Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
It has been brought to my attention by a number of people in Oak Bluffs that a crosswalk that was accessible for disabled individuals in wheelchairs was recently painted over, one way of stopping the use of the crosswalk. At first, I didn’t understand this move, but then lo and behold they started to park taxis in the area that now blocks the use of the sloped ramp altogether.
And that’s not the worst of it. Although they made another crosswalk farther down the street, possibly to replace the crosswalk they covered over, they forgot one important element: The ramp or slope, if you will, needed for the people in wheelchairs to access the sidewalk. So here is what happens. Once a disabled person crosses the street they are left stranded, with a three to four-inch curb that stops them from getting on the sidewalk. These brave souls are forced to put themselves in harm’s way by having to go further down the street, in the highly trafficked area of the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority terminal, to find an access point to get on the sidewalk. What an outrage!
I just want to know, does the person or people responsible for this crosswalk mishap have a lack of consideration for the disabled, or were they just not thinking this entire project all the way through? And why is this safety issue is not being addressed?
Donna Noorali, Edgartown