More than half of Dothan’s sidewalks, curbs fail to meet federal guidelines

More than half of Dothan’s sidewalks, curbs fail to meet federal guidelines

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Local governments are required to review public facilities to determine whether they would limit accessibility for people with disabilities and a new study finds Dothan doing a poor job.

More than half of the sidewalks and curb ramps in the Circle City are not in compliance with federal guidelines.

The study, conducted by engineering firm Neel Scaffer, found that of the city’s 624 sidewalks, 338 are not in compliance. And of the city’s 1,468 curb ramps, there are 1,124 with deficiencies.

“It could be something very minor that requires some patching," said Transportation Planner Reginald Franklin. "Or it could be that it’s an area where the sidewalk needs to be replaced.”

The study looked at sidewalks and curb ramps located within the rights of way of city owned and maintained roads in all six of the city’s districts.

The study found that most of the deficiencies are located in District 2.

“Since D2 encompasses a majority of downtown Dothan and older neighborhoods, it is important that we take a look at our sidewalks for compliance because of our growing visitors, elderly, and citizens who require services,” said Janasky Flemind, District 2 Commissioner.

The city plans to use the data to develop a transition plan to bring the sidewalks and curb ramps into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act to the fullest possible extent.

“The law pretty much wants us to make a good faith effort. It doesn’t tell you we need to do X number of sidewalks in five years and Y number of sidewalks in 20 years,” said Franklin.

A priority is expected to be put on the downtown area, areas where there is a lot of traffic, and areas where people with disabilities live.

A cost estimate has not yet been determined yet.

The city hopes to be able to present a final plan to commissioners by September.

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