10/29/93 SBO:AMP:ca XX (b)(6)

DEC 3 1993

The Honorable Dennis DeConcini United States Senator 40 North Center, Suite 110 Mesa, Arizona 85201 Dear Senator DeConcini: This is in response to your recent letter on behalf of your constituent, XX , who inquires whether there are any Federal laws that make it illegal for his neighbors to bloc sidewalks with their trash or cars. While the activities of XX neighbors may violate State or local laws, there are no Federal laws that directly outlaw such behavior by private individuals. However, allowing public sidewalks to remain blocked may constitute a violation of title 11 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities with rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist your constituent in understanding the ADA's requirements. It does not, however, constitute a legal interpretation and is not binding on the Department. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services provided by or on behalf of State and local governments. With respect to your constituent's problem, if a public entity has responsibility for, or authority over, sidewalks or other public walkways, section 35.133 of the enclosed title II regulation requires that public entities must maintain them in operable working condition. Such maintenance may include the removal of cars, trash, or other objects blocking the passage of persons using wheelchairs or other devices to assist mobility. cc: Records CRS Chrono Friedlander Pecht.cong.93.deconcin.b

McDowney FOIA

01-02772 -2The title II rule also requires that a public entity make reasonable modifications to its programs, practices, or procedures when " ... necessary to avoid discrimination an the basis of disability.,, See section 35.130(b)(7) of the title II rule. Under this provision, title II may also require the public entity to modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that, aside from temporary and unavoidable situations, public sidewalks are not blocked by cars, trash, or other impediments to travel by wheelchair. Although, as noted above, there are no Federal laws that directly prohibit individuals from blocking public sidewalks, you may wish to suggest to your constituent that he contact the appropriate local authorities to determine whether any State or local laws directly prohibit such behavior. If such laws exist, your constituent may wish to draw the situation to the attention of the local enforcement agency. I hope this information will be useful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosure