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City Ramping Up Efforts to Increase ADA Accessibility

Over $2 million invested since January ’18, G.O. Bond proposal would fund more than $1 million in additional ADA accessibility projects.

October 1, 2019

On Tuesday evening, Mayor Tim Keller will join a meeting of the Albuquerque Federation for the Blind to help kick off ‘Meet the Blind’ Month, taking place all of October. In remarks to the group, Mayor Keller will highlight more than $2 million invested in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility infrastructure and programs to make Albuquerque easier to navigate for the disability community.

Meet the Blind Month and its counterpart White Cane Awareness Day highlight the importance of full participation in the community for the blind and the ability of the blind to live independent lives, calling on cities and employers to take into account the blind community’s needs and skills.

“At the heart of building a more inclusive Albuquerque is our partnership with the disability community, through our advisory committee and the public, to promote independence, ease of travel, and accessibility throughout the community,” said Mayor Keller. “We’ve invested more in ADA compliance and there’s so much more still to be done, work that will unfortunately take decades to do. With the help of voters this fall we will continue to invest this important work.”

An Office of the Inspector General Report issued under the previous administration identified thousands of specific instances throughout the city causing problems for people with disabilities. The report estimated that repair to sidewalks and curbs would require more than $400 million in investment.

Since 2018, the City of Albuquerque has invested more than $2,000,000 in accessibility projects, including:

  • 421 defective sidewalks repaired
  • 317 new curb ramps in traditionally overlooked neighborhoods
  • 43 projects to build new sidewalks and upgrade older curb ramps
  • New sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps in Trumbull Village
  • $647,000 for ADA compliance on arterial road rehabilitation
  • $132,104 for ADA compliance on residential road rehabilitation
  • $20,523 to install ADA compliant doors for men’s and women’s restrooms at Isotopes Park, City Council Chambers, and the 9th floor (Council) of City Hall.

In addition, as required by ADA, all ART stations and buses include Braille information, and the Transit Department conducted an event last week to introduce the community to the ADA-specific features.

If passed by voters this fall, the G.O. Bond package would continue to fund the City’s work to increase ADA compliance and accessibility for the disability community. Specifically, the Bond package, which does not raise taxes, includes $400,000 for making roadways and intersections compliant with ADA and with Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG), $500,000 to renovate Senior Centers, making them more accessible, and $300,000 in upgrades to Daniel Webster Children’s Park, including ADA accessibility improvements.

For more information on Meet the Blind Month and White Cane Awareness Day, including simple tips for getting to know and interact with blind people comfortably, visit www.nfb.org.

For local contacts and resources with the National Federation for the Blind of New Mexico, visit The NFB of New Mexico.