September 2, 2007

California Vehicle code and ADA regulations re blocking driveways and sidewalks

This is for those of you than can't seem to figure out where to park your vehicles. Two places not to park them (even for a moment) is in or across a driveway (even the one in front of your house as that is city property) or across a sidewalk, which you also do not own even if in front of your house. And don't forget about the Americans With Disabilities Act enforcement as you (and the city of Lakewood) may find yourselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit where you will have to pay the handicapped persons legal bills! The Federal Dept. of Justice tends to take parking that blocks handicapped access more seriously than Lakewood does. See letters below CA vehicle code section.


section 22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle
whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid
conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a
peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the
following places:

[inapplicable text]

(e) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus
engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load
or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant
to an ordinance.
In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road
or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other
curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved,
surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private
road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway.
(f) On any portion of a sidewalk, or with the body of the vehicle
extending over any portion of a sidewalk, except electric carts when
authorized by local ordinance, as specified in Section 21114.5.
Lights, mirrors, or devices that are required to be mounted upon a
vehicle under this code may extend from the body of the vehicle over
the sidewalk to a distance of not more than 10 inches.

[inapplicable text]

(l) In front of or upon that portion of a curb that has been cut
down, lowered, or constructed to provide wheelchair accessibility to
the sidewalk.


DEC 3 1993

The Honorable Dennis DeConcini
United States Senator
40 North Center, Suite 110
Mesa, Arizona 85201

Dear Senator DeConcini:

This is in response to your recent letter on behalf of
your constituent, XX , who inquires whether there are
any Federal laws that make it illegal for his neighbors to
bloc sidewalks with their trash or cars. While the activities
of XX neighbors may violate State or local laws, there
are no Federal laws that directly outlaw such behavior by private
individuals. However, allowing public sidewalks to remain
blocked may constitute a violation of title 11 of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide
technical assistance to individuals and entities with rights
or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal
guidance to assist your constituent in understanding the ADA's
requirements. It does not, however, constitute a legal
interpretation and is not binding on the Department.

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against
qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs,
activities, and services provided by or on behalf of State and
local governments. With respect to your constituent's problem,
if a public entity has responsibility for, or authority over,
sidewalks or other public walkways, section 35.133 of the
enclosed title II regulation [reprinted below] requires that public entities must
maintain them in operable working condition. Such maintenance
may include the removal of cars, trash, or other objects blocking
the passage of persons using wheelchairs or other devices to
assist mobility.

The title II rule also requires that a public entity make
reasonable modifications to its programs, practices, or
procedures when " ... necessary to avoid discrimination an the
basis of disability., See section 35.130(b)(7) of the title II
rule. Under this provision, title II may also require the public
entity to modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure
that, aside from temporary and unavoidable situations, public
sidewalks are not blocked by cars, trash, or other impediments to
travel by wheelchair. [reprinted below]

Although, as noted above, there are no Federal laws that
directly prohibit individuals from blocking public sidewalks, you
may wish to suggest to your constituent that he contact the
appropriate local authorities to determine whether any State or
local laws directly prohibit such behavior. If such laws exist,
your constituent may wish to draw the situation to the attention
of the local enforcement agency.

I hope this information will be useful to you in responding
to your constituent.

James P. Turner
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
November 15, 2001

The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts
Member, U.S. House of Representatives
Lancaster County Courthouse
50 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

Dear Congressman Pitts:

This is in response to your letter on behalf of your constituent, xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx, regarding whether sidewalks, and in particular curb ramps, in a residential development built in 1993 must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), if plans for the development were approved by local authorities in 1988. Please excuse our delay in responding.

[inapplicable text]

Existing sidewalks that are not otherwise being altered are subject to Section 35.149 of the title II regulation, which prohibits a public entity from denying the benefits of its programs, activities, and services to qualified individuals with disabilities because the entity's buildings or facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities. A public entity that has responsibility for, or authority over, sidewalks or other public walkways, must ensure that such sidewalks and walkways meet the program access requirement and, when viewed in their entirety, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. This may require the public entity to install curb ramps on an existing sidewalk. In addition, a public entity is required to maintain sidewalks in operable working condition. See section 35.133 of the enclosed title II regulation. The only exception to this requirement permits isolated or temporary interruptions in operation when required for maintenance or repairs of the sidewalks. See section 35.133(b).

I hope this information will be useful to you in explaining the requirements of the ADA. You may wish to inform your constituent that further information is available through our Americans with Disabilities Act Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY). Please do not hesitate to contact the Department if we may be of assistance in other matters.

Sincerely, Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division

28 CFR sec. 35.133 Maintenance of accessible features.

(a) A public entity shall maintain in operable working condition
those features of facilities and equipment that are required to be
readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities by the
Act or this part.

(b) This section does not prohibit isolated or temporary
interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs.
(56 FR 35716, July 26, 1991, as amended by Order No. 1694-93, 58
FR 17521, Apr. 5, 1993)

28 CFR sec. § 35.130 General prohibitions against discrimination.

(b)(7) A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

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