- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The city of Waterloo plans to update its bus benches in an effort to comply with federal Americans With Disabilities Act standards.

Officials plan to end the city’s longtime contract with The Bench Co., a Parkersburg-based company that sells advertising on Waterloo’s 141 bus benches, according to building official Craig Clark. The city would then install 50 new benches, and possibly bid out advertising to raise funds for maintenance purposes, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1JpDNyb ) reports.

The ADA Compliance Commission voted last week to spend $75,000 to replace the first 20 benches. MET Transit is expected to match $30,000 in funding.

“It’s not just the benches,” Clark said. “They have to be accessible and you have to be able to get to them through the sidewalk system.”

In March 2011, a group of bus users and advocates for people with disabilities approached Water City Council members with concerns over inadequate snow removal around and near bus stops. Those concerns prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and ask the city to ensure its bus benches can be accessed by people with disabilities.

Some of the bus benches clearly weren’t placed in the best locations for riders, said ADA Compliance Commission member Dr. Gael Yonnet.

“Sometimes it’s just straight advertising,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the bus.”

City officials and MET Transit representatives recently worked together to develop a list of the 59 most beneficial bus bench sites, particularly those in areas where stores, social service agencies, hospitals and employment centers are located, Clark said.

Some of the improvements will be easy and inexpensive fixes, while others will require a concrete pad and full-blown sidewalk extensions.

“Basically, we just want to get them all done in the next two years,” Clark said.

___

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide