curb ramps

While walking in the central city today, I saw this brand new curb ramp on the southwest corner of X Street and 24th Street.

new curb ramp, southwest corner of X Street & 24th Street

Why, why, why, did the city put in a diagonal curb ramp when they should have put in a two perpendicular ramps? Though I’ve searched in vain through city documents looking to see what the criteria is for a single ramp per corner versus two ramps per corner, I have heard it said by city staff that the single ramps are for residential neighborhoods and the two ramps are for urban neighborhoods. This is definitely an urban neighborhood setting, with both 24th Street and X Street being arterials. Yet the city put in a single ramp. They call this a ‘single flare curb ramp’. What should have been installed here is a ‘standard curb ramp’. The city diagrams do not show exactly this situation, where there is a sidewalk buffer (planter strip) on X Street, with an attached sidewalk on 24th Street, but the diagram below is the closest to the situation.

If the city development code does not specify that single, diagonal ramps should be used only in purely residential situations (if even there), it should be modified to be so.

2021-03-12: Adding a photo that better shows the context for this diagonal ramp. This is the southwest corner, X Street to the right and 24th Street to the left. There is space for perpendicular ramps. Of course this would have been a great location for a curb extension (bulb out) on both 24th Street and X Street, but yes, that would be significantly more expensive and might involve drainage issues.

curb ramp at southwest corner of 24th St & X St

2021-03-17: Adding a photo of a new curb ramp in the same area of town, at 22nd Street and W Street, showing the correct perpendicular curb ramps. It isn’t that the city doesn’t know how to do it right, it is that they chose not to at the intersection of X Street and 24th Street.

perpendicular curb ramps at 22nd Street & W Street

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

3 thoughts on “curb ramps”

  1. I don’t understand what the problem is here. It looks fine to me – of course except when the leaves fall and the rain forms a huge puddle right here. But that true of all these cuts.

  2. Why exactly is this poor design? Is it unsafe or something?

    On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 7:56 PM Getting Around Sacramento wrote:

    > Dan Allison posted: ” While walking in the central city today, I saw this > brand new curb ramp on the southwest corner of X Street and 24th Street. > new curb ramp, southwest corner of X Street & 24th Street Why, why, why, > did the city put in a diagonal curb ramp when ” >

    1. Yes, it is unsafe for people in wheelchairs and people with vision impairment. It sends them towards the middle of he intersection, and then they must reorient to the crosswalk they want, inducing a chance for error that can be fatal. On low traffic, low speed residential streets, the reorientation may be done safely, but these are high volume, high speed streets (vehicle traffic on X Street greatly exceeds the posted speed limit). And for anyone walking the diagonal ramps take them out of their direction of travel, which indicates a traffic engineer’s bias against pedestrians.

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