The Cranky Taxpayer
RPS paid $2,050 to repaint these spaces and install the four signs.
Good idea? Of course. Required by the ADA? Certainly. Reasonably priced? Not unless you’re in favor of throwing away public money.
The Means ADA Compliance Pricing Guide estimates that painting a pair of disabled parking spaces should cost about $42. That’s based on quantity 100, so there will be some premium for painting only two spaces. You can get the four signs for $75.40 (see here and here). Two hundred bucks might be reasonable for these two spaces; ten times that is outrageous.
Then we have the design. RPS paid $2,764 for this design.
That’s right: The design for painting over the old stripes and painting a pair of conventional disabled parking spaces cost more than the work.
Moreover, the design is inadequate. The ADA Accessibility Guidelines provide that
Advisory 502.3 Access Aisle. Accessible routes must connect parking spaces to accessible entrances. In parking facilities where the accessible route must cross vehicular traffic lanes, marked crossings enhance pedestrian safety, particularly for people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Where possible, it is preferable that the accessible route not pass behind parked vehicles.
Yet, if there is a car or van in the left hand space here, a wheelchair in the aisle will have to go around that vehicle. The “accessible route” runs through the gas pressure regulator. In contrast, here are the (likewise pricey) new spaces at Wythe; notice how the aisles connect to a clear route in front of the parking spaces.
Indeed the plan (portion reproduced here (pdf)) does not even show the gas pressure regulator or that brick structure sticking out from the wall (see the photo above). It shows the spaces running up to the wall and the signs on the wall right at the ends of the spaces. It seems this pricey, inadequate design comes from somebody who did not look at the place, or even at a photo.
Indeed two somebodys, at least: The plans carry the name of both the architectural firm and an engineering firm (and the stamp of an engineer). Apparently this elaborate project required the expertise of an engineer who, apparently, also didn't look at even a photo of the location for this expensive design.
We can get an idea of what $2,764 in design costs means from the State’s Department of General Services Capital Outlay Manual:
Where the marked-up hourly rate for any classification exceeds $125.00 per hour for an A/E Project Manager / Coordinator, or exceeds $100.00 per hour for other technical classifications, documentation justifying the higher rate must be approved by the Agency Contracting Officer / Chief Facilities Officer and that documentation of that approval included in the record of the negotiations.
At $125/hour, the maximum the State will pay without raising a fuss, the design of those (lousy, expensive) parking spaces at Westover Hills would take 22.1 hours. (The design of the better ones at Wythe would take 22.4 hours at the $125 rate.) Imagine that: Three days to draw two, conventional disabled parking spaces. Perhaps they take extra time to get it wrong.
And, believe it or not, Westover Hills got some of the cheaper parking spaces:
Data here are from the RPS spreadsheet.(1) Note that the total design cost for these parking projects is 39.1% of the total construction cost. You have to wonder whether these expensive architects are somebody's brother-in-law.
(1) Jonathan Mallard asked RPS for the spreadsheet itself, rather than the PDF posted on the RPS Web site (it's hard to run totals on a PDF). RPS replied that they did not have the Excel spreadsheets (presumably held by their construction manager). Mallard then pointed out that RPS already had lost on that stupid theory when I sued them for documents they tried to conceal by giving them to their lawyer.