Friday, May 26, 2006

City "Permits" street furniture & city is responsible for maintaining access

Now that the City has decided to grant permits to Restarants and Bars for street "cafes" the City has unwittingly entered the "restarant business." The City is responsible for maintaing the public sidewalks, and must insure "Accessible Rights-of-Way." When speaking with John Nardone, DPW, this week, he was under the impression that if street furniture blocks access for PWDs, that it would be the restarant who is responsible. The agrieved would file an ADA Title III complaint with the Dept of Justice.

That is not what the Dept of Justice told me this month. If the access inside the restarant is blocked by furniture then one files a complaint against the restarant, a Title III complaint, but if the City permits the restarant to set up furniture on the sidewalk, public ways, then one would file a complaint against the City, an ADA Title II complaint, should the City allow the furniture to block access.

I sure hope we can have outdoor cafes, especially in Central Square, but the placement of the furniture must not block access. The City's failure to bring it's ordinances on this topic into compliance has resulted in giving permits for street furniture that is blocking access. I have informed the City previously, that they need to bring these ordinances into compliance, their failure to do so is now causing confusion for both public accomodations, the restarants, and pedestrians who suddenly find their access blocked.

The City must maintain access on rights of way. They must bring their ordinances into compliance.


At Friday, June 02, 2006 7:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read a lot of your work, and have an area of particular concern to me. In Cambridge, at the intersetion of Roseland St and Mass Ave, near Porter Square, there is a church. The church allows parking not only on thier property, but allows people to park on the sidewalk, completely blocking any use for pedestrians. I have notified police, and the city, and despite being told they cannot park on the sidewalk, they continue to do so. They do not have a curb cut, even to park on their property, and the sidewalk has been destroyed from them jumping up and over the curbing to park on it. It forces everyone from women with strollers to wheelchair users into the street and traffic. It happens multiple times a week. I was hoping you could help in some way, since you seem to know the laws more than me. Thank you. Debbie

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:55:00 AM, Blogger Kathy Podgers said...

I have raised this issue at the meeting Craig Kelley chaired re ideling, where traffic enforcement was also discussed. I specifically addressed this to the police Commissioner, Watson. he responded that police were too busy responding to calls re shootings and stabbings. I kid you not!

I will raise it again, Tuesday evening, at the meeting re sidewalks, again Chaired by Craig Kelley, at City Hall, at 5:30pm, re sidewalks.

When the City shows a pattern of allowing access to the sidewalks to be blocked, then it could trigger an ADA complaint. These complaints may take a long time to work their way through the system. A Mass commission Against discrimination complaint, here in Mass can also be filed. again, based on a pattern.

Today I observed two vans parked on the sidewalk on Harvard St. It is important to documant the violations with Photographs, esp digital photos, as they are dated, or, keep a diary.

please continue posting here, with the date and time of violations, and the PLATE number of the cars, trucks.


At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 11:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like street cafes and want Cambridge to have more of them, although many of our streets are very narrow. I hope you don't end them all with your apparent threats of litigation.

At Wednesday, February 27, 2008 5:27:00 AM, Anonymous sherlock said...

Really wish we had a better climate for cafe culture in the UK. Love eating outside when i go abroad


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