|Approved by the:
|Student Senate October 2, 2014|
The University continually works to improve our environment for pedestrians and bicycles on campus and appreciates the campus community's suggestions for how to improve safe movement and accessibility for all modes of transportation. University staff from Parking and Transportation Services, Disability Services, and Facilities Management, have reviewed the Student Senate resolution and the stairwell in question. As a result of the resolution, Facilities Management will make modifications to the railing on the stairwell to allow bikes to be walked up and down the stairs in the current center ramp. Riders will continue to need to dismount, but rather than lifting their bicycles up or down the stairs, they will be able to roll their bikes on the ramp while walking up or down the stairs. In addition, last year's comprehensive review regarding the placement of security cameras identified this location as a future camera site. As funds become available, cameras will be added to this area. The construction of a ramp that would serve the needs of bicycles and wheelchairs is not currently under consideration. A ramp that would meet ADA standards for slope would require a structure that exceeds what is reasonable at this time given the other points of accessibility for the building. If and when the University embarks on a major construction project for this area, we would consider how to improve accessibility at that time.
Resolution Calling on the Appropriate University Department to Install a Wheelchair/Bike Accessible Ramp
WHEREAS, thousands of students, faculty, and members of the community bike to and from the University of Minnesota through the West Bank Campus, and many of them access bike lanes on campus through the entrance behind Willey and Mondale Halls (see purple dot on Map 1 and Figures 1 through 4);
WHEREAS, the University prides itself on advancing access for everyone, yet there is no access to the walking paths on the North side of West Bank for those with disabilities when Mondale is closed or Mondale's elevators are out-of-service;
WHEREAS, the access point behind Willey and Mondale Halls is the only way to enter the University of Minnesota's walking and biking paths on the North side of the West Bank for those with bikes or when Mondale Hall is closed;
WHEREAS, the access point behind Willey and Mondale Halls has a pair of stairs, without a wheelchair accessible ramp;
WHEREAS, dismounting, carrying a bike up or down the stairs, and mounting again is extremely inconvenient, potentially dangerous, and time consuming;
WHEREAS, these stairs introduce congestion when bikers are mounting and dismounting at the top and bottom of the steps and present a disadvantageous obstacle to those in wheelchairs and with other mobility assistants;
WHEREAS, the stairs create a safety hazard for bikers because some bikers are unaware of the steps around the corner from the bike lanes;
WHEREAS, the stairs also create a crime risk for dismounting bikers and walkers because the location is dark at night, there are no security cameras, and there are many blind spots, and a crime did occur at this location or in its vicinity on July 30, 2014 at 1:50 AM (see the attached Crime Alert);
WHEREAS, members of the campus and community with disabilities are currently disadvantaged by a structure on University grounds;
WHEREAS, one of The University's guiding principles is that it be "conscious of and responsive to the needs of the many communities it is committed to serving;"
WHEREAS, creating a bike and wheelchair access ramp next to the stairs or over one pair of stairs would reduce the number of blind spots and make the area easier to light;
WHEREAS, a ramp would increase handicap accessibility on campus, showing the University's commitment to all members of the community,
WHEREAS, a ramp would also increase safety and traffic concerns for members of the community who bike to campus,
THEREFORE, BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Twin Cities Student Delegations requests the appropriate University department follow the University's guiding principles and make the campus more accessible to all members of the community by installing a dual wheel chair and bike ramp behind Willey and Mondale halls.