Marcus Larson/News-Register##The city of McMinnville is proposing to enforce a 48-inch wide right of way along downtown sidewalks.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##The city of McMinnville is proposing to enforce a 48-inch wide right of way along downtown sidewalks.
By Don Iler • News Editor • 

City launches ADA compliance campaign

The McMinnville Downtown Association will be hosting a meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 17, at the Golden Valley Brewery &  Restaurant, to field merchant questions. 

The ADA requires cities to maintain 48 inches of clearance so people can navigate sidewalks in wheelchairs.

MDA guidelines encourage businesses not to place tables and chairs near street trees, and keep tables, chairs and sandwich boards at least 48 inches from the curb. It suggests all such elements hug building facades in order to maximize right of way. 

Mike Bissett, the city’s community development director, said the requirement isn’t new. He said it’s been on the books for several years. But he said encroachment has become a growing problem.

He said recent complaints led the city to issue the business community a reminder.

“As we’ve grown and changed downtown, we’ve encroached into that space,” Bissett said. “We want to educate people on what the standards are and what is needed.”

Cassie Sollars, manager of the downtown association, said her agency would work collaboratively with the city to encourage compliance and assist with enforcement. “I’m hopeful we can maintain the wonderful quality of downtown and still maintain access for everybody,” she said.

The city is also planning to create some dedicated street spaces where handicapped motorists can park. The city’s free downtown lots feature handicapped spaces, but there aren’t any on downtown streets at present.

Bissett said the city staff is in the process of creating an inventory of downtown parking spots to determine where on-street spots might be reserved for handicapped use. For more information, contact the McMinnville Downtown Association at 503-472-3605.

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