Down with bricks

The Neighborhood Access Group is on a campaign to get the city to stop installing and allowing brick sidewalks. Sure, they look oh so historic, but they're absolute nightmares for people with mobility problems, such as Liz Casey of Roslindale, in a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis:

... I love going to Newbury Street or Charles Street in the good weather. But I rattle along in my usually smooth wheelchair, arching into spasms. Ten feet of sidewalk-- stop -- get a "lean over" from my aide -- 15 feet of sidewalk-- stop --get uprighted. What a pain in the neck! And the butt! And the arms! And let's not forget the bladder-- what joy!

The city needs to start putting people before beauty. Bricks are attractive, but people are more important! ...

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They're even nightmares for

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They're even nightmares for the merely klutzy. One of these days, I'm going to wind up in a wheelchair from tripping on them.

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nothing like sacrificing

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nothing like sacrificing hitory and aesthetics for the good of the few. why don't we just pave the whole state.

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Wouldn't it be easier and

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Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to upgrade the wheelchairs? There must be some that are better than others.

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Whoa.

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I hope that was meant sarcastically. Do you have any idea how much wheelchairs cost? And how many people are uninsured or underinsured? Most people who use one don't have durable medical equipment coverage, and many people with special needs have exceeded the lifetime limit on their insurance and have been cut off. This is why there are so many people who use a wheelchair most of the time who are using the cheap foldable ones that are meant for transporting people short distances inside a building. The type that are sturdy and have better positioning and suspension for being out and about are out of the question for many people.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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Yes I'm serious

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I'm totally serious. I agree with all of your with all your points about the expense and unattainability of decent equipment. My point is that as a society we should take responsibility for providing people with appropriate healthcare and necessary equipment. The world is big place and design modifications can only do so much to make it more accessible for people using wheelchairs. It seems to me that one might bet a bigger bang for our buck by providing people with the best possible wheelchairs.

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Sure...

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Of course we should provide healthcare for all people, like civilized countries do. But we can't just have that happen overnight. We DO have the option of replacing bricks with space in between them with the bricks like Canal Street has which are a nearly flat surface without spaces, or if that's too expensive, paving over brick surfaces. That could be done within a week. Getting everyone healthcare and appropriate equipment will take years. I mean, dude, there are even people with very good private insurance coverage who've exceeded their lifetime limit because of multiple special needs and no longer get benefits. I worked with a little girl who was kicked off at the age of 3 because she'd had lung surgeries in addition to her positioning, mobility, and communication equipment, so she'd exceeded her insurance carrier's limit of 8 million dollars or whatever it was, and was kicked off. Not having funds for equipment is an issue for people in many situations who have special needs; it's not just a poor issue or a veteran issue etc.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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...

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The preferred language is "who uses a wheelchair," rather than "in," unless she's somehow affixed to it.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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It's sad to lose the brick

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It's sad to lose the brick sidewalks, but the city should have installed them correctly. If you're going to use pavers, you can't just throw them in any-which way and expect them to not move or break. It's shoddy labor that is at fault here, not bricks - but either way, people need access on those streets.

*except for the guy who plays the harmonica outside of the Huntington/Gainesborough Burger King. They should put up a little fence to keep him away.

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or at the very least, keep

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or at the very least, keep them up! It didn't occur to the city that they might need to re-grout those things after I dunno, 100 years?

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