Handicap Ramp to White Pine Trail in Comstock Park Open
The new handicap accessible ramp along the White Pine Trail at the intersection of West River Drive and Division Ave. in Comstock Park is open for use. The Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority decided the ramp was needed after Kent County installed a new traffic signal at the intersection last year. At the time, Kent County also built a crosswalk with short ramps on both sides of West River Dive to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
The ramp on the west side of West River Dr. is part of the existing sidewalk at MacDonald’s. The ramp on the east side of the street ended abruptly at a seven-foot drop-off down to the White Pine Trail. While there is no requirement that a ramp be extended down to the Trail, the DDA identified potential safety concerns as well as the need for residents to safely access the White Pine Trail from the Division Avenue intersection. To address those issues, the DDA decided to build a sloped sidewalk down to the Trail to make the Trail accessible from the crosswalk.
The concrete sidewalk has a five percent slope to make it wheelchair usable and is about 130 feet long and around seven feet wide. There is a split rail fence between the new walk and the slope down to the Trail.
The new sidewalk cost approximately $35,000. The DDA discussed also putting a stairway at the site in addition to the sloped sidewalk, but that would have almost doubled the cost.