Project Spotlight: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan

ADA slope training 2In the coming months, citizens of the MAPO’s planning boundary may see a team similar to the ones depicted here. This is because, among other projects, the MAPO is conducting an evaluation of pedestrian infrastructure within the boundary. The goal is to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The data our teams collect will be included in an ADA Transition Plan that will provide a blueprint, schedule and planning-level costs for upgrading the MAPO’s pedestrian infrastructure. Each jurisdiction within MAPO is self-evaluating policies, practices and pedestrian infrastructure within the public rights-of-way to identify ADA deficiencies that pose barriers to safe and efficient access for all users.

ADA_summer slope collectionView the project website for additional information, including project updates, materials, meeting notifications and opportunities to comment on the Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan.

What is the ADA?

Our public spaces should be accessible to everyone. To help reach that goal, a set of civil rights legislation was signed into law in 1990 – the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It prohibits discrimination based on disability and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations. The spirit of the ADA is best summarized by the quote; “…no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” -Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, 42 U.S. Code § 12132

Why is the MAPO managing this project?

In 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) provided guidance, informational resources, and background on the ADA to all of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Title II of the ADA pertains to the programs, activities and services public entities provide, including local public service agencies and local transportation agencies. As a regional transportation planning entity, the MAPO is uniquely capable of coordinating this project among its member jurisdictions.

About the MAPO

The Mankato/North Mankato Area Planning Organization (MAPO) is responsible for regional transportation planning within and throughout the Greater Mankato area. This includes pedestrian, bicyclist, transit, automotive, rail, and aviation. The MAPO is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the region’s urban/rural area. This means the MAPO must provide a continuing, coordinated, and comprehensive transportation planning process in order to obtain federal transportation funds.

The MAPO must prepare a long-range (20-year) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the region every 4 years. It also selects projects for federal funding and prepares a four-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), through the MAPO Policy Board, made up of local elected officials, and the Policy Board’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TIP includes all federally funded transportation projects in the MAPO area, and development of the TIP includes significant input from citizens and interested groups. The MAPO continually produces a wide range of studies, plans, and recommendations to improve transportation within and throughout the Greater Mankato area.

The MAPO was established in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, which designated the Mankato/North Mankato region as an urbanized area (metropolitan statistical area–MSA), requiring the formation of a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

MAPO is a partnership of the cities of Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake, and Skyline; Blue Earth and Nicollet counties; and the townships of Belgrade, Lime, South Bend, LeRay and Mankato.

MAPO is directed by a six-member Policy Board and advised by a Technical Advisory Committee. The Technical Advisory Committee reviews and formulates recommendations to the Policy Board regarding plans for the Unified Planning Work Program, Long Range Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program as well as other plans and studies MAPO prepares.

The MAPO is located at 10 Civic Center Plaza in Mankato, Minnesota. It is staffed by Executive Director Paul Vogel and Transportation Planner Charles Androsky.