Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Inspectional Services Complaint #3950

Here is a photo I took at City Hall, at the rear entrance, which is also the "handicapped" entrance. Monday March 27th, at 5:45pm. I was trying to attend the City Council meeting with the School Committee, but as you can see, the entrance to the building was blocked by this van. More importantly, the egress to the building is blocked! I called the police, but was informed that nothing could be done about this, as there not only was no "no parking sign," and no lines on the pavement, but there was a sign allowing vehicles to park along the back wall, and blocking this unmarked emergency egress! Below is the e-mail I sent to Robert Anderson at the Department of Public Safety, State of Mass. I did file a complaint with City of cambridge Inspectional Services this afternoon, # 3950. Emergency management should begin at City Hall!!!!

Tue, 28 Mar 2006 08:27:10 -0800 (PST)
"Kathryn Podgers" View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
Egres in Rear of 795 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA repetedly blocked with parked vehicles
"Kathy Podgers"

Dear Mr Anderson,

I am writing to you to express my most urgent concerns about a safety issue that I have not been able to resolve.

City Hall, Cambridge MA has a rear entrance/exit and a small parking area to one side and designated Handicapped Parking, DHP, to the other side.

Often, this entrance/exit is blocked by parked vehicles.

The driveway also serves as the walkway.

There is no accessable Handicapped Parking.

This entrance/exit is the only handicapped accessible entrance/exit for persons with mobility disabilities.

This entrance/exit is equipped with an auto door opener, accessed with a push control to the left of the door. The door swings open into the driveway/walkway.

You could imaging a U with a driveway/walkway up the middle, and the door in the center of the U.

Last evening, at 5:45 pm, when I went to the City Council meeting with the public schools, a public meeting I observed this entrance/exit to be blocked by a large van. Having complained many times before, to no avail, I called the police. It took the police 20 min to respond, although this building is located immediately in central Sq, and 2 blocks from City Hall.

The police officer told me he could not ticket the van, anr cause it to be removed as there were no markings showing that it couldn't park there, and there was a sign that allowed it to park there. I pointed out the sign was a moveable sign, and should not be located immediately adjacent to the entrance/exit door the this building. The officer informed me there was nothing he could do about it.

The City Council Clerk did remove the van, after I informed her I would file a civil rights complaint if she did not. (the van was also blocking the HP space. Then, while the officer was still there, another car parked in front of the door. It was the Vice Mayor, who chastized me, saying, "Oh, Kathy, common now..."

Had a car parked in the HP space, while the van was there, no one would have been able to get away from the building, as there is a stairway at the other end of the van.

It is my understanding that an entrance/exit should not allow parking withing so many feet, and should be marked, and with a sign, so as to ensure the emergency exit of folks inside.

I am concerned, as this problem recurrs whenever there are large public meetings, and there are no clear markings, and there is no one outside to direct the "overflow" parking. I am also concerned because there is a moveable sign, and which last evening eas located immediately nect to the entrance/exit of the building.

I plan to make a writen complaint at the Inspectional services later thisafternoon. I was told to come between 3:30 and 4pm.

I have taken photos dempnstrating the problem that I observed last night.


Kathy Podgers
148 Pearl St
Cambridge MA 02139
March 28, 2006
617 642 3154


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