by eila in Accessibility, Civil and Human Rights, Davis Square, Environment and Open Space, Pedestrians, Public Health & Safety, Seniors, Traffic & Parking, Transportation, Transportation Projects, Ward 6
Posted on October 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm
Last Modified on October 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm
In May of 2006, a woman lost her life crossing near Chester and Elm St. in Davis Square. She was hit by a bus, and died on Mother’s Day.
I was told by someone very close to her that she wasn’t using the crosswalk because she was visually impaired and instinctively was avoiding those brick crosswalks and steep curb cuts.
In the Fall of 2011, the City of Somerville reconstructed 6 brick curb cuts at the three crosswalks located at Chester and Elm Streets in Davis Square. These are wonderfully designed and completed concrete curb cuts. They are safe, accessible, and usable by All pedestrians.
The difference these make for the quality of the Davis Square experience at this location can’t really be quantified; but, it’s the difference between crossing with confidence, or crossing with vigilance. That’s a life-saving investment- Kudos and Thanks to everyone who made it happen.
Keep up the good work!
above: BEFORE curb cut reconstruction, these curb cuts on either side of the crosswalk were excessively steep, and folks with balance and visual issues had to pick their way across carefully and vigilantly.
above: AFTER the City of Somerville reconstructed these curb cuts, the contrast between the concrete surface and the bricks gives people with visual impairments the confidence to cross at the crosswalk. The well-oriented tactile strips provides a perfect cue for Blind pedestrians. People using wheelchairs and other rolling mobility devices can now rock and roll to the beat of the Ville, knowing that they don’t have to “pull the hill” at either end of the crosswalk.
It’s All Good… except: as seen above, that pretty-but-expensive reconstructed brick paver crosswalk is already popping up. I hope there’s a good maintenance agreement on board.