Curb Cuts

July 5th we were celebrating Mary’s mothers’s birthday at Opus 9, a very fine restaurant in Williamsburg. And there was no handicap parking, nor were there curb cuts outside the restaurant. It is difficult to believe in this world, where there is new construction within the last five years, that someone wasn’t thinking of accessibility.

Williamsburg has a very high number of retired men and women, and at some point, they will want to be able to have easy access to both ends of a block. This shopping center is called New Town. And whoever layed out the parking and the pedestrian access wasn’t placing a high level of importance on accessibility.

Last year Mary and I were shopping at the Galleria and Mary mentioned she left something in the car. I told her I would be glad to get what she left. I found out the ramp from Ann Taylor to the parking structure is so steep that I fell over backward and needed assistance from people to get back in my chair. I’m lucky I didn’t split my head open!

When one operates out of a wheelchair ramps are a big deal. As we age, steps become a bigger deal. Designers need to consider the rise and the runoff of each step as well as the lighting. Poor visibility will be the topic of another blog.

Posted in 2011, July 6.

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