San Diego Under Federal Investigation For Scooter ADA Violations.
From Janet Rogers. March 20, 2022.
For those of you who wonder what good Get It Done reports do, I used them extensively in my ADA complaint to the Federal Highway Administration. If you remember last September, I posted that I made ADA complaints to both DOJ and FHWA. Some of you joined me by making DOJ complaints. FHWA said one complaint was enough for them to consider the issue.
It took FHWA several months to decide that they do have jurisdiction over this issue for “compliance”. (DOJ does enforcement, which is mainly lawsuits). FHWA ADA compliance power covers surface transportation, which includes Sidewalks.
In January an investigator contacted me and I provided him more detailed information. He then contacted the City and they have been responding to the complaint. Here is the process for the investigation.
1 FHWA said I now have the right agency to deal with this issue.
2 the investigator was gathering all the information and he would write a report to send back to their ADA lawyers.
3 the Washington DC office will decide on the next steps.
4 he made it clear that “if a City takes federal money, they must obey federal law”. Federal agencies have the ability to withdraw federal funds.
5 if the problem isn’t resolved after the FHWA report is acted on, I should let them know.
I am waiting for the report to be completed and transferred to DC. I don’t want San Diego to lose any federal funds, but that depends on the City’s behavior. Retaining federal funds is totally up to the City’s decisions and actions. For FOUR YEARS the City has allowed the sidewalks to be blocked and violate the civil rights of people with disabilities. Enough is enough.
Please keep reporting. Start the description with “ADA” for any scooter or bike that blocks the sidewalk. That makes the reports easier to find in the database.
A wheelchair takes a minimum of 4 feet to get by. Access ramps and the landing area at the top of a ramp have to be clear. The route should not have tripping hazards either. Scooters that are lying down on the sidewalk also violate state law. Under Title ll of the ADA, Cities must ensure a free and clear access route on sidewalks for people with disabilities. I don’t know yet what FHWA will require but I expect the City will be given an opportunity to correct the problem.
Alyssa (Muto, Director of the City of San Diego’s Sustainability & Mobility Department), recently said the City:
“is working to see greater results out of SWEEP with moving back to SWEEP operations, consistent with the originally executed contract of 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team is also working to install more corrals citywide in a move toward corral only compliance upon adoption of the proposed code amendments.”
Giving Sweep more hours only helps if they are allowed to do anything other than act like busboys for the scooter companies by cleaning up after customers.
Please keep up the great reporting work. You provided the proof that the City is violating its ADA responsibilities. You will provide the proof if the problem isn’t resolved.