By Agrippina Fadel
Tamarac needs more sidewalks, bike lanes, and ADA-approved shuttle stops to make the city more accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city commission reviewed the final version of the ADA Transit Access and sidewalk GAP analysis plan at the workshop on May 23. In early March of last year, the project kicked off and took about nine months to complete.
Darci Mayer, Broward MPO Senior Transportation Planner, said the analysis included an evaluation of access to transit in a quarter-mile radius of the city’s two community shuttle routes: Red Route and Red Extension Route, with 21 stops in total; and 10 Broward County Transit (BCT) stops selected by the city staff.
“When the city’s ADA transition plan was updated in 2020, one of the priorities was new sidewalk installations. This plan will help the city with that effort,” she said, adding that Tamarac is a very vibrant city with a lot of pedestrians and cyclists.
The plan identifies sidewalk and bike lanes gaps and offers a prioritization schedule and cost estimates. It will also help the city bring the community shuttle stops to ADA compliance, making the routes eligible for Broward County surtax funding.
Mayer said bringing shuttle stops up to code with immediate upgrades will cost the city around $48K but save money in the long run because the county will fully fund the routes once Tamarac has all the stops fully ADA compliant.
“We also got input from community shuttle riders with online and paper surveys,” said Mayer. She added that the analysis evaluated the movement of people in the areas around the shuttle stops and identified needs and deficiencies and potential improvements for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and people with disabilities.
“Twelve out of 21 stops that were analyzed need upgrades to become fully ADA compliant. Within the quarter-mile radius of all the transit stops, the city needs 32,894 linear feet of sidewalks and 132,027 linear feet of bike lanes installed,” said Mayer.
She added that potential funding options include local, state, and federal programs. The plan identifies immediate, short, and long-term implementation timeframe.
Commissioner Debra Placko said the presented plan is excellent and very comprehensive.
“I will just encourage the city staff to start applying for funding through various programs now because, as we all know, it takes a very long time to get funding, especially with surtax,” she added.
City manager Kathleen Gunn said the analysis is a part of the city’s ADA transition plan. Some of the costs are more immediate than others, which helps the city prioritize.
“This is an ongoing process that we will continue to work on, but it doesn’t mean everything will get fixed immediately. We will focus on necessary upgrades first, but these are ambitious, long-term projects that give us a framework within which to attack the situation,” Gunn explained.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.