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Municipality Accessibility

Municipality Accessibility



A presentation I presented at both a City of Houston City Council Meeting and TIRR on Accessibility throughout Houston.

A presentation I presented at both a City of Houston City Council Meeting and TIRR on Accessibility throughout Houston.



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  • Accessible

Municipality Accessibility Municipality Accessibility Presentation Transcript

  • Accessibility in the city of houston
    By: Adele Bosquez, SPT July 21,2009
  • Thoughts on Accessibility
    “While we look for a cure, we really want to help people living in the here and now. It’s really our responsibility to think, ‘What if it was me in the wheelchair, wouldn’t I want the best?’ “
    ~Christopher Reeve
  • Developing a Sensitive Eye
    ADA compliance ≠ accessibility
    Clean sidewalks
    Clear ramps
    Even surface transitions
    Signage clearly identifying accessible entrances
    Surfaces of ramps identified by color change
    Intersections with curb cuts on each corner
    Barrier-free paths
    Light and other pole placement considerations
    Efficiency of movement
  • Who Needs Accessibility?
    The 9 year-old with Cerebral Palsy
    The 13 year-old with a broken leg
    The 18 year-old with a new Spinal Cord Injury
    The 23 year-old recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
    The 45 year-old battling fatigue during illness and treatment
    The 54 year-old with arthritis
    The 78 year-old with balance impairments
    Our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors
    One day….maybe one of us?
  • Following are some examples of accessibility concerns.
    Around Houston
  • 77030 (District C & D)
    The Texas Medical Center
  • TMC: Fannin and Holcombe
    A “ramp to nowhere” lead this individual into the intersection, but he is then trapped in traffic without a curb cut at his destination.
    Will he make it before the light changes?
  • TMC: Holcombe and Bertner
    The uncovered hole limited this individual’s ability to maneuver around the VERY tight spot left for him to navigate.
  • TMC: Braeswood and Holcombe
    The Good: A nice curb cut leading the pedestrian into crosswalks for either direction.
  • TMC: Braeswood and Holcombe
    The Bad: The “one-way” curb cut forces the user to enter oncoming traffic to navigate the intersection.
  • Municipal Facilities
  • Municipal Court 77002 (I,D,C)
    Municipal Court entrance with nine 7” steps for entry.
    Where is the ramp for entry?
  • Municipal Court: Restricted Access (cont.)
    Restricted Access signs guard the parking lot where ramps and additional handicapped parking can be found.
  • Municipal Court: Restricted Access (cont.)
    A nice accessible entrance and additional parking is located in this restricted area.
    Where is the sign by the entrance referring people to this location?
  • Memorial Park: Tennis Center 77007 (G)
    An uneven entrance and uncovered pipe under the sink make this restroom facility less than ideal.
  • Common Concerns
  • Ramps to Nowhere 77030 (D)
    6700 Fannin
  • Ramps to Nowhere 77018 (B)
    Rosslyn and 43rd
    One very nice curb cut that leads into a curb.
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77030 (D)
    Moursund and Braeswood
    Obstacles on the incline make navigation difficult.
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77021 (D)
    Near 5400 MLK
    Poles at the top of the ramp make this corner difficult to negotiate.
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77098 (G)
    Kirby and Westheimer
    Shepherd and Westheimer
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77087 (I)
    Colgate and Park Place
    Light pole in the middle of ramp.
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77087 (I)
    Telephone Rd and Park Place
    Ramp blocked.
  • Sidewalks with Obstacles 77021 (I)
    Near 5400 MLK
  • Ramps with Obstacles 77005 (C)
    A ramp leading to two parking spots.
  • Uneven Ramps 77007 (G)
    Wescott and Memorial
  • Overgrown Areas 77027 (C)
    Richmond and Weslyan
  • Overgrown Areas 77021 (D)
    5400 MLK
    A 9 inch uncovered utility box in middle of sidewalk with metal pole protruding.
  • Overgrown Areas 77061 (E)
    Telephone Road
  • Uneven Transitions 77027 (C)
    Cummins and Richmond
    Narrow and uneven area does not allow the second wheel to touch the surface. She is stuck with a wheel spinning in air.
  • Uneven Transitions 77027 (C)
    Although well designed and intentioned, the median concrete slab has settled creating an uneven surface.
  • Intersections without ramps 77006 (C & D)
    Montrose and Welch
  • Intersections without ramps 77007 (G)
    Shepherd and Memorial
  • What can city leaders do to encourage change in our “disability-friendly” city?
    A Local Restaurant
  • Men’s Bathroom
    *No handicapped stall
    *Pipes under sink not covered
    *No Grab Bars
  • Women’s Bathroom
    *Narrow hallway
    *No handicapped stall
    *No grab bars
    *Entry not possible due to 90 degree turn
  • To access the “accessible” bathroom I had to go outside, down the ramp, through the garbage area, through the storeroom, past the ice machine, past the hot water heater, and through 2 NARROW doors that I had to pull myself through. Once there, I discovered the bathroom was in fact not accessible, as there were no grab bars.
    Over the river and through the woods…to the bathroom we shall go!
  • What can city leaders do to encourage change in our “disability-friendly” city?
    A Local Shopping Center
  • Navigating a Shopping Center
    This outdoor shopping center was largely inaccessible.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
    $489 million infused into the Houston region for transportation work
    Construction is coming to a road near you…but is a ramp?
    While it may not be realistic to ask that every sidewalk in Houston be rebuilt, this is the perfect opportunity to build with accessibility in mind!
  • Built before 1990…Who Cares?
    When we, as a society, allow this excuse to justify lower standards of accessibility, we allow a soft bigotry to permeate our society.
    We send a message to those who depend on these accommodations that we value their time, their access, and their energy less than our own.
    Over dramatic? Or, simply…the truth?
  • For the next week, be aware. Stop and think. Look around. Are the facilities that you utilize accessible? What obstacles would you face? How would you problem solve? While we can never fully imitate or appreciate the challenges that mobility impairments bring, this can assist in highlighting the importance of accessibility for us all.
    Is your day accessible?
  • Contact Information
    Please contact me if you would like further information or assistance.
    Adele Bosquez, District D Resident