Saturday, April 28, 2007

Check out the comments on this site: Wheelchair pedestrian and curbcut issue

The comments on this site (although from 2001 so a bit dated) show the range of opinions on a case where a jury awarded damages when a curbcut was not placed in the crosswalk as required by the ADA, resulting in a wheelchair user being hit by a vehicle.

I'd be interested in feedback from readers on this one: are the curbcuts in your area in alignment with crosswalks? Because I know, despite efforts to change them, in my travels I see lots of places where they are not.

This is another cause of wheelchair pedestrian accidents.

5 comments:

goldchair said...

We have some curbcuts that are done right but many streets still lack proper access and have those dangerous angles where you're rolling onto curbcuts in the blindspot of drivers. I think more awareness of this is good because most drivers would really prefer to fix this before they are involved in an accident. Maybe we need to get some group like AAA behind this cause to push for change.

hotwheelz said...

This came through on my feed and I wanted to comment. Where I live is rural but we have a downtown area. The curbcuts are like this: on one side there will be one and then you have to go two blocks to find one on the other side. So I wind up rolling in the street. I've tried to pop wheelies up onto the sidwalk but the curbs are too high. I got two tickets for being in the street so I went to court and fought them.I won. Yes it's not safe. But how am I supposed to get around? And have you ever tried to get them to put curbcuts in? They act like I'm being unreasonable asking.

Karen Marie said...

New curbcuts here in Milwaukee are being put in right and straight, two per corner, or the entire corner is sloped so there's no curb at all.

But, until about a year ago, the curbcuts were all placed diagonally, one curbcut to serve both crosswalks, so you have to curve out into the intersection to get up and down. Being that the procedure is not to change them until the sidewalk's being torn up anyhow, it will probably be a couple of decades before most of them are fixed.

All new corners have been curbcut since the early 1970's, but there are still a few corners on side streets that aren't yet, even with the defective old-fashioned ones. Yesterday I was scooting and ran into one of them --- three corners were cut, but the fourth wasn't, since the concrete there hadn't been replaced or repaired since 1965.......

Karen Marie said...

BTW, I'm tipping off my alderman about the uncut corner. And hinted to the manager of the MacDonald's on that block that he should bug the alderman too. Maybe he can get that corner on the next street-rebuilding list.

Ruth said...

Karen Marie - thanks for your comments! Good idea. Around here they've been replacing curbcuts - every year more are updated and it's been an ongoing process for the last ten years. Great progress has been made -it's a good idea to let them know which corners are uncut , where there are safety issues because as one engineer told me they didn't notice a number of missing curbcuts until a list was given to them by wheelchair users.