# 187

March 20, 1996

The Honorable Strom Thurmond United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510-4001 Dear Senator Thurmond: This letter responds to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Ms. XXXXXXXXXXX, who requests the status of a complaint that the Department of Justice received from her on November 6, 1995. Ms. XXXX alleges that the City of Charleston, South Carolina, is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by failing to install an audible traffic signal to assist individuals with visual impairments at a four-lane intersection. The response to your letter was delayed because of the shutdown of the Federal government. I apologize for any inconvenience to your constituent. The issue that Ms. XXXX presents is a matter over which a local or State government entity has jurisdiction. Thus, the circumstances that Ms. XXXX describes do not raise an issue that we are able to address. She may, however, wish to contact the appropriate city office that would have the authority to handle the matter she has described. The ADA does not require local governments to install audible or vibro-tactile crossing signals. In 1992, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) considered a provision for audible or vibrotactile crossing signals. The Access Board requested public comments on the proposed provision. Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; State and Local Government Facilities, 57 Fed. Reg. 60546 (1992). However, because of a lack of consensus on the need for these devices and the specifications these devices should be required to meet, the Access Board's interim final rule does not contain technical or scoping provisions for audible or vibrotactile crossing signals. The Access Board did note that the comments received may be of value in future rulemaking and technical assistance and that new technologies are being tested in several communities. Americans with Disabilities Act

Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; State and Local Government Facilities, 59 Fed. Reg. 31734 (1994). Therefore, Ms. XXXX may send comments on audible traffic signals to the Access Board for possible future Federal guidance. For further information on this issue, you or your constituent may contact: U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 1331 F Street, N.W. Suite 1000 Washington, D.C. 20004-1111 Telephone: (202) 272-5434; or Office of Highway Safety Traffic Management Branch Federal Highway Administration Department of Transportation HTV-31 400 7th Street, S.W. Room 3408 Washington, D.C. 20590 Telephone: (202) 366-5465 We have replied to the letter your constituent sent to the Civil Rights Division. I hope this information will assist you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division