the worst ADA violation in Sacramento?

Let me say up front that there is a lot of competition for ‘the worst’, but I think the sidewalk and other construction on Capitol Ave between 16th St and 17th St is certainly in the running.

What are the issues?

  • No advance warning of sidewalk closure at the preceding corners on 17th St.
  • No ADA detectable barrier. The project is using chain link fencing with yellow caution tape strung through the fence.
  • Fence bases protrude into the sidewalk, presenting a tripping hazard for blind or low vision persons, or anyone at night.
  • No appropriate ‘sidewalk closed’ sign at the point of closure.
  • Both sides of Capitol Ave have closed sidewalks, so there is no choice between sides of street.
  • The small sign on the fences at 16th St indicate very long detours to reach the entrances of both 1616 Capitol Ave (south side) and 1615 Capitol Ave (north side). Photo below. This sign of course would be of absolutely no use for someone with impaired vision, or anyone on a dark day or early in the morning or late afternoon (at this time of year).
  • The bike lanes on both sides of Capitol are partially obstructed by fencing. No signing for bicyclists or drivers indicates this. Bicyclists have to merge away from the fencing into the general purpose lane, with no advance warning.

This is a California Department of General Services (DGS) project, and signing indicates that the construction contractor is Z Squared. I have reported these violations to both the City of Sacramento 311 (case 221130-1423348) and DGS Facilities Management Division.

It is worth noting that his current construction seems to be part of an ongoing construction project that was stalled for about a year. DGS removed the rocks from a sidewalk adjacent area meant to protect walkers from walking into the awkward building buttresses, then fenced these areas. About a year ago. Then, nothing.

There is also construction going on Capitol Ave between 15th and 16th, but I was so depressed by this one that I didn’t include it.

1616 Capitol Ave construction blocking sidewalk
1616 Capitol Ave construction blocking sidewalk
1615 Capitol Ave construction blocking sidewalk
1615 Capitol Ave construction blocking sidewalk
Capitol Ave at 16th St construction blocking sidewalk, north
Capitol Ave at 16th St construction blocking sidewalk, north
Capitol Ave at 16th St construction blocking sidewalk, south
Capitol Ave at 16th St construction blocking sidewalk, south
Capitol Ave detour signing for pedestrians
Capitol Ave detour signing for pedestrians

and bike lane blockages

Here is one example (of many) of a bike lane blocked by construction, on J Street between 10th Street and 11th Street in Sacramento. There is a major construction project on the south side in the eastern half of the block for a new apartment building. I’ve written about this issue before: J Street needs construction bypass. As construction progresses, the barriers around the site have moved closer to and further from J Street. The last time I was there, only the parking lane (and of course sidewalk) was blocked, but today, the bike lane is blocked again.

J Street bike lane pinches out at construction barrier

There are no signs along J Street warning of the closure ahead, and there is no ‘share the road’ sign. The commonly used, but not official MUTCD or CA-MUTCD, ‘bicycle share the road’ sign is below. This is, at minimum, the sign that should be installed here.

The solution is to either get the construction company to pull the barrier back from the street, returning the bike lane to function, or for a bike lane to replace the right hand travel lane. Since the sidewalk is also blocked, the accommodation can also serve walkers. As you can see from the photo, the left hand general purpose lane is already blocked for a utility work project. That would result in one lane for an unknown period of time, though the utility project seems to be going fairly quickly and might be done within a couple of weeks or less. The city should do a better job of scheduling construction projects so that they aren’t going on both sides of a busy street at the same time!