Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Tree Runs Through It!

This mature tree, on Granite St., between the Morse school and the bus stop was planted many years ago, certainly before 1990 when the ADA was passed. It's gorgeous canopy provides shade and contribites in a positive way to our city scape. We love our trees. However, the trunk and roods have encroached upon the sidewalk, so there is less than 20" of space to pass by. Wheel chairs, walkers, scooters, and persons using guide dogs, people walking with the aid of crutches, etc, all are blocked from passing by this grand, and beautiful tree.

The sidewalks are services, and folks expect to be able to walk on sidewalks in a city where there is much traffic, and danger to those walking in the streets. The ADA , passed in 1990, says that access must not be denied based on disability. It doesn't mean we must have sidewalks! But, if we do have sidewalks, they must be accessible to all.

Now when a PWD walks down this sidewalk, he is trapped, as he cannot get by the tree.

Does that mean we have to cut down the tree?

Surely there must be a way to have both trees and access?

At last night's meeting of City Council, I reccommended that for every new tree planted, a mature tree that is blocking a sidewalk be provided with a "walk around" or a curb ramp, so folks can pass by, and people of all abilities can use the sidewalks. I wonder why this hasn't been done in the past? We need trees, but we need access too!


Post a Comment

<< Home