Whoda thunk that a simple sign could be a liar? Here’s a photo essay of some misleading signage in three City of Somerville facilities.
1. Somerville Schools Administration Building, 181 Washington Street: At the inaccessible front entrance, we see a blue International Symbol of Access sign informing folks that “REAR ACCESS PARKING” exists to the right of the building:
Once we’ve made the turn at Boston Avenue, we come upon the inaccessible side entrance to this building and, again, a sign reinforces the notion that we’re coming to an “ACCESS PARKING” lot.
And here is that ACCESS PARKING lot- appetizing, huh?:
Once you’ve parked your van, this is where you are supposed to enter, because the sign says it’s an accessible entrance. See? It’s good enough for the trash, so it should be good enough for you:
2. At the Edgarly School on Otis Street, we see that a ramp exists in the rear of the building. Note the blue sign high up on the wall where the ramp is, with the International Symbol of Access:
Yep, that’s the Somerville DPW truck parked in the Access Parking Spot, but who’s watching? Anyway, here’s a close-up of that sign, so you can see where it’s pointing. Since the sign is so tiny (and noncompliant with ADA signage standards as well as State architectural accessibility code), I would never have noticed this, but my buddy did- it’s pointing in the wrong direction:
3. Here we have the side entrance to the Somerville Recreation Department Building, letting us know that an Accessible Entrance exists to the left of this door:
So we faithfully follow the directions and look to the door on the left, but nope- that one doesn’t look like it’s been opened for a long time, and besides, there’s that huge step:
So the only remaining option…
is not an inclusive one.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone is well aware of these and many other accessibility and inclusion barriers in the City of Somerville- but aware only rhymes with care.