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People who use wheelchairs sue Boston over generally crappy state of handicap ramps

Update: Settlement reached.

Three Jamaica Plain residents and a frequent visitor to Boston yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging the state of handicap ramps in the city is so poor they often have difficulty getting around the city, in violation of the federal Americans with Disability Act.

In their suit, filed in US District court, the four are seeking to become the lead plaintiffs in a class action on behalf of all people with mobility issues who live in or visit Boston.

Defendant has failed and is failing to install, remediate, repair, and maintain curb ramps as required by law. For example, almost 9,000 surveyed locations either had no ramp, or had a ramp that was obstructed or was missing a landing. Many curb ramps are improperly installed and/or maintained, lack a flush transition to the street, have excessively steep running, cross, and side slopes, are too narrow, and/or are otherwise noncompliant. Many other curb ramps are not maintained; they are broken, cracked, crumbled, sunken, and/or caved.

The suit adds that more than half the ramps the city has installed have problems that make them useless - including ramps that deposit users in a puddle of water or which lead to narrow sidewalk spaces impossible for somebody in a wheelchair to navigate around.

According to the City’s own analysis, only approximately 45% of its approximately 23,000 ramps comply with Section 504 and the ADA. Even this analysis underestimates the problem, because it does not include corners that are missing a curb ramp altogether and considers only some of the legal requirements that apply to curb ramps under federal law.

The three residents described specific problems in Jamaica Plain - and right outside the State House;

Plaintiff [Michael] Muehe encounters corners with missing curb ramps in many places throughout his greater Jamaica Plain neighborhood, including on Centre Street near the Stony Brook, Forest Hills, and Jackson Square MBTA stations on the Orange Line, the Stop & Shop Supermarket, the Hyde Square Task Force, and the Lucy Parsons Bookstore.Plaintiff Muehe has also had to try to navigate significant curb ramp deficiencies at the Boston Fire Department station at 740 Centre Street, on Pond Street, and on Boylston Street. He has also experienced difficulties in and around Downtown Crossing, the Theater District, and the Financial District.

At intersections with missing curb ramps, Plaintiff Muehe must either double back from his intended path of travel, or risk danger to himself by traveling in the street in his power wheelchair. When he encounters a ramp that is in disrepair or not in compliance, he must choose whether to risk using the ramp, which could result in him getting stuck halfway up or down the ramp and being unable to move, which is particularly problematic during inclement weather. Noncompliant curb ramps have placed Plaintiff Muehe at risk of falling from his wheelchair and sustaining significant injuries.

Due to the many barriers to accessibility in many areas of Boston, Plaintiff Muehe's ability to travel throughout Boston is compromised.He frequently must allow a great deal of extra time to reach his destination. In addition, the inaccessibility of the pedestrian right of way in the City has become a factor in his life decisions.For example, every time he leaves home, Plaintiff Muehe must consider whether he will be able to reach his destinationsafely via the pedestrian right of way.He is often deterred from using his wheelchair to visit public facilities, places of public accommodation, and friends because he chooses instead to remain safe from the serious risks involved in navigating the inaccessible pedestrian right of way.

Plaintiff [Elaine] Hamilton encounters missing, noncompliant, or broken curb ramps along Centre Street. For example, curb ramps are missing on Estrella Street and Westerly Street and others are outside of marked crosswalks. Corners with curb ramps that do not align with the crosswalk are dangerous because Plaintiff Hamiltonis forced into the line of traffic. At times, Plaintiff Hamilton has almost fallen out of her chair while trying to go to the store or to visit her mother. Her wheelchair has also been damaged by traversing broken ramps. Thus, Plaintiff Hamilton experiences a great deal of stress and fear because of the many access barriers that she encounters in the City's pedestrian right of way. Plaintiff Hamilton's difficulties getting around Boston have forced her to go food shopping in Quincy instead of in Boston. Often, she must pay to take the Ride to avoid the dangers of traveling in the street due to noncompliant curb ramps.

Near the Massachusetts State House, Plaintiff [Crystal] Evans encounters a crosswalk which leads to a curb with no ramp, creating a barrier that prevents her and other individuals with mobility disabilities from accessing legislators without being forced to go out of their way.Similarly, there are many places around South Station, Chinatown, the South End, the Financial District, and School Street that lack compliant curb ramps, making it difficultfor Plaintiff Evans and others to navigate and fully enjoy these areas.

The lack of compliant curb ramps also makes it difficult for Plaintiff Evans to access essential healthcare facilities and services. There are multiple street corners in the area around Tufts Medical center as well as all throughout Albany Street, Harrison Avenue, Northampton Street, and Massachusetts Avenue in the Boston Medical Center area where curb ramps are missing or noncompliant. At many locations along Harrison Avenue, water pools at the base of the curb ramp, forcing wheelchair users to go through deep puddles to access sidewalks, which could damage wheelchair motors.At corners adjacent to hospital and doctors' office buildings all along Harrison Avenue, curb ramps are missing or too steep. Because of these noncompliant corners, Plaintiff Evans must travel in the street, at great risk to her safety and well-being.

along West Cedar Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, the lack of curb ramps at the intersection of steep and narrow streets has put Plaintiff [Colleen] Flanagan's physical safety at risk. Plaintiff Flanagan's visits to her state representatives and senators also present physical risks and challenges because the pathways to and from the State House lack compliant curb ramps. On Ashburton Place, there is a section of the street without a curb cut, which forces those dependent on curb ramps to navigate the street instead of the sidewalk. Plaintiff Flanagan has also encountered curb ramps in the Jamaican Plain neighborhood that are too steep to use, forcing her to navigate the street. In addition, curb ramps at the Green Street MBTA Station in her neighborhood are not maintained, and weather has severely damaged them such that they are no longer usable.

In addition to being made the leads in a class-action suit, the four are also asking a judge to order Boston to do something about all these non-compliant or non-existent ramps and take steps to ensure that in the future, all street or sidewalk repair work include installation of usable ramps.

A similar suit by disability advocates against the MBTA in 2002 was settled four years later with an agreement under which the T has gradually added elevators to stations and kneeling buses and taken other steps to ensure people with mobility issues can ride public transit in greater Boston.

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Comments

A better-ramp movement would be uplifting, so I’m inclined to support it.

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Voting closed 65

So cheapshots at the disabled are welcomed.

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Voting closed 11

Excuse me?

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Voting closed 27

Not exactly a cheap shot, but making light of a serious issue that really makes some people's lives suck on the daily. I get the urge to be witty, but this was poor timing on your part.

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Voting closed 8

My experience with a knee walker, when I broke my foot in 2019 trying to navigate the sidewalks, showed me that in general, the sidewalks of Boston and most of the area are atrocious.

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Voting closed 79

Spending a few years pushing a stroller will give you a similar glimpse into how difficult it must be for people in wheelchairs to get around.

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Voting closed 57

Boston and especially America as a whole doesn’t give a damn about any sort of pedestrians. They sink all the time and money into car infrastructure and everyone else gets told to screw off and die. It’s sickening. I hope these wheelchair users are keying the vehicles that park on the sidewalk all over the city.

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Voting closed 32

Hysterical comments like this make you less and less appealing to people who would listen to constructive ideas about change the situation for the better.

Calling for property destruction because of your hyper chauvinistic, frankly, hissy fit way, is pathetic and unproductive.

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Voting closed 33

Accidents down, but deaths are up.

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Voting closed 11

Those quaint European cities that are the most pedestrian friendly are the worst for people with disabilities trying to get around.

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Voting closed 26

by my family members with disabilities.

There's often older infrastructure, there are fewer laws about ramps and so forth, but there are also things like downtown zones that are off limits to cars, and motorists are much better at a "share-the-road" mindset so you don't have to worry about being mowed down by someone who has no idea that pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users, etc. exist.

A lot of accessibility features are literally decades ahead in most every other developed country. Things like everything being electronic, paperless, screen-reader friendly, etc. have been a thing much longer in most of the world.

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Voting closed 19

My first reaction when I was walking thru an office space in Sweden was how not "ADA compliant" this office would be.

Different connecting spaces with different floor heights (re: a few steps up or down & no ramps), raised thresholds, narrow bathrooms, very hard to maneuver if you were in a wheelchair. The office did have a "HC bathroom", which still was very narrow compared to US standards. And the elevator that looked like it was last used when Shirley Temple was still young, cute, and relevant. (and alive!)

Very very old office building in downtown. However, anything new constructed was similar or identical to US standards (i.e. the Mall(s) I went to).

The streets were a different story. Yes lots of pedestrian only areas. And alot of brick & cobblestone walkways. Brick in Boston is a ADA nightmare cuz we don't maintain things regularly so the bricks pop up. in Sweden then do so its not much of an issue because its maintained. And yeah cobblestones are not HC friendly but its not all areas either. (much like here)

Are there ramps and such? Yes. And yes like the North End, there are tight narrow sidewalks in some areas. And some very crowded areas on tight sidewalks that even I was wary of being on, let alone someone with a cane.

But different standards in building and code that allow some of these areas. Even much of the streetcar crossings were an "ADA nightmare" and even a pedestrian crossing (walkers) it was a hazard. So there's that. I just gathered there was alot of room for grandfathering in historic areas but...

One thing we're forgetting when we talk about the handicapped & accessibility, is how the handicapped are treated & cared for. Here we have HC folks living on the street. Over there, not so much. It was pretty rare to see anyone "homeless" begging for money. The only place I ever saw them was outside the mall near the office. And I was told, if you are begging for $, its for drugs or alcohol, as everything else is taken care of.

I asked friends over there and was told the gov't takes care of the HC, the elderly, and the sick. You wouldnt really have someone who would be wheelchair bound working in an office. And if you did, the workplace would have accommodations (or be a workplace be for the HC) for it. But its pretty uncommon since the gov't takes care of you.

Even on street level, their transit service has similar "RIDE" (paratransit) service, but you would get it automatically and its door to door. But unlike the RIDE its free. So you wouldnt be on a narrow sidewalk trying to get to the mall or event hall because it'd drop you off right in front. Nor would you even be on a train (some are HC accessible, as are the intercity ones).

Even for someone like me who broke their knee and was 'disabled' for several months. In the US, I'd be back to work within weeks to earn that dough, and would need to ride the trains to go anywhere. Over there in Sweden, not so much. Their mantra isnt 'work oriented' like ours, so if you were to break your knee, not only would not go bankrupt getting medical care, but most of your expenses would be paid so you could be out for month or longer. The urgency to return to work would only be when you are really ready, not b/c you need to pay bills. Would I still need to get around? Sure, but over there switching to paratransit, isnt a big deal because you already rode the subway everywhere before you broke your knee. Paratransit would take you wherever you needed to go.

So accessibility is relative to how you are being cared for too. And much of this applies to much of Europe. I can say similar about conversations and what I saw in London too. And yes Europe is starting to see 'barrier free' and build that way, but its just not as stringent as it is here.

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Voting closed 21

The ADA has a "readily achievable" standard for making things accessible, and myself I don't think it's readily achievable to retrofit every century-old street with wider sidewalks to accommodate the occasional wheelchair.

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Voting closed 13

ADA became law in 1990. So, maybe we could have made a bit more progress by now.

And these measures impact accessibility for more than just people in wheelchairs.

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Voting closed 27

People who are using canes or have other mobility issues find the stepping down and up at a curb to be problematic. And passersby may not even notice these folks -- they may not have crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair. But it still affects them. Curb cuts also help people who are blind or have visual disabilities where the chances of tripping or falling are reduced.

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Voting closed 18

Boston has been working on this for at least 20 years. That isn't saying whether or not they should be further along and better along, but they have been working on it. For at least twenty years, they have been designating sets of sidewalks in neighborhoods each year to be done (and generally, they DO get done).

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Voting closed 13

Agreed. Lots of locations where some elements of the standard are simply not readily attainable. Such as width (when the sidewalk isn't wide enough to start with) and angle (when the whole street is too steep). The inspectors will look into it and log it.

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Voting closed 10

Most of them are far more aware of accessibility than you can possibly imagine. Much of that has to do with reducing the damage on people when there is an actual health care system.

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/travel/a27909632/wheelchai...

Which have you visited?

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Voting closed 16

You do know it is possible to come up with a list of “most accessible cities in the United States.” And for the record, I was thinking about everything I’ve heard about how crappy it is to have mobility issues in the UK, but as someone else noted, cobblestone looks nice as long as you can traverse it.

There are a lot of points where the US may lag Europe, but accessibility isn’t one of them.

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Voting closed 13

I can't have a tree on the sidewalk outside my house because of these people! If they had their way they would cut down every street tree.

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Voting closed 13

we should be expanding the sidewalks so there's room for both people and trees.

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Voting closed 34

become one of "these people" soon enough in our lives. What a ridiculous and heartless comment.

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Voting closed 33

Not heartless. Most of us enjoy Acorn Street the way it is in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. In our late 70s and 80s, yes, accessibility becomes more of a challenge, but it's not like we're in-and-out several times a day at that age going to work and ferrying kids to soccer practice. We'll be spending most days at home.

Designing streets and sidewalks for that lowest common denominator is an inefficient use of resources. Of course you don't want sidewalks so full of obstacles that 18 year olds hop around like they're doing parkour, but making modest efforts like installing curb cuts is good for bringing the most benefit to the most people.

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Voting closed 12

“We'll be spending most days at home.”
(Maybe you’ll be.)
Tell that to my 91 year old mother who worked till she was 83. Just because she isn’t working now or isn’t currently a soccer mom doesn’t mean she no longer has the right to enjoy getting out and about or doesn’t have needs that require her ability to navigate hazardous streets and sidewalks while using a cane to help with her balance problems.
She is not, as you say, the lowest common denominator.

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Voting closed 15

And when your 91-year old grandmother was in her 30s and 40s, did she want her hard earned tax dollars going into widening perfectly fine looking sidewalks, lowering elevator buttons, and building ramps everywhere? Or did she prefer those dollars get spent on schools and services that would improve her life then?

This isn't an "us versus them" question as much as a "past us versus future us" question. It's like our twisted healthcare system that makes it pricey to get dental fillings when we're 20, but cheap to get $100k worth of surgery when we're 85.

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Voting closed 8

You do not consider accessibility in public spaces for all to be a priority.

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This isn't something as fleeting as an individual's health care - it's infrastructure that lasts. It's not like we go back after this generation passes and narrow the sidewalks so they have to be widened again. We all benefit right now from ramps and wider sidewalks (try moving between apartments in this town, and you might be glad of some increased ramps, for instance) and we'll continue to benefit as we age.

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Get rid of sidewalks on narrow lanes and either heavily restrict motorized traffic or install infrastructure that forces motorists to drive very slowly.

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Voting closed 16

These people?

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Voting closed 8

I only had to go 1 mile on my knee scooter but it was ridiculously hard. I felt so bad that I had ignored what anyone in a wheelchair has to go through.

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Voting closed 12

… would get serious about the entitled scofflaws that block bus lanes and bus stops. Then the bus drivers could pull up to the curb like they are supposed to and the disabled, etc could board and disembark.

This lawsuit is long overdue.

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Voting closed 41

I watched as a man parked in a bus stop to go in a sub shop. There was a woman in a wheelchair at the bus stop and she asked him not to park there in case the bus comes. He caught an attitude with her, saying that no bus was coming, and to "get the eff outta here with that s**t, b**ch". I was close to calling the police on the guy, but I didn't want to get accused of anything myself.

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Voting closed 16

… too. It gets to you.
One time while waiting to board a bus on Huntington Ave I banged on the back car window of a jerk who pulled up to park in front of the bus just as it was about to pull up to the curb. The jerk jumped out of his car and started yelling at me. I yelled back. He started to come around his car towards me but the quick thinking bus driver pulled the bus closer to his car to block him. He was furious. People on the street were laughing.
When I got on the bus a woman thanked me.
It was worth the risk that day.

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Voting closed 12

Every morning during the school year I pass a wheelchair user taking a kid to school. They both have to be in the street for a good portion of their commute because of the lack of corner ramps and narrow sidewalks. It's not safe when the adult's in the street for him to move his wheelchair at the pace of the kid, so the kid rides with the adult. I don't know what they'll do when the kid is too big for this but not old enough to walk on their own.

In addition to that, the sidewalk on my street is so narrow and blocked in various places by traffic sign poles, people parking half on the curb, and untrimmed bushes and trees, that even I walk in the street 3 days out of 5.

The sidewalks are just hostile in a lot of places. I hope they win their case.

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Voting closed 40

The city would rather kids in strollers or people in wheelchairs get hit and killed by drivers than give proper space to pedestrians. This is obvious to anyone who has walked around Boston.

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That goal stated in mayor Janey’s speech a few months ago....

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I don't grudge chair users in the bike lane the least bit. Most can travel faster than pedestrians if the obstacles are few and far between.

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Voting closed 14

100 ft. away from one of the city's 3 most important intersections, yet for the last 40 years the city and Berklee have made empty promises about various redevelopment schemes that never happened, so in the meantime we've had a critical stretch of Boylston without ramps, crosswalks, or even a way to walk between the parking spots. Never mind the danger of speeding cars peeling onto Cambria at full speed.

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Voting closed 25

Good. I hope they win. They should also start fining people that don't shovel their sidewalk properly (42 inch wide path) and those who don't clear out the handicap ramps that abutt their properties.

And then slap huge fines on any car that blocks all the places they aren't supposed to block but do. It's time to stop "educating" and start enforcing.

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Voting closed 39

The sidewalk in front of my house is less than 42” wide. Snow falls on that sidewalk. The city tells me that there is a fine for failing to clear the sidewalk. The city also tells me that that pushing the snow into the street is illegal, and that there’s a fine for that, too. I’m pretty sure that carrying the snow inside one shovelful are a time and flushing it down the toilet would also be illegal.

There is literally no legal way for me to deal with the snow. As a practical matter, I shovel the sidewalk clear and stack the snow along the curb, which leaves me in violation of both the 42” rule and the no-pushing-snow-back-into-the-street rule.

I say this mainly to point out that drafting legislation is actually harder than it looks.

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Voting closed 24

I shovel into the street because I’m one of those wacky people who value humans more than cars. It’s payback for plows blocking crosswalks with huge snowbanks.

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Voting closed 21

How many human-less cars do you see? The plow drivers don’t care about you throwing snow in the street. It’s the people driving cars down the street in between plow passes that are affected.

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Voting closed 10

That's where my snow goes. If the snow isn't too bad I can pile it on top of the curb if its not blocking a car door.

Honestly, the only time I have been harassed is when i was shoveling out my car. I really don't understand how the law works there. My car is in the street, so I am not moving snow from street. I the last time it was just retaliation for my 311 complaint about my neighbor that was using a front loader to shovel his illegal not-driveway and dumping snow in the street. It sort of confirmed that he was a city employee for me.

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Voting closed 8

Sidewalks that narrow are rare and nonstandard, even around here. You said you live on Beacon Hill, right?

Is 42” an actual Boston law? The city website says, “Please clear at least a 42-inch-wide path for people using wheelchairs and pushing strollers.” But that’s clearly not the text of the law.

Meanwhile, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville only ask for snow cleared from a 36” wide path. Most wheelchairs are less than 27” wide, with a few as wide as 32”. Even providing an extra margin, 42” seems a little more generous than necessary.

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Voting closed 13

City doesn't care when plows put snow into crosswalks and ramps do why would they care if you put snow into roadway? In any case, that amount of snow would be negligible compared to what's already there

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Voting closed 12

How would plows avoid covering ramps? Tell me you’ve never shoveled a sidewalk in Boston without telling me you’ve never shoveled a sidewalk in Boston

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Voting closed 10

They'd have someone come back and make sure the ramps are clear after the plow came through. But for some reason we've decided to spend all of our state and municipality money only caring about car traffic.

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Voting closed 12

It’s not the responsibility of plow truck drivers to shovel out ramps and cross walks. The city should sent public works out for that, which they don’t. It isn’t like people don’t complain and file tons of 311’s. They city has never made it a priority, it’s disgraceful.

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Voting closed 6

As I made it pretty clear, I blame the city here.

Really, what we should do, is have a setup where the city also plows the sidewalks and uses a combo of plowing and snow melting to clear the roads, as is done in other large cities that get a lot of snow like Montreal and Buffalo. But instead, we'll keep doing this system that doesn't work for anyone but drivers (and even then, not very well).

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Voting closed 13

The city plows pile up snow at the corners and hard pack it. This freezes into an unshovelable block of ice on top of the sidewalk ramps. It's obvious car logic. You get to the end of a street and make a pile. But now the home owner can't move that pile without heavy equipment.

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Voting closed 12

They can make an effort not to push snow towards ramps. I've seen plows angle their blade straight forward as they pass a ramp or driveway, then angle it to the side again when they're past. This is only an issue when they're plowing near the curb, on streets where there isn't parking.

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Voting closed 9

Let's not forget how much worse they get in the winter, when the city is happy to push snow into giant piles in front of the ramps, or to allow property owners to leave their sidewalks unshoveled for days.

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Voting closed 36

Boston's asleep at the wheel. Not to mention sidewalks all over the city covered with dog (?? or human ??) shit. Hope nobody in a wheelchair has to navigate through that.

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Voting closed 8

Are the sidewalks in Boston good for mobility-impaired folks? No!

But I spent some time in San Diego last year and the sidewalks were atrocious. The concrete itself was fine: not a lot of tree roots growing quickly to push things around, and not a lot of freeze-thaw to break it apart.

But curb cuts? Who needs them?! There were plenty of sidewalks that just ended in a curb at the street, which works fine if you have two working legs but if you're on wheels, you're SOL.

For instance, here's an intersection in Pacific Beach with four corners, one of which has a curb cut. So the utility of that curb cut is basically zero. You can go down into the street and then, well, you can return to where you came from. And the imagery goes back to 2007, when the same single curb cut existed. So in a decade-and-a-half they haven't improved a thing. This is probably because while street pavement in Boston only lasts a decade or two, out there it will last a century (no snow, little rain) and they won't be forced to replace the curb cuts until the repave, where here everything has gone through at least one cycle.

So, yes, the curbs should be better (and wherever possible, there should be raised crossings, which are far easier for users, and also drain better, see Pearl Street in Cambridge for a recent example). But we're certainly not the worst, even in a country with ADA. And it's maybe a silver lining to the weather we have that the streets need to be resurfaced frequently enough that the cities have to put in curb cuts when they do. Now, if only they'd do a better job building and maintaining them.

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Voting closed 22

I’m surprised. My impression of California is that everything is designed and maintained well. For example, they would have sidewalks in office park and mall land near a highway, while we just don’t at many sprawl areas near Route 128 interchanges.

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Voting closed 11

Here's a good example. No sidewalk on this side of Middlesex Turnpike to get to the Burlington Mall, even though people clearly walk there because there's a dirt path. https://goo.gl/maps/b61QWHjx3RdvfJeTA

California equivalent: https://goo.gl/maps/SdxnGBDsLgyo6eXg6

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Voting closed 8

Lotta people here with observations and opinions; only a few seem to have any experience at being disabled and requiring mobility aids to get around.

You could become one of "those people" at any time; yeah even you, marathon runner. For me it was July 7, 2009. Drunk driver totaled my car and my spine. The lawsuit didn't even cover all of my medical bills, nevermind anything else. She wasn't even insured.
I went from working active 14-hour days as a landscaper to a cripple. Your physical fitness will not save you.

"The occasional wheelchair" could be you using it. How will you feel when stopping at that particular shop or restaurant you always enjoyed, or that evening walk around the block, now can't happen because of a step, or a lack of a curb cut, or an 8"deep half-frozen slushpuddle at the bottom of the ramp? The very reason you think of a wheelchair user as "occasional" -- that you don't often see us somewhere -- is often because we can't get around that particular area, for whatever reason of difficulty. Please sit with that for a moment. You don't see us there because we cannot GET there.

Until you've experienced the loss of all the things that suddenly become inaccessible to you, and how inconvenient and frankly embarrassing some "special accommodations" can be, you cannot understand. You and your friends used to go in the front door; now they do, but you have to go find the side door with the ramp and hope someone's listening for the doorbell to let you in. And you're lucky if that's even an option.

Anyone who wants to suggest or make policy regarding accessibility: how about you rent a manual wheelchair and try it sometime. Alone. See just how far you get before you can't without help. Can you even get out of your home? Can you get to the bathroom? Your living situation doesn't magically adjust to sudden disability; neither does the rest of the world. Nobody makes free ramps, elevators or ADA-accessible homes. Moving isn't easy or free either. You come home to the same house and hood you left, but you're not the same, and suddenly neither is anything you used to do.

Let's go get coffee. How's the sidewalk? Is it trash day? Snow? Usually you just cross the street here? No curb cut? How many blocks out of your way do you have to roll before you find one? Do you even know where the nearest one is? I doubt you do. There's certainly no reliable guide for us as to where they are or aren't, regardless if there "should be". And now there's a car blocking half of it, or a ridge of frozen snow. Frustrated yet?

All of you throwing around which city or country is better or worse than Boston about this? NEWS FLASH: IT DOESN'T MATTER, WE DON'T LIVE THERE. WE LIVE HERE. And Boston needs a lot of work to be live-able for us. I was born in Boston. I grew up here. I deserve the same, equal access to everything in this city that I had before. If you think otherwise you have a serious problem. "Aesthetics" trouble you? Design something better! But using aesthetics to excuse the physical segregation of disabled people from an area is disgusting behavior from disgusting people.

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Voting closed 37

I have sometimes been reminded that we are all, at best, temporarily able-bodied.

In re: the discussion about whether other cities are better or worse than Boston: this is the same stupid derail that comes up when the subject is racism, or any topic where Boston doesn't exactly smell like roses. It's shameful that people do this, particularly concerning disability. Are we not the city that adopted the bumptious slogan "Boston Strong" following the Marathon bombing, which resulted in many people with permanent disabilities -- only to do nothing to make it easier for those people to resume their lives?

This is shameful behavior.

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Voting closed 17

More raised crosswalks, please! This eliminates many of the issues of not being able to easily install ramps properly. Cambridge has been installing a lot of raised crosswalks along major streets, so that whenever you are walking along it and crossing minor streets, you never have to deal with a ramp.

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Voting closed 10