|Dick Chrisman||September 10, 2002|
I am writing about a denial of safe access to public sidewalks for the Blind. The sidewalks are located in Scottsdale Arizona, 86th Street and McDonald. The sidewalks in question have been changed for esoteric reasons. The streets in Scottsdale normally have a sidewalk following the curb. In Scottsdale Arizona on 86th street and McDonald the sidewalk has been removed between the two curb cuts and a metal garden has been put in its place, this sidewalk is about 10 feet long. The sidewalk is then taken around the metal garden back to the sidewalk.
As a Blind person it is very difficult to work around, even if you know it is there, a new person coming on the change can get lost, confused or hurt. It is necessary to go back out to the street side of the curb and follow it around until the regular sidewalk is found, not safe. There are many Blind persons using a wheel chair and for them it is very unsafe, as well as myself. The city of Scottsdale Transportation Department wants me to re train my Guide Dog and my self when using a cane so as to work around the unreasonable sidewalk design. I should be provided the same equal access as the Scottsdale populace, providing complete safety, in this case I am not provided equal access and safety.
I am sure the city of Scottsdale is planning this type of unequal access in other locations, in fact at 86th Street and Chaparral the sidewalks are inaccessible in a similar manor for the blind. The Scottsdale Transportation Department says with much training I can avoid the chance of harm from cars, trucks and bus traffic, but how safely?
Dick Chrisman and Scotty the Wonder Guide Dog!
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