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November 2014 Newsletter: Our FIrst Issue!
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Dear Supporters of Accessibility,

     Reston Accessibility Committee (RAC) was founded in 2008 as a committee of Reston Citizens Association (RCA) to advocate for barrier-free access within the community for persons with disabilities.  We reach out to owners and property managers and encourage them to bring existing facilities into compliance with ADA, Virginia and Fairfax County requirements that are aimed at providing thoughtful, effective and safe access to products and services for customers, patrons, patients, diners, etc. with disabilities.

     Our completed accessible parking projects extend from North Point Village Center on the north to Fox Mill Center on the south, and from South Lakes Village Center on the east to Sunrise Technology Park on the west.  

We're pleased to share with you the five projects completed in the spring and summer of 2014.  "APS" is an acronym for "accessible parking space."

Spring-Summer 2014 Completed Projects


 
Reston Corner, 12007 Sunrise Valley Drive, begun September, 2009,  completed May, 2014.

     In that time, Reston Corner went through several property managers and had an ownership change in early 2013, thus the delay in closing this project.
     The original owner added the suggested automatic entrance doors to the building in May, 2010, and, that same month, replaced the heavy wood doors with suggested glass entrance doors to a neurology clinic to provide a sight-line from the receptionist to patients with mobility disabilities arriving outside the door. 

     In May, 2014, the current owner, through his property manager, Christopher Hembree of Cassidy Turley, adopted and completed our redesign suggestions for the APSs in the lot by adding required access aisles and compliant accessible parking signs.  To solve the problem of missing curb ramps, and to reduce the dangerous slope of the existing APSs, he raised the level of the asphalt in the APSs to be even with the curb, thus creating  direct access to the sidewalk for all APSs. Concrete wheel stops were installed to keep vehicles from encroaching on the sidewalk.
Hunters Woods Village Center 2, intersection of Glade Drive and Colts Neck Road, begun April 3, 2012, completed June, 2014. 

     A RAC representative met with Reynolds Allen, a representative of the new owner, Edens & Avant, in April, 2012.
     Edens was planning a major redesign of the parking lot and the addition of an outdoor community-gathering garden area.  We sought Mr. Allen's assurance that the two additional APSs we had secured working with the previous owner plus the then preexisting two spaces would be kept.  He gave us his promise and followed through on it.  Mr. Allen also committed to adding an APS, and that commitment was fulfilled.  
Carrabba's Restaurant, 12192 Sunset Hills Road, begun October 29, 2013, completed July, 2014.
  
     Carrabba's had two APSs, but three were required per the size of their parking lot according to the parking lot size to APSs ratio required by the national table.  Also, their accessible parking signs were not compliant with Fairfax County code. 

     Carrabba's staff quickly replaced the signs, and the property owner, A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, hired a contractor who resurfaced the accessible parking area and marked a total of three APSs with two access aisles.
 
Reston Post Office, 11110 Sunset Hills Road, begun on March 24, 2014, completed September, 2014. 

     There were accessible parking signs for only two of the three APSs, and the warnings on the two signs were not compliant with Fairfax County requirements.


     In Virginia, local jurisdictions can enforce the provision of properly-worded accessible parking signs.  The wording is important, because a driver receiving a citation for parking in an APS without an accessible parking placard or plate, can appeal in traffic court, and if all the language wasn't there - e.g., "DMV Permit Required," "Penalty $100-500 Fine," or "Tow-away Zone" - the judge can cancel the citation.

     On March 24, a County inspector called on the branch manager, explained that he needed to replace the signs, and left with him an example of the required design.  Three months later, a RAC representative visited the manager and asked about the status of the sign replacement.  He said he would check and get back, but didn't, and didn't return subsequent emails or phone messages.  RAC wrote to the USPS Northern Virginia District Manager, and his office acted immediately, installing three compliant signs.
Fox Mill Center,  2551 John Milton Drive. at Reston Parkway, begun July 14, 2014, completed September 13, 2014. 

     Kelly Egan, a representative of Regency Centers, owner of Fox Mill, had a positive response to our written accessibility assessment and was cooperative from the beginning. 

     Regency added two missing APSs that were required per their approved site plan, van-accessible parking signs, an access aisle, and a crosswalk leading to the existing curb ramp in front of Lucia's Italian Restaurant.  The new APSs serve nine establishments.  In addition, noncompliant accessible parking signs were replaced elsewhere in the parking lot.

Open Projects

 

We have four accessible parking projects which are still open, and which we hope the owners will resolve soon.  "APS" is an acronym for "accessible parking space."

Sunrise Valley Center 2, begun April 9, 2013. 

     The center had two APSs, but five were required per the site plan approved by Fairfax County.  The APS marked "van- accessible" was not, because the access aisle was six feet wide and not the eight feet width required by Virginia, Fairfax County and ADA.  Also, the four curb ramps did not have detectable warnings for the safety of blind or visually-impaired customers.

     In April, 2014, an inspector from the Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance met with the owners and explained the necessity of adding APSs to comply with the site plan. 

     On November 9, 2014, the owners' contractor created new APSs per ADA specifications, and RAC is grateful for the progress being made. The process is on-going.
Hidden Creek Country Club, 1711 Clubhouse Road, begun July 23, 2013. 

     The five parking spaces reserved for members and guests with mobility disabilities have no access aisles, and thus are not APSs.  The five signs marking the spaces are not compliant with the Fairfax County code.  There is no van accessible space.  We have recommended automatic door openers for the heavy entrance doors. 

     A Fairfax County building inspector left materials for General Manager Victor Rodarte on August 28, 2014, mandating replacing the signs. On November 9, 2014, Mr. Rodarte indicated to a RAC representative that he would have all the improvements in place soon.
 Hartke Building, 11890 Sunrise Valley Drive, begun August 9, 2013.

     When we began, the building had one space reserved for customers and clients with disabilities with no curb ramp and a noncompliant sign.  Three APSs, inducing one van-accessible parking space, are required per the national table ratio of lot size to APSs.

     In December, 2013, a contractor hired by the owners created two non-accessible parking spaces.  These new spaces are on a slope and require an unreasonable path across traffic.  There is an ideal location in front of the building which would comply with the ADA requirement of being "on the shortest accessible route of travel."

      On November 13, 2014, the owners indicated to a RAC representative that they are planning to remedy this unfortunate turn of events "in the very near future."
 
Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, begun June 19, 2014. 

     With the aid of an ADA Specialist, several improvements were outlined for management to accommodate patrons with sensory and physical disabilities, per ADA, USBC and Fairfax County requirements.

HELP THE CAUSE

You can help us make Reston more accessible for all. 
Contact us for volunteer opportunities, to ask a question or to share an idea!
Contact Us

VISIT OUR WEBSITE

Reston Accessbility Committee
Copyright © 2014 Reston Accessibility Committee, All rights reserved.


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