wheelchair users feel off-balance as they went up the main slope, said Chelberg.
ADA guidelines dictate that a cross-slope can be no steeper than one foot in rise for every 50 feet in length, so the pathway has been altered to fit those guidelines.
“It’s a magnificent project in terms of how much more of the campus will be compliant,” said Chelberg.
Funding for the project has come out of a category SF State gets from the state of California called deferred maintenance.
Phil Evans, director of Campus Grounds, was unavailable for comment about the project’s total budget.
Chelberg said that in the past 14 years, the university has spent between $300,000 and $750,000 every year on barrier removal and new ADA-compliant construction.
Since the ADA became federal law in 1990, SF State has been operating on a transition plan to make the campus fully compliant with federal, state, and city laws regarding accessibility, said Chelberg. The first priorities in the plan were to make sure every building had one accessible entrance and one accessible bathroom. More recent changes on campus include standardization of the location of Braille signage, and placement of small, yellow rubber domes in the 19th and Holloway Avenue curb cut to help the blind head straight across the crosswalk.
Chelberg said that approximately 650 Holloway Avenue curb cut to help the blind head straight across the crosswalk.
Chelberg said that approximately 650 students register with the DPRC as disabled every semester. But the true number may be significantly higher.
Chelberg said about 100 faculty and staff also register with DPRC.
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