Inspired by lightgetsin's wonderful post, What I talk about when I talk about inaccessibility
I thought I'd rant a little about the access irritations I encountered today.
Today I'll complain about inaccessible elements of the environment which nominally increase access. Otherwise known as "access theater," or access done wrong, it's particularly infuriating.curb ramps
Today I traveled around 45 of 'em which a manual wheelchair user, a 3-wheel scooter user, and many 4-wheel scooter or powerchair users couldn't navigate to save their lives. We're talking alpine slopes (up to 45°) *plus* cross slopes, which require the chair wheels to move at different speeds. That's bad, but the street-curb ramp intersection is even worse: imagine the cross section of a 8 inch pipe. Slice out the bottom two-fifths. That's what connects the edge of the street to the bottom of the curb ramp. Unless the chair tires are really big, they're just gonna jam and stick. Happily my new chair is back heavy and has super motors, so I can basically perform a wheelie to goose myself out of these chasms.railroad tracks
six-inch gaps between the pavement and the rail, and a vertical difference of five inches. See above for jam and stick.bus stop announcements
For reasons I can't fathom, our bus company refuses to provide "next stop" announcements. Instead, they attempt to announce the street name as it's crossed. So if the bus is running fast (almost always) then the announcement comes after
we've passed the street. If I want to get off at stop B, I must ring the bell when I hear the announcement for stop B minus 1. But when we're running fast, B minus 1 is announced five seconds before it's time to ring for stop B. When I hear "stop B" announced, it's too late to get off at stop B. For experienced riders, it just means paying attention. While originally provided to meet ADA guidelines since human drivers rarely could be counted on to announce stops, thie automatic announcements are great for new riders and sighted riders busy texting or reading or fussing with the baby.misplaced door openers
If you're gonna put in a door opener, please put it where I can reach it before I go through the door! Several times today I had to cross two lanes of traffic to push the opener. At a university library, that's a steady stream of folks who are not really looking where they're going.