Why, oh why, are brand new intersection ramps being replaced in OB?

by on October 18, 2010 · 16 comments

in Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

sidewalk ramp new jg-sm

Photo by Jim Grant.

Apparently, all over Ocean Beach, intersection ramps are being replaced to meet ADA standards. Trouble, is the ramps that are being replaced are fairly brand new!

The same thing has been occurring in Pacific Beach.  Last week, the San Diego Reader ran a short piece by Paul Severt on this very issue:

[The City has a] current project of replacing the handicapped sidewalk curbs with ones that include plastic yellow rectangles with raised domes. The yellow patches are bumpy and serve as a detectable warning to unaccompanied blind citizens.

Josh Freeman, a project foreman, explained that the curbs had to be replaced because they were one-eighth of an inch too high for ADA standards. According to a report to the City from Engineering and Capital Projects Department employee Patti Boekamp, the addition of the raised yellow rectangles is a federal requirement.

The cost of each uninstalled plastic patch is approximately $200. The cost of replacing each curb is approximately $3500.

One-eighth off?? What a way to spend our money!! (Is this federal stimulus money?) Over the next day or two, we’ll contact Mr Freeman mentioned above and have him confirm this.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

doug porter October 18, 2010 at 8:53 am

they did the same thing in North Park.


donofcali October 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

How do you expect them to maintain their budget projections if they don’t spend this year’s budget all up?


Disability Advocate October 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

It doesn’t matter how ‘new’ the ramps are- the ADA puts in place requirements so to provide equal accessibility for all. The problem is whomever put them in, in the first place, didn’t abide by ADA requirements in the first place. Now they are needing to be replaced (probably the result of one person complaining), where they could have just done it right the first time.

Another suggestion- before replacing all of the already working ramps, install curb-cuts in places like on Ebers Street that desperately need them!


Seth October 18, 2010 at 10:13 am

All I know is that you can’t get a baby stroller down Bacon too easily. Can’t even imagine being in a wheelchair.


bodysurferbob October 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

seth, you gotta get out of the stroller first, dummy.


Jon October 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Seth, thanks for pointing that out. I have a disabled relative and we realized that whenever they visit me in ob, we have to take cable to get from south ob to the north side. My relative literally could not make it down Bacon because those curbs are so high and do not have ramps. We had to change streets. Whether the curbs like the one pictured in this article need replacement is debatable, but many of the curbs along Bacon are certainly in need of ADA compliance.


OB Joe October 18, 2010 at 10:13 am

I understand that people in wheelchairs hate those yellow bumpy things.


barbara October 18, 2010 at 10:17 am

The 1/8 of an inch part of the story smells phony to me. The yellow dots have been required for quite a while now, so if these”new” ramps are being replaced, who installed them to begin with? Short cutting fed law hoping no one would notice? If you are blind trying to navigate in a sighted world, you notice. I would praise those trying to live with minimal help rather than bitch about how much it costs for their safety. Just sayin…


RB October 18, 2010 at 10:58 am

We can keep replacing curbs until the government does it right, or the city workers reach retirement or the government runs out of money. Wait the city, state and country is out of money!


Old Hermit Dave October 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

This is called someone in political office has a brother in law or a close friend in the pour concrete business. LOL


barbara October 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

True story. 3 1/2 million of stimulus money went to paint an elaborate logo on the floor (North Island?) where they work on aircraft. Resurfacing was included of course. When some employees questioned the huge expense and unnecessary design, they were told the CO’s brother was the contractor and if they wanted to keep their jobs, STFU


Richard Agee October 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Well I watched them replace the curbs on Guizot St several months ago with the wheel chair type ramp done with all cement. (must have cost a small fortune !) then 4months or so later I was driving again on Guizot St and they were cement sawing the street again and tearing out what they had just put in ,so I parked and asked what the deal was and the head Foreman came over and said that the all cement ones were done in error and needed to have the yellow rubber for blind people so they are re -doing all them !
Your tax dollars at work ! I told him as I walked away , that it sounded like good job security and he laughed ! This is just another example of the millions of dollars this city wastes . It is not only sad it is outrageous. We do not have leaders here in San Diego , we have corruption ,scams ,and lies. The right hand never knows what the left is doing ,and they cannot chew gum and walk at the same time.


fs October 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Missed placed priorities Sound like the City.
Richard, I don’t know about the corruption or conspiracy part that is giving them to much but certainly incompetence and stupidity. I have noticed all the curb ramps being redone and it proves the stupidity. I think some of the management is just scared to speak up and tell Major and Council etc what they don’t want to hear they will lose there job and they all know it.


justmy2cents October 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

A big fat scam……all of it.
IF the ADA work and curb was not done correctly, the prior contractor should not have been paid.
I was told the law changed on the yellow bump mat and now all ramps have to have them. Seems to this idiot there has to be a better way.
This is ONE of the reasons the City is broke.
Where is the councilperson when you need him ?


Molly October 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

REally??!! One-eighth inch off?? Do you realize how tiny an eighth of an inch is? Find a ruler and check it out. And it’s costing us thousands???!! How many thousands? Yes, the original contractor should have been forced to redo them, or the City should have just shrugged and replaced the curbs that are truly needed.


BillRayDrums October 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Perhaps if the ADA lawyers were to get on the case of the city re: budget constraints and whatnot, stuff would get fixed very quickly. It seems these lawyers wield an inordinate amount of power; so much so that business owners will not allow anyone access to their bathrooms in fear of a lawsuit over a 1/8 inch difference.

If these…”people”…can prevent people from performing basic bodily functions, imagine what they can do to unclog the cesspool that is the situation of the city’s budget crisis.


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