So, you are a blind pedestrian at Weston and Broadway and you need to cross after getting off the bus.
Because there is no curbcut on the bus stop side of Weston to cross to Dickson, you cross Weston to the corner pictured below.
You rely on the tactile strips to guide you straight into the crosswalk and to the curbcut exactly opposite.
Now, here: how many steps will it take before you’re a smashed pumpkin at rush hour?
All in all, there are 5 incorrectly placed curbcuts just in this one intersection: Two on this side of Weston, one on the other side (near the corner store and bus stop), and three on the Dickson side.
Here are the relevant Building code violations just for this particular curb cut in the foreground:
21.2.1 Curb cuts are required at each corner of each intersection, located within the crosswalk and/or the pedestrian path of travel. Curb cuts shall be perpendicular to the curb at street crossings and each shall have a level landing at the top. At marked crossings, the bottom of the ramp run, exclusive of flared sides, shall be wholly contained with the marked crossing.
No matter how you look at it, this curbcut won’t lead a blind pedestrian safely into the crosswalk. Instead, it leads people smack dab into the City’s mid-crosswalk Pedestrian Safety sign…
Transitions from curb cuts to walks, gutters, or streets shall be flush or free of changes in level greater than 1⁄2 inch (1⁄2″ = 13mm).
This particular curb cut is not flush with the street; it has a lip underneath that breaks the continuity of travel for wheelchair-mobile and 4-point cane-mobile pedestrians.
BROADWAY & WESTON AVE., WARD 7 SOMERVILLE, MA
So here’s a little 21.2.1 contest:
A. In your pedestrian travels, note whether or not a curbcut with a tactile strip is wholly contained within the marked crosswalk.
B. Jot down the address of every curbcut that violates this particular access building code (21.2.1).
C. Call 3-1-1 or email the City ADA Coordinator (or both) to report sidewalk accessibility problem, and document the time and date of your report.
D. Post your compiled Access Reports list here @ Somerville Voices by 10 p.m. June 18!
The person who files the most (verified)
Curbcut Access Reports
by June 18, 10 p.m.
will receive a complementary dinner for two
at a local (accessible) restaurant!
Good luck- and thanks for caring!
(see Somerville Journal, May 1, 2008 Alderman’s Notes: Pero: sidewalk ramps causing parking tickets, p. 12)