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Sidewalk construction: Passing the impassable

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I was in Chicago the other night using the sidewalk. As I got to the end of the block, I noticed that cement was missing from the walkway.  Ah yes, the sidewalk was under construction. Now obviously, maintaining the sidewalk is a completely reasonable goal for any city. However, as happens all too often, I was not able to pass by on the portion that was being repaired. The city did not provide adequate signage to alert me to the obstacle ahead. 
Maybe this was simply an oversight, but it was quite annoying and made it very difficult for people who use wheelchairs.

Quite the path for someone who uses a chair. Photo courtesy of nufase.com.

All that is needed is either a clear warning sign at a visible level or a temporary way for someone in a wheelchair to navigate around the torn-up patches of sidewalk. Perhaps even a wooden ramp or temporary cut-away would be the solution. I am not sure what the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) says regarding sidewalk construction, but I doubt that the patch of construction I encountered would be considered acceptable to anyone who relies on a wheelchair.

If we're looking to make our cities equal and accessible for everybody, we can't simply do so when it's most convenient. After all, we have the right to use streets and sidewalks at any time that we want.



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