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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Does removing parking spaces violate disability laws?

A protest brewing in San Francisco over new bike lanes contends that it does:

Additionally, the bikeway's opponents have charged that the new route violates the Americans with Disabilities Act as it removes 55 parking spaces. "Although the loss of parking would be a hardship for the large numbers of people who live, visit and work in the neighborhood, it would disproportionately impact people with major mobility disabilities, such as wheelchair users and slow walkers," reads the lawsuit. "Many people with mobility disabilities rely heavily on private vehicles."

Oh, the poetic justice if that legal action should ever succeed. Battle of the PCs!

Comments (9)

Why do these governments keep trying to shove all this down our throats?

I just don't get it?

The bicycle lobby is tiny.

Why does the majority always get pushed aside with this issue?

Bizarre, truly bizarre.

Why does the majority always get pushed aside with this issue?

Because it's only cool to argue with the one percenters when it's cool.

When you are in the one percenter and feel ostracized, then you have to stand up and fight for minority rights.

80% of trips taken are by motor vehicle. If we apply the logic used by many of the "occupy" folks (who also are part of the bicyclist rally), then they should be fighting against more encroachment of bicyclists asserting "rights" against the majority of us.

Instead the cyclists argue they have "rights" - guess what? Rich people have rights too. But I don't once see the word "bicycle" appear in the Constitution.


The lead appellant is a SF condo developer (Mark Brennan), and no reserved disabled parking spaces are being removed for the project. Some other agenda at work here than simple anti-bike lane rage.

I'm not sure the ADA gives standing to people who want to sue simply because parking spaces are being taken...if that was the case, then literally any project that removed parking spaces would run afoul of the ADA. If a set number of parking spaces are required to be allocated to disabled motorist permits AND those spaces are removed, then there could be a case. Otherwise I just don't see it.

Having said that, I always find it amusing to see the bike lobby and various other progressive groups in cahoots on an issue--the bike lobby is one of the least "equity" based groups around...their membership is almost exclusively white, very upwardly mobile*, very young, etc.

*not saying everyone who rides a bike is upwardly mobile, but the people who make up the organized bike lobbying groups are fairly homogenous.

As someone that actually grew up and went to school in San Francisco (not the suburbs, but right in SF): I can say that it is madness to remove traffic lanes on Fell and Oak Streets. Both streets are one way streets that get heavy traffic virtually every day of the week; and serve as major traffic routes for commuters traveling from the Sunset, Haight-Ashbury and Richmond neighborhoods into downtown SF and back again. And those streets have been that way since the 1950s. Even worse, many of the residences that are on both streets are older flats and multiple tennant homes with limited parking. The removal of parking spaces only makes parking in the area much more difficult. The fantasy that "other" parking spaces will be created on nearby streets is purely a lie. Parking in the area is already tight; and removal of spaces on Fell and Oak Streets makes it even worse.

Funny thing about the Foothills development in LO - the one by Homer & Dike. It is supposed to be "multi-modal" - but we all know that is the definition for No Parking. The spaces for residences is very low, just as it is in Portland, because mass transit (bus for now...) will take up the slack. Snort or laugh allowed here. But the bus (or streetcar???) will be up on State St., approx. 5 stories higher in elevation than the base of the hill (in the flood zone). How are the disabled supposed to get to the transit station? There will be a ramp in addition to some stairs, but 5 stories in elev. and over XXX feet in length even in good weather will not pass muster with the Feds. What about an elevator? OK, but the developers do not have such a structure in their plans, so who is going to build that? Another BAD idea and LO residents most probably being screwed by Homer and co. That's my prediction anyway. But in any case, it just shows that NO ONE - not even the overly-involved planners care about real people.

What's ironic about this to me is that the ADA has probably done more for urban biking than any other entity. All those wheelchair ramps on buildings/sidewalks/pedestrian bridges, etc.

Nolo, you should know that only poor Mexicans ride the bus. Everyone else has a $2,500 carbon fiber bike, or a skateboard. The ultra-rich can still drive their Lexuses and Mercedes. And EVERYONE rides the Streetcar...even the folks out in Molalla and Estacada and Forest Grove and Sherwood - they too just love the convenience of the Streetcar.

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