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Architectural Barriers Component
Second Quarter Report

The efforts of the architectural barriers component during the second quarter of the project period were concentrated around wheelchair curb ramps Activities in this area moved forward on three fronts.

1. The largest part of our efforts was devoted to the implementation of the City of Berkeley's new programfor the construction of curb ramps. Experience had shown that the ramp design the city had theretofore been using was inadequate in several respects, and since this program will greatly accelerate the pace of ramp construction — doubling or trebling the number of ramps in the city in its first year alone — it was felt that these inadequacies should be corrected before they were incorporated in hundreds of additional ramps. To this end a proposal was subm itted to the city calling for four modifications to the existing design. After a sporadic series of negotiations, these modifications were accepted, in principle at least. The city now appears firmly committed to incorporating at least two of the modifications in all future ramp constriction. Acceptance of the other design modifications, however, has been conditional in that the city has agreed to follow them only "where feasible". The design process will therefore need to be monitored on an ongoing basis to insure that the standards of feasibility are sufficiently liberal to allow the modified design to be followed in its entirety in the great majority of cases.

A second very important result of the design negotiations has been the establishment of much better lines of communications between the CIL and the Berkeley Department of Public Works. One of the department's Senior Engineering Assistants has been designated coordinator of the ramp construction program; as such he is responsible for all its aspects, so there is just one person to contact whenever a question or problem arises. Furthermore, this coordinator is very accessible and anxious to help. Most important of all, the CIL has been given a substantial collaborative role in the program; copies of all relevant plans, specifications and contract documents are now sent to us as a matter of course, and each step taken in the process is submitted to us for review and approval.


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Thus, rather than being viewed as nuisances harrassing those who are trying to help, we are considered legitimate partners working co-operatively toward a common objective.