Friday, February 24, 2012

What do you get?

I got an email from Montgomery County's ADA Compliance officer today. She seemed surprised and a little upset that I did not know she existed. I did , of course, but what can I say. When you go to the County website about ADA, you will find nothing about right-of-way issues. PARKING, yes, but nothing about sidewalks.

Take a look;

Montgomery County Department of General Services

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The good work

Yesterday I got a call late that a higher-up from PEPCO would be meeting with an inspector from DPS, and Jeff from MCDOT on Sligo Avenue to look at what was going on with the final steps of the utility pole project started back in 2009.

We walked from Woodbury to Ritchie, looking at all the places I posted photos of the day before. I got assurances that someone would be out to fix things this week. OK. I'll believe it when I see it.

What was more important was a chance to talk one-to-one with Dane from PEPCO, Chris from DPS, and Dave, the contractor who did the finishing work. They got an earful about why this stuff is important. I hope just a little of it sank in.

there are still a lot of questions, and I am afraid that no one is going to like the answers. But, the moral of this story is that it is better to embrace this positive change than it is to try and avoid it. Do it because it is the right thing to do, and do it well because it is important.

Sligo Nine

I can't believe it, but I am once again involved in initiating another infrastructure rehabilitation project. Yes, once again, I talk with the public utility, and they have no idea what to do about ADA. Once again, I actually put WSSC in contact with MCDOT through email. Thanks to Councilmember Ervin's office, who put me in touch with WSSC.

View Sligo Nine in a larger map
The point is, there is nothing in place to ensure that new infrastructure is replaced in compliance with ADA. This in effect prolongs the discrimination another thirty years. I have lived here for 15 years, and the sidewalks have always been bad. If I am the most tenacious advocate in the County, then things must be VERY bad.

Here are the nine fire hydrants on Sligo Avenue, just to be clear where they are and what they look like. I am naming them for members of the US Supreme Court.


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map


View Sligo Nine in a larger map

This reinforces my position that Montgomery County is not managing the public right-of-way properly, and is therefor discriminating against people with disabilities, like me. That WSSC and MCDOT have not had even a single discussion - that I am the initiator of that first discussion - means that nothing has changed since I filed a complaint two years ago this coming March 1st. The problem still exists. It has not been handled, or even addressed. It has been avoided.

I honestly think I may need to move.

Trying to make light of a situation that has me frustratyed and down - feeling like I am just wasting my time fighting city hall. Sorry for the weak humor...


I missed one. I named it Curly...

View Sligo Nine in a larger map

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sligo Avenue in 2005

These are among the first few sidewalk photos I ever took - circa 2005.

This particular location has been "fixed," but the conditions are still very similar along this stretch of Sligo Avenue --7 years later.

Walking the dog

This afternoon I took Opie for a walk down to Sligo Neighborhood Park - down at the eastern end of my street. These uncropped photos were taken along the way. The total length of Sligo Avenue is less than a mile. The distance between my home and the park can't be more that 1.300 feet. All of these photos were taken in that distance, on only the south side. All of the photos except for one face east.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blind Man's Nightmare

On Friday, my daughter got out of school early, so we decided to go to Downtown Silver Spring for lunch. We left home about 1:30 PM. We stopped at Safeway on the way there, so we approached the intersection of Wayne and Fenton from the west side of Fenton. The crosswalk was blocked, as you can see in these photos, and sort-of see in the video. So, we did as the signs said and crossed to the east side of Fenton. - which was also blocked. Both sides of the street - effectively the entire intersection, was closed to pedestrians - I THINK. People were still crossing, so we did too.

There were no real thoughtful directions for pedestrians. Just the usual Crosswalk closed used other side signs. Only this time the joke is on you because BOTH SIDE are closed!

No police officer of flagman to direct traffic, just a blind guy who would be lost in an intersection he knows so well , if not for his daughter being by his side. . If I had approached this intersection alone, I would not know exactly how to negotiate it. Walking in the street with traffic is dangerous, no matter who you are - but people were doing it here - right in front of where the new library is going. Right through where the Purple Line is supposed to travel.

I have no idea how long both sides were blocked and people were waliing in the street with the vehicles. The obstruction on the west side of Fenton had been removed by the time we headed back, 30 - minutes later. Could have been dozens of pedestrians who passed through this dangerous work zone with no protection - could have been many more.

What does this say about how important pedestrians are in the master plan? We mean nothing. Hardly worth mentioning.

I am so discouraged. What am I up against? Is it even worth the fight? To have worked so long on this and have a situation like this take place... I just can't explain it. I could just throw-up my hands...