Crothersville Town Council discusses ADA accessibility around town



The time may be now for Crothersville to create an Americans with Disability Act and Title IV transition plan.

At some point in time, Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. said the town is going to be mandated to have the plan.

Having it in place could be required in order for the town to apply for and receive federal funds.

“It’s an inventory of everything, not only in buildings and properties but also ADA parking spaces and ramps, and then estimates of what it’s going to take to bring it into compliance,” Bender said to the Crothersville Town Council during a meeting earlier this month.

Bender began talking about the need for a plan in 2019. While there’s still no mandate, he said that could change at any time.

“We had turned in a proposal to do one and just have it ready,” he said. “That is on the shelf, but it also means once you do it, you need to start addressing some things over time.”

Bender said Indiana Department of Transportation Local Public Agency projects require the ADA and Title IV transition plan to be in place, and that may eventually trickle down to Office of Community and Rural Affairs projects.

“It will just be on the checklist for another item that you have to have,” Bender said.

The plan also would require the council to appoint an ADA compliance officer, who would work to ensure there is accessibility around town.

Jamy Greathouse, who is new to the council along with Katie Masters and Jason Hillenburg, said it would be good for the new members to have a list of the state’s guidelines. Bender said he could share that along with a sample plan FPBH did for another community.

“Maybe we can be proactive instead of waiting for the state to hit us with those, just an outline of all of the different things that can give us an idea of what we’re going to be looking at,” Greathouse said.

Bender said he recently looked at handicap-accessible spaces that were made more visible by town employees in front of the Crothersville Community Schools building, and he said they are not in compliance.

Greathouse then came up with a sketch that Bender said may be a good way to correct the issue. That would involve eliminating the handicap parking spaces on the east side of North Preston Street and moving them to the west side and adding a crosswalk out from the main entrance of the gymnasiums so people could safely cross the street.

“Then they have the ADA access at the corner of Oak (Street) and they would have the ADA access there at that crosswalk, which would then provide the distance required for those spots,” Greathouse said. “We could have that crosswalk so then the people parking at the church parking lot and anyplace else on that side of the road would be able to have access straight across.”

Greathouse said LED lights could be placed on each side of the crosswalk to draw more attention to it.

Bender said a curb cut and a ramp would have to be added on the west side of the street to line up with the crosswalk.

“We would maybe have to make some aisle space in between the spaces,” he said. “Right now, there are five (spaces on the east side of the street), and they look really tight, so when you get done, there may only be four instead of five.”

Bender said the current handicap ramps near the gymnasium and cafetorium entrances are not in compliance. Both would be the school’s responsibility to fix, and Greathouse asked Bender to provide him the standard easement guidelines so he could share those with school officials.

Greathouse said the east side of North Preston Street near the gymnasiums entrance could be reserved for public safety parking — fire, police and ambulance — and a visiting school’s bus could park just north of that area at the corner of Oak and Preston streets.

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