August 25, 1997

Ms. Donna Halligan, Director of Planning and Zoning

Borough of Red Bank

P.O. Box 868

32 Monmouth Street

Red Bank, N. J. 07701

Dear Ms. Halligan:

Thank you for your recent assistance in ensuring that Basil T's Restaurant had accessible parking in their restriped lot. I am also happy to note that you are now looking into the problem of sandwich boards on Red bank sidewalks.

As you and the council draw up guidelines, please remember that under the Americans with Disabilities Act and N. J. Barrier-Free Code there must be a 36 inch wide accessible pathway for people with disabilities. In several areas of Red Bank, because of sidewalk tables, sandwich boards, etc., the pathway is too narrow, so is unsafe and illegal for people who use wheelchairs, canes, crutches, etc.

I also hope that you are informing businesses about the accessibility requirements when they present plans for building and renovation.

For example, we have received complaints that the "accessible entrance" to the Oyster Point Hotel is not accessible. The walkway is steep and there is a step to enter the door. The entrance threshold should be flush, no more than inch high, or inch if it is beveled. Otherwise, there must be a ramp. Since they will be renovating, please be sure that this unsafe and illegal situation is corrected before the plans and finished product are approved.

I enclose recent publications from the Department of Justice: ADA Design Guide, Restriping Parking Lots, Common Errors and Omissions in New Construction and Alterations, and ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities, which includes possible solutions.

I also enclose a statement from Attorney General, Janet Reno, which makes it clear that architects, designers, and engineers "have an obligation to produce designs that provide full and equal access to all." She states that she "…will litigate, and litigate as vigorously as possible."

I request that you freely copy these and give them to Ms. Tracy Challenger, the mayor, council members, construction officials, workers, business owners, architects, and all planning board members. As we have discussed, accessibility features are much safer and more accurate if done correctly at the beginning, rather than retrofitted after the error is discovered. Thank you for your help with this necessary issue.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Schwebel, Co-Chair

The Equalizers

  1. 291-4257

Encl.

cc: (w/o encl.)

Mr. Pasquale Menna, Councilman

Ms. Tracy Challenger, Exec. Dir., RiverCenter

Hon. Edward J. McKenna, Jr., Mayor