The primary purpose of the NMDOT Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) program is to ensure that pedestrians with disabilities have opportunity to use the transportation system in an accessible and safe manner.
As part of its responsibility under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504), NMDOT shall not discriminate on the basis of disability in any highway transportation program, activity, service or benefit it provides to the general public; and shall ensure that people with disabilities have equitable opportunities to use the public rights-of-way system.
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 93-112) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in Federally assisted programs. Section 504 requirements for USDOT administrations are covered under 49 CFR Part 27 (USDOT), Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Financial Assistance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990, Public Law 101-336, each as amended) is a broader civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life.
The ADA addresses State and local government services, activities and policy making under the Department of Justice’s ADA Title II implementing regulations. The ADA, under Title II, Subpart A, covers public rights-of-way. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has rulemaking authority and enforcement responsibility for Title II, while USDOT is legally obligated to implement compliance procedures relating to transportation, including those for highways, streets, and traffic management. Section 504 responsibilities not detailed specifically in Title II of the ADA are: Rest areas on Interstate highways must be accessible; and pedestrian overpasses, underpasses, and ramps constructed with Federal financial assistance must be accessible.
The NMDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs administers the Department’s ADA Program and has an ADA Coordinator on staff. The ADA Coordinator advises planners, designers, contractors, inspectors, project managers and others to help ensure that pedestrian facilities in the public right of way are readily accessible to and usable by pedestrians with disabilities.
Jason Lujan, ADA/Title VI Support Program