Friday, July 13, 2007

Sidewalk Hazards at Harvard University

UPDATE:(On Wednesday August 1, 2007 that portion of sidewalk was under construction creating a curb cut and ramp. A second ramp is already installed further down Oxford Street near the second current crosswalk.) On Tuesday July 10, 2007 at about 9:00 PM a woman using a wheelchair rolled down the ramp at Harvard's Science Center on Oxford Street. A shuttle bus idled nearby. The student using a wheelchair did not board the shuttle.
She bounced down the curb, at the permanent crosswalk at that location. The sidewalk on the other side of Oxford Street is broken with large gaps. It is a hazard for all pedestrians.
This shows that Harvard has no concern for persons with disabilities. It is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Mass General Laws Chapter 151 B, and Cambridge City Ordinance.
Appearing spontaneously is a private Harvard security vehicle which drives onto and across the broken sidewalk. Perhaps this is why the sidewalk is broken. But it does not explain why it remains broken.
Money is not an issue for the City of Cambridge nor for Harvard University. Neither hurt for funds. It shows the contempt for law and for persons with disabilities. The broken sidewalk shows contempt for all pedestrians including Harvard's own students.
The city remains unconcerned unless someone files a complaint as the City Manager and the City Council demand. The sidewalk remains non compliant with city, state and US laws. No taxpayer funded city and state employees nor the Disability Coordinator for Harvard show concern about this overt violation of the right to travel for persons with disabilities.
The City Council reminds their flatterers that there are few complaints about what they do. They declare that the silence they hear tells them that they are doing a great job. But when a few people raise the issue of institutionalized violations denying basic rights to persons with disabilities they do not hear.
Elected officials remain clueless that when a person does speak out about abuses, politicians and appointed public officials abuse police powers, having police associates harass and threaten the person who dares to speak out. That is the silence that the self serving councilors hear.
The City Council of Cambridge, MA the City Manager and Harvard University show their contempt for laws and for persons with disabilities.

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