APR 3 1996 The Honorable Robert S. Walker U.S. House of Representatives 2369 Rayburn Building Washington, D.C.

20515-3816 Dear Congressman Walker: Your letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation on behalf of your constituent, XX , regarding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for curb ramps and sidewalks at public streets and intersections, was forwarded to me for comment. XX has questioned decisions by North Coventry Township, Pennsylvania, to install curb ramps leading from public streets to impassable areas where there are no sidewalks. According to your letter, officials of North Coventry Township claim that these actions are mandated by title II of the ADA. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by State and local government entities. When public entities build new facilities or alter existing facilities, the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II (enclosed) requires that the newly constructed or altered areas be made accessible to individuals with disabilities. The regulation specifically provides that new construction of or alterations to streets give rise to accessibility obligations for curb ramps. 28 C.F.R. S 35.151(e). Therefore, if the North Coventry Township were constructing a new street or intersection or were altering an existing street or intersection, it may be required to provide accessible curb ramps or ramps where pedestrian walkways that are elevated or curbed intersect with the new or altered street or intersection. 28 C.F.R. S 35.151(e)(1). Notably, resurfacing of streets gives rise to these obligations, as resurfacing is considered to be an alteration within the meaning of the ADA. See Kinney v. Yerusalim, 9 F.3d 1067 (3d Cir. 1993). In addition, if North 01-04193 -2Coventry Township were building or altering a pedestrian walkway,

it may be required to provide curb ramps or ramps as needed where the walkway intersects streets or intersections. 28 C.F.R. S 35.151 (e) (2). However, the new construction and alterations provisions of title II do not require installation of ramps or curb ramps in the absence of a pedestrian walkway. Nor are they required in the absence of a curb, elevation, or other barrier between the street and the walkway. Therefore, curb ramps or ramps leading to vacant grass lots are not required by the ADA. Of course, the ADA does not prohibit North Coventry Township from exceeding the requirements of the ADA. Nor does it limit the State's discretion to provide new pedestrian walkways and ramps as it sees fit to serve interests in addition to accessibility. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely, Deval L. Patrick Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosure 01-04194 Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-3816 March 5, 1996 Kent Markus, Esquire Acting Assistant Attorney General U. S. Department of Justice Main Justice Building, Room 1603 Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530 Dear Mr. Markus: I am writing to you on behalf of my constituent, XX enlisted my assistance. , who has

It is my understanding that XX is concerned about the curb cuts which are being constructed in her neighborhood. She notes that there are no sidewalks, and at many intersections, the curb cuts lead to impassable areas. When she contacted North Coventry Township officials, she was told this action is being taken in compliance with the ADA. Since XX notes that should an individual in a wheelchair be able to negotiate the curb cut, there is no where else that person could go, due often to tree limbs and other brush. Therefore, she contends this expense is not practical and these curb cuts should not be mandated. Accordingly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my interest on behalf of my constituent and to request that this matter be reviewed as expeditiously as possible. Thank you for your cooperation in this regard. I will look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity. Cordially, Robert S. Walker nw 01-04195