Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Man's Annoying / Aggravating / Interesting Access Picture

This is a series of pictures I took a few months ago. One of my doctors has an office in my neighborhood about 6 blocks from my apartment building, and since the weather was decent I decided to roll down the sidewalk to my appointment. Between my place and the doctor’s office building I knew there was road construction that had been ongoing for most of the summer, but didn’t realize how badly it blocked sidewalk access. The most seamless path that I planned on taking revealed a brand new sidewalk that was completely blocked off, presumably to cure the concrete. At the end of the sidewalk on the other side of the street I encountered the signs in the picture below indicating that the crosswalk I needed to use was closed on account of the construction.


As you can see in the picture below the sidewalk wasn’t just blocked off, it was non-existent. My doctor’s office is in the second building on the right in the background.


From the vantage point above the sidewalk curls to the right and comes upon a driveway to a parking lot with the vantage point in the picture below. I couldn’t cross the street to use the sidewalk on the other side because both the crosswalk there and the one at the end of the block were also under construction. Moreover, there was a sign that said “No Pedestrian Crossing.” At that point I sat there trying to figure out what to do. Without sidewalks my only other recourse was to go straight down the street about a block and a half, partially through the construction zone.

Right as I was starting to head back to my place I had a “screw it” moment and went for it. Cars were driving at a fairly steady pace but I picked my moment and shot up the street with the flow of traffic as fast as my wheelchair could go and then crossed over to the blocked off from traffic side of the street to the right of the orange cones below. It was a tad hair-raising. But no guts no glory. I was so close and had already come that far. I was a little late to the appointment but at least I made it.


Luckily, on my return there was barely any traffic so I rolled down the street the two blocks it took to get back on the sidewalk again, getting back on the sidewalk just as a car behind me passed me. I’m sure I got some odd looks and all I was missing was a slow moving vehicle sign on the back of my chair. But this is just a prime and frustrating example of the kinds of access denied/alternative path crap you have to deal with when you use a wheelchair.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought of that... My son is going to be in a chair when he gets old enough. Thanks for that view!