5463RE: [carfree_cities] Re: Law Suit for Human Scale Access.
- Jan 30, 2003Hm. Somebody ought to contact John Banzhaf at GWU. See if one of his
classes on legal activism would be interested...
From: look384 <kevin.barton@...>
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:05 PM
Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Law Suit for Human Scale Access.
I was quite surprised to see this question, as I was considering the
same issue just today. What triggered my thought was the fact a
pedestrian was hit by a car yesterday less than a block from my
office. My thought was basically the same as yours, could a person
sue simply for being denied reasonable safety? Not whether you're
prohibited from walking, but if city design and city ordinances make
walking or cycling dangerous. One of the other replies pointed out
you can walk in Austin, although they conceded there are parts of the
developed city that aren't truly accessible by walking. Their
example of walking was more recreational in nature than
transportation. I believe a lawsuit based on inadequate or dangerous
access for walking as a mode of transportation would have to be
proven to be successful. I see two possible approaches.
1) Driving is not a right or an obligation. Therefore those who
choose to walk or ride a bike but don't have reasonable or safe
access are being harmed, especially if you can show some physical
(health) or economic harm.
2) The American with Disabilities Act was my second thought, and may
have better chance for success. However, I suspect you'd have to
find someone with a disability who has been harmed by zoning laws and
city design. I suppose that would be possible among the elderly,
blind, deaf, or anyone who has been denied a drivers license simply
for health or handicap reasons. The next step would be proving they
don't have the same access as motorists.
That's my suggestion as a laymen with one college class in business
law. Personally, I would absolutely love to see someone win such a
case, it might well set a precedent for every city in the country.
If the zoning laws can be beat down, carfree or walkable communities
could have a chance to prove their worth.
--- In email@example.com, "paulparma <info@v...>"
> In my own city, Austin, by court ruling, transients can no longerbe
> awakened from sleep in public space except to allow space forwalkers,
> and other traffic. My unstudied understanding of this ruling isthat
> it is based most on the idea that sleeping is a natural andnot
> expected part of human life, unlike phones, which is the basis for
> being allowed to deduct ones phone bill from your tax base.minded
> So i was thinking I would look into filing a suit, with a like
> attorney which I already have acquantance of a few of in austin,that
> the City, State and Federal governments by their laws and ac tionsnatural
> have deprived me of my right to pursue my happiness by a msot
> and expected manner -- by walking.change
> They have forced me to purchase a rather expensive car, and only at
> great personal effort and threat to my safety have I been able to
> change to the statistically rare mode of bicycling. This mode
> limits my range , hence my ability to pursue my happiness, orbetter,
> to live my life. Walking limits my range so much I would have tolive
> on top of the food didtribution points, which in the non-mixed useallowed
> zoning, would have to be without a home. And although one is
> to sleep anywhere by the resent court rulings, one is not allowedto
> camp in public spaces. This is considered to be a home. So to be awealthy
> walker, I must by current law be either a street person, or be
> enough to afford New York or San Fransico.if
> I have to hurry off, bt be=fore I bother an attorney with this and
> with the statement that, hey I can't afford this but I must do this
> possible, please let me know if it worth our trouble.To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
> I am serious.
> Paul Parma
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