Thursday, June 10, 2010

University Crosswalks do not work for the handicap

From the same city which just settled 1.2 million lawsuit  for not including handicap access for the Von Braun Center Remodeling.


Tyler said...

This city is place where only the privileged can live comfortably .

Leela the Kid said...

the sad thing is the city already knows about these problems and has done nothing. sure the mayor and his staff gave Sharon Baylor and I some face time and listened to these exact arguments and how a Complete Streets Initiative would address these concerns, they nodded at the over 1400 signatures of people concerned about the issues this woman and so many others face —but what has been done? They haven't adopted complete streets and the mayor has not committed to any plans for equitable access to public transportation. What this woman is forced to live with is just plain wrong and hopefully the city will see this story and feel ashamed.

inc123 said...

Tyler, are you saying the un-priviledged can live comfortably in the country? 'Cause then you really do need to get out some more. The problem is not loclized- not HSV, not AL, not cities, but pretty much an issue world-wide (yeah, a few exceptions always...)

Bello Velo said...

Actually it is localized, Huntsville bus system is a joke and sidewalks are crap. We need to address these issues here and stop making excuses. I live here and I do expect more than this.

I have been in every state in America and many in Europe and Mexico and can tell you it does suck here unless you have a car.

Leela the Kid said...

Nolen - while I'm sure improvements can be made across the board in many other cities as well- this is the hardest city to get around in that I've lived. The bus exists mostly in name and is terribly inconvenient...Tyler and I walk to nearby stores and restaurants and are forced into the road or peoples' yards because the sidewalks are incomplete. Where I've lived before I had much better options as far as crossing busy streets, bus schedules, and bus stops. In those cities, I was completely car free, but here in Huntsville I have to borrow a car to get to some places and boy am I lucky I have a car to borrow because this city is so inaccessible. A city of this size and with the affluence and solid economy that it boasts of should be able to provide basic services and not just have the excuse that 'everywhere else is difficult to get around too', because it's just not true.

inc123 said...

T&L-- I, too, have lived in a number of states and a couple of foreign countries + extensive travels. Yes, our public transit system sucks. But I have never seen an adequate program for the handicapped to cross streets, etc. Have you?

Even a good bus system does not help people in wheelchairs with crossing streets & having other access- which I thought was the topic.

Yes, I agree our bus system is inferior. Was better in the 60s but back then there was NO handicapped access.

Regardless of our transit system, we don't have adequate crossings on University, Memorial Parkway, airport Rd for walkers, wheelchairs, or bikes. The interviewee was correct about the grass and the light timing-- even those of us who limp can attest that the lights don't allow adequate time to cross for even relatively mild gait problems.

What sucesses are you seeing for the handicapped across the world? No one could have done my Galapagos trip in a wheelchair, not Quito, not Cairo, much of Greece and Italy were not handicapped accessible on my last trip. Montana a joke. Maybe London but not Oxford or Edinburgh, I would not have wanted to even try NYC last summer in a wheelchair.

We have had problems with wheelchairs on airplanes and in airports-- not just in America. Same with many subway sytems- even cruise ships. We have very different views on handicapped access-- which is ok.

I see it as a worldwide problem, you see it as HSV problem. We just disagree.

Actually, I did not know either of you had spent time in a wheelchair or had had extended time with reduced mobility, but I am pleased that y'all found access easy. I did not. My mom does not. My wheelchair using friends do not-- it is not just HSV, it's actually worse in many places.

HSV does have handicapped access issues- like did you ever notice the parking spaces for the handicapped around the courthosue are NOT on the sides with the working doors (I hope the new parking has fixed this). Try getting a handicapped person into Monaco theatre, especially one who has limited walking ability but doesn't use a wheelchair. Bridge Street has the rough cobblestones...

I can't say HSV's handicapped is worse than comparable places but I can say that improvements need to be made worldwide. I am fine with disagreeing with you on this but I do disagree, I see handicap access as a worldwide issue.

Bello Velo said...

Well it is easy to disagree or for that matter be disagreeable. We can however address this locally not globally. Yes hunstville is at the very bottom of pedestrian safety as we all know. We can also address the bus system which seems to have been set up as an "I told you so".

We seem to be focusing on one aspect and not the big picture which is huntsville sucks if you do not drive a car.

Whether it is worse elsewhere is not relevant we all live here so why not fix it. Like time the damn lights so someone can cross.

I Just read another article as to why younger people do not stay here or raise their families here and most of them point out the flaws that most of us "outsiders" seem to relate too. So maybe be open to fixing things instead of excusing them.

Really we are talking about a failed planning that nobody wants to own up to. We also had this same discussion a year ago when the girl was killed here.

inc123 said...

I don't recall handicap access being discussed earlier-- sorry I missed it.

Of course, I do disagree, I believe we can make positive strides on handicap access locally and globally--but neither instanteously. I think this woman made a good argument for changing the timing of lights for slower crossers, etc.

I'm sure you have studied the old plans for HSV roads and public transit. I happen to think many of those ideas were quite good-- most got "compromised" much like the recent school board contract. In both cases, we missed opportunities to go forward. Sounds like y'all disagree with both the old plans and the implementation problems...

The public bus system seems to have gone by the way-side when public housing was concentrated downtown to give easy access to everything from hospital, mental health, doctors, public offices, courthouse, movies, parks, schools, shopping, grocery stores, library etc. We had no malls or really much beyond downtown other than private housing and the airport, so not sure where the buses would have gone. Maybe this is why the buses fell into such dis-use.

After people quit using the buses, they were slowly discarded. I'm sure you will recall there was no demand.

The issue dragged out for the longest time. It did make economic sense to eliminate an unused service. The city could not afford to run buses that people were not riding. All day long you saw empty bus after empty bus.

Of course, decades later downtown changed & slowly our grocery stores, shopping, etc moved to the outskirts. But even then, everytime public transit has come up, it never had any support- no one wanted it to ride it-- except maybe that grand monorail system that pops up every now and then.

So y'all are saying the demand for buses now exceeds the capacity, and the routes are inadequate. Be easy to start taking picures of the crowded buses & people waiting at the stops. I have never seen anyone photo/video document the issues. Sure is an easy place to start. Good way to refute the more recent studies showing low demand.

Also show how other nearby cities have succeeded, like Florence, Bham, Dothan, Mobile, Mgmery, Chattanooga, Tupelo, Jackson, Nashville, Memphis, and how they have differ from HSV-show how this really is a local problem peculiar to Huntsville. Which neighbor has the model most applicable to HSV?
I'm not thinking petitions work well here.

Jim, posted article really about wheelchair/handicap access, realities of crossing our streets in a wheelchair or at a slower rate of speed than timing set, and poor access for wheelchairs at bus stops (grass, open to weather)-- not so much on the buses and bus routes or my PC pulled up the wrong link somehow. (BTW: I hardly limp these days and I can't make it across NYC streets before the light changes.)

inc123 said...

The woman in the video could have used this public service:

HANDIRIDE: Operates ADA Paratransit Service for individuals with disabilities who because of their disability are unable to use the fixed route buses.

This specialized, door-to-door, demand-response paratransit service is available Monday thru Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM. ADA Partransit service application and advanced reservations by 5pm the day before are required to schedule this service.

The 14 vehicles are radio dispatched and ADA accessible. Call 256-427-6857.

jacqueline said...

I have had experience with HandiRide for years. It is a good option for some people; however, it also has it problems. FYI, currently, it is $2 for pickup and delivery one direction.
Thank you.

Bello Velo said...

I think handiride is fine,but this woman wants to be independent and to be able to get around town on her own.

I think this all boils down to accessibility for all. We can waste time an energy comparing this city to that,but huntsville has some real issues and as someone who now is car free here, I would like a real public transit system which runs on the weekends.

as far as why it did not work in the past I think to relates to the car and how the city planners have set the city up. It is car friendly and not friendly to peds,bikes and handicap. now as more and more people demand better services from the city maybe this will change.

why not?