Disabled Californians sue Caltrans over incomplete streets

Complete the Streets News this month included this article:
a totally insane situation, by lezaj, http://flickr.com/photos/lejaz/158432893/

Two disabled Californians and disability groups are suing the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), claiming the agency is creating streets that are barriers to people with disabilities. Ben Rockwell, who uses a wheelchair, and Dmitri Belser, who has a vision impairment, say they must cope with inadequate or inaccessible curb cuts, broken pavement, obstacles on the sidewalk and many other hazards on California's streets.

The class action lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court, says Caltrans is violating state and federal laws by installing sidewalks with obstacles and without basic safeguards such as curb cuts; installing inaccessible "park and ride" facilities; and failing to provide accessible routes around construction sites, as well as other violations.

AARP has filed a friend of the court brief and the AARP Foundation is providing legal help to Californians for Disability Rights and the California Council of the Blind.

More information, including a fact sheet on the case, is here.

What is interesting is that Californians are suing Caltrans--yet Caltrans is light years ahead of MoDOT in providing complete accommodation to all users.

One disgruntled Missourian with a disability is all it will take to launch a similar but much more sweeping lawsuit right here in River City . . .

MoBikeFed's goal is to prevent this scenario by getting MoDOT on the right track before the inevitable expensive and messy lawsuit happens in Missouri.

More about the national Complete the Streets movement here.