Hanford could remove some non-accessible crosswalks

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hanford's Director of Utilities & Engineering John Doyel did some digging.

He found that all five of the non-wheelchair accessible crosswalks downtown been there since at least 1971, years before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.

But under the Hanford's ADA self-evaluation and transition plan, the city is required to get them in compliance by building ramps.

Or they can remove them all together.

Doyel, as well as the city's parking and traffic commission, are recommending the city council do just that.

"Mid-block crosswalks that are at uncontrolled intersections are probably not the safest locations for people to cross," Doyel said. "So when you start talking about why you would remove something, you first talk about safety."

If the councilmembers deemed the crosswalks as safe, however, Doyel would then have to figure out if crews could even build the ramps, because each one has its own set of existing barriers.

They include utility and light poles, fire hydrants, and columns that support buildings.
Andrea Young wouldn't have a problem if the city took out the crosswalks.

She crosses the street frequently, but rarely uses the mid-block crossings.

"I use the ones that are at the controlled intersections with the stops signs and such," Young said. "That way people can see me and it's just more safe."

Dan Chin is disabled and would like to see the crosswalks stay, with improvements made.

"Taking them out would actually increase pedestrian danger because people would drive faster," Chin said. "Right now they have a traffic calming feature because people know to expect them."
Now that the city is aware of the problem crosswalks, they must make a change.

If they're ignored, the city will risk liability and litigation issues.

If the city could make the improvements, it would be costly.

An early estimate is more than $100,000.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.