Settlement calls for $4M annual to build curb ramps

Residents have until Feb. 26 to sound off on a proposal that would have The City spending at least $4 million annually to build or fix curb ramps for the benefit of people with disabilities.

The spending target is a proposed settlement to a class action lawsuit against The City that was filed on behalf of residents and visitors with mobility impairments.

While everyone can agree San Francisco’s streets should be constructed in a way that is accessible for all residents and visitors, the main issue is whether The City can afford to shell out millions of dollars while it grapples with a half-billion-dollar deficit.

On its Web site, the Mayor’s Office of Disability said the $4 million minimum is actually “less than The City has been spending in recent years.”

Given the economy, that amount is “a significant, but realistic financial commitment,” the agency said.

Those who believe $4 million isn’t enough should know that money spent on curb ramps might otherwise go to other projects or programs that benefit the disabled, the Mayor’s Office on Disability said.

“Our curb ramp funding has come almost entirely from General Fund dollars – the same dollars that fund critical Public Health programs and benefits from Human Services,” it said.

Any written objections to the proposed settlement should be submitted to the Clerk of the San Francisco County Superior Court by Feb. 26.

The court will hold a hearing on March 26 at 9 a.m. to address objections, the Mayor’s Office on Disability said.

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