Access for people with disabilities

A part of the current discussion about a street in Lawson, Missouri, where bicycles are banned, is the issue of access by people with disabilities. Ed Chasteen, who was charged with pushing his bicycle in a zone where bicycle pushing was not allowed, has multiple sclerosis.

Many small towns have tried in one way or another to ban disabled persons from using "alternative" vehicles--wheelchairs, motorized wheelchairs, scooters, golf carts, and so on--to move around town.

The efforts to curtail this travel have almost always been unsuccessful in the end. The dangers feared by city officials almost always turn out to be greatly exaggerated. Where real, they are easily solved--for instance, by requiring blinky lights after dark. Public opinion and federal law favor disabled citizens, as well.

A CNN article covers the situation in Laurens, IA (with a roundup of other similar cases around the country).

A Marshall News story covers the brouhaha in Sweet Springs, Missouri. A Google search reveals a many more articles covering the Sweet Springs situation.

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