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Re: [CF] discrimination

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  • dubluth <dubluth@yahoo.com>
    ... Once I lived on a road which almost had sidewalks. On one side it had no sidewalk because that strip of concrete pavement was pretty much covered with
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 1, 2003
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      --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@p...>
      wrote:
      > I think it is discriminatory when roads don't have sidewalks.
      >
      Once I lived on a road which almost had sidewalks. On one side it
      had no sidewalk because that strip of concrete pavement was pretty
      much covered with parked cars and trucks. The great deal of foot
      traffic along that route was squeezed between the parked cars and the
      road. Wheel chair users take the road itself because no other
      pavement is accessible.

      That is a tangible case of discrimination. No one would be permitted
      to occupy the road and block motor traffic for hours a day. For the
      sidewalk it was a different story. Ownership of that public space
      was effectively transfered to private hands - specifically to the
      landlords whose tenents parked on what was once a sidewalk.

      Bill
    • Robert J. Matter
      ... I just spoke with a lawyer the other day asking if it would be feasible to sue two cities under the ADA because the only two streets that connect the
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 1, 2003
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        "dubluth " wrote:
        >
        > --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@p...>
        > wrote:
        > > I think it is discriminatory when roads don't have sidewalks.
        > >
        > Once I lived on a road which almost had sidewalks. On one side it
        > had no sidewalk because that strip of concrete pavement was pretty
        > much covered with parked cars and trucks. The great deal of foot
        > traffic along that route was squeezed between the parked cars and the
        > road. Wheel chair users take the road itself because no other
        > pavement is accessible.
        >
        > That is a tangible case of discrimination. No one would be permitted
        > to occupy the road and block motor traffic for hours a day. For the
        > sidewalk it was a different story. Ownership of that public space
        > was effectively transfered to private hands - specifically to the
        > landlords whose tenents parked on what was once a sidewalk.
        >
        > Bill

        I just spoke with a lawyer the other day asking if it would be feasible to sue two cities under the ADA because the only two streets that connect the cities have no sidewalks. Bascially the answer was no.

        I think another form of discrimination is when bridges disallow bike and pedestrian traffic.

        -Bob Matter
        -----------
        "The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved
        the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely
        insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the
        buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and
        ugly traffic." --James Marston Fitch, NY Times 5/1/60
      • dubluth <dubluth@yahoo.com>
        ... snip ... It seems that governments have considerable leeway in determining what forms of mobility and access they choose to facilitate and encourage. It
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 1, 2003
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          --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@p...> wrote:
          > "dubluth " wrote:
          > >
          snip
          > > Ownership of that public space
          > > was effectively transfered to private hands - specifically to the
          > > landlords whose tenents parked over what was otherwise a
          > > sidewalk.
          > >
          > > Bill
          >
          > I just spoke with a lawyer the other day asking if it would be feasible to sue two cities under the ADA because the only two streets that connect the cities have no sidewalks. Bascially the answer was no.
          >
          > I think another form of discrimination is when bridges disallow bike and pedestrian traffic.
          >
          > -Bob Matter
          > -----------
          >

          It seems that governments have considerable leeway in determining what forms of mobility and access they choose to facilitate and encourage. It has to be up to us and other pedestrian advocates to see that any pro-pedestrian laws and regulations are enforced, and that better laws and regulations are enacted. I didn't carry out my activist role in the example I cited. In part, I was affected by the indifference and puzzlement of aquanitances to whome I expressed my gripe.

          At least the ADA does require wheelchair access between parking lots and buildings that serve the public. I don't know what the Act requires beyond that. A good question would be whether access between buildings within a city is required. If reasonable pedestrian access exists and curbcuts are present, wheelchair accessability is basicly met.

          Pedestrian access is very dicey in parts of most American cities, so if wheelchair access between public buildings were an ADA requirement, most jurisdictions would be in violation. Your question was about the liability of cities regarding access between cities. It doesn't seem that cities can have much say in whether sidewalks (or anything) are built outside their boundaries. Unless the cities borders touch, counties or states would be the jurisdictions that may have to comply.

          Claims of discrimination may be used in our favor or against us. It is only because of my perspective that I don't think of discrimination as the major issue. In theory we have a choice of transportation modes. If the only thing available is roads that exclude human powered transportation, we simply need to get in a car or truck to attain mobility. An automobile operator may wish to claim discrimination because her vehicle is excluded from a pedestrian mall. She must park the thing and walk or wheelchair to gain access. The destructiveness and wastefulness of automobile transportation are the main issues and are actually very good justifications for not facilitating automobile access.

          That said, we should advocate for all of our pedestrian rights to counter some of the pro-car biases of governments and businesses. That may require that we attack each access denial situation individually. As will often be appropriate, we should educate those fighting pedestrian access on how it is really to their benefit.

          Bill Carr
        • De Clarke
          ... forms of mobility and access they choose to facilitate and encourage. It has to be up to us and other pedestrian advocates to see that any pro-pedestrian
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 1, 2003
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            > >
            >

            > It seems that governments have considerable leeway in determining what
            forms of mobility and access they choose to facilitate and encourage.
            It has to be up to us and other pedestrian advocates to see that any
            pro-pedestrian laws and regulations are enforced, and that better laws
            and regulations are enacted.

            somehow in the back of my mind is a lurking sense of irony... that we often
            have to resort to ADA arguments to justify the provision of accessible,
            decent-quality sidewalks. I have no problem with ADA regs, I think wheelchair
            folks (or folks on crutches, etc) have a right to move about freely like anyone
            else... but there's something darkly ironic about it all, that I find hard
            to put clearly into words.

            one prong of the irony is that ordinary walking, which is healthy and strengthening
            (for the community as well as the individual walker) can in some cities and
            boroughs only be promoted and protected by invoking legislation intended to
            ensure the rights of disabled people...

            perhaps another prong is that quite a few disabled people are disabled by
            or because of cars and the car-centric culture. plenty of people in wheelchairs
            lost their limbs or had their spines damaged in car crashes. not a majority,
            I suspect, and some are temporarily disabled (during rehab and recovery) rather
            than permanently. but it's a fair number. and then we have to fight the car
            lobby for a measly, grudging slice of the funding pie to make our cities
            accessible to all, including those whose lives and bodies have been damaged
            by cars.

            de

            --
            .............................................................................
            :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
            :Mail: de@... | :
            :Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins :
            :1024D/B9C9E76E F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
          • De Clarke
            The Segway PR blitz has not won over SF city council. I personally dislike the intense ad hominem fat-people-baiting rhetoric used by Matt Smith (about
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 1, 2003
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              The Segway PR blitz has not won over SF city council. I personally
              dislike the intense ad hominem fat-people-baiting rhetoric used by
              Matt Smith (about equivalent to "dumb blonde" jokes imho, or the
              old "Russian women are so ugly" rhetoric purveyed by anti-Soviet
              "humorists" in the 60's) but the legal outcome is imho a good result.
              SF's sidewalks are wide and crowded with peds. The Segway doesn't
              belong on the sidewalk.

              I'm interested in the claim that Segwayists have managed to crash
              into walls. I thought the gizmo was supposed to detect imminent
              collision and shut itself off? Hmm, what next: Segways at the
              skate park! look out.

              =============================================

              San Francisco bans Segways on sidewalks, bike paths
              By Carlton Reid, BikeBiz.co.uk
              Posted: 24/12/2002 at 10:23 GMT

              Last Monday (Dec 16) San Francisco civic leaders voted 8-2 to bar the
              use of Segways on footways and cyclepaths.

              This is the first serious obstacle to inventor Dean Kamen's
              "pedestrian-friendly" "sidewalk interloper".

              The ban is welcomed by Matt Smith, a columnist on San Francisco Weekly. In
              a hard-hitting polemic, he called the Segway " the ultimate American
              doomsday machine," potentially responsible for a "tsunami of lard."

              He said the Segway is "a national threat at least as grave as Iraq:
              It's a high-technology lard-making device introduced at a moment when
              America is suffocating from obesity."

              When The Register ran a fatties-rejoice Segway goes on sale article
              last month, the author of the piece (me) was inundated with emails from
              Americans who said the portrayal of US citizens as flabby to be well
              wide of the mark.

              So imagine the abuse Matt Smith is going to get.

              "Fat, rosy cheeks. Ample alabaster bellies. Arms that flap, legs that
              waddle, bodies by the million shaking like bowls of jelly." That's his
              description of average Americans.

              The last thing fat Americans need is a device that allows them to walk
              even less than they already do, said Smith. Legislators of San Francisco
              should be congratulated, he said.

              Mayoral spokesman P.J. Johnston said the ban "sends a defeatist message
              from San Francisco to the rest of the world. We're going to be the
              first city in the country to send out the message that we're afraid
              of this product, rather than embracing new technologies and new forms
              of transportation. It says we're so fearful that we don't even want to
              contemplate its use."

              And it's not just because of the laziness potential of the device:
              the claim that it's pedestrian-friendly and will always stop before
              crashing into fellow sidewalk users was poo-poohed by Smith. There's
              evidence that Segway supporters have crashed into walls in San Francisco,
              damaging civic property, he claims.

              San Francisco's cycle advocacy group, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition,
              had hoped Segway LLC would put its lobbying cash behind building more
              Segway-friendly cycle paths. But the corporation declined, arguing the
              12-mph devices should be allowed on sidewalks.

              In San Francisco, where people still use the sidewalks, this appears to
              have led to Segway Corp's downfall. © BikeBiz.co.uk

              ================================

              --
              .............................................................................
              :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
              :Mail: de@... | :
              :Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins :
              :1024D/B9C9E76E F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
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