Monday, December 6, 2010

How to submit a request to Caltrans to have an access barrier removed

The 2010 settlement with Caltrans provides several ways for people to report access barriers in order to have Caltrans remedy these conditions. Such barrier removal requests may come from individuals, organizations, public agencies, cities, and/or local government entities. The settlement covers pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian overpasses and underpasses that are under Caltrans’ jurisdiction. It also covers Park and Ride facilities under Caltrans’ jurisdiction. If you have encountered or observed barriers in such facilities, and believe such facilities are or may be under Caltrans’ jurisdiction, we encourage you to report such barriers to Caltrans to request that the barriers be removed.

There are two primary methods for reporting such barriers: (1) submitting a non-grievance access request or (2) submitting a formal accessibility grievance.

Non-Grievance Access Requests:
You may submit an access request to inform Caltrans of an existing access barrier. The access request should identify with as much specificity as possible the location (e.g., intersection of two streets) and the barrier at issue (e.g., no curb ramp). Under this informal procedure, Caltrans will not necessarily confirm receipt of and/or follow up with you regarding your access request. However, Caltrans will address all access requests. Caltrans will prioritize these access requests based on the severity and safety risk posed by the access barrier, as well as other factors such as the type of facility involved and whether the barrier removal can be combined with other barrier removal work planned for the area. There are four different ways you can submit an access request:

You may submit your access request by U.S. Mail to the ADA Coordinator at:

Charles Wahnon
Caltrans Statewide ADA Coordinator
1823 14th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811


You may fax your access request to the ADA Coordinator at:

916-324-1869, ATTN: Caltrans Statewide ADA Coordinator.

You may communicate your access request verbally by calling Caltrans’ ADA Coordinator at:

Toll-free: 1-866-810-6346
TTY: Use 711

You may e-mail your access request to Caltrans’ ADA Compliance Office at:

ADA_Compliance_Office@dot.ca.gov

Formal Accessibility Grievance:
You may also submit a formal accessibility grievance to Caltrans in writing by mail, e-mail or fax, using the same contact information set forth above for submission of written access requests. The grievance should provide as much detail as possible about the nature and location of the access barrier at issue, as well as your name, address and phone number. Please specify that the matter is submitted as an accessibility grievance. Accessibility grievances should be submitted as soon as possible after you have experienced or observed the barrier. Access barriers identified by the grievance process will be prioritized in the same manner as for informal access requests, but by submitting an accessibility grievance, you trigger a formal process which sets deadlines for Caltrans to act and requires Caltrans to confirm receipt of the grievance and provide information as to the proposed remedy for the access barrier. If you file a formal ADA grievance, you should recieve a formal response within 15 days.

There are no limits to the number of access requests or accessibility grievances that any individuals may submit, and you can combine multiple barriers within the same access request or grievance.

Please contact Mary-Lee Kimber Smith if you have questions or feedback about the access request process at 510-665-8644, Ext. 114 or at msmith@dralegal.org

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