The Ramblings of 4WheelBob
America's premier wheelchair hiker speaks.
San Francisco - Some Notes From A Wheelchair in the Financial District

Over the last three weeks, I've had a couple of occasions to meet with people in the weekday heart of The City, the Financial District.


Let's take a look at San Francisco politicians. From the Mayor to the Board of Supervisors, and to State and Federal offices, it's easy to make political hay in SF. Run the City with a very progressive attitude, unless someone disagrees with you. If they happen to enjoy an idealogy that doesn't jibe with yours, simply get on a TV station's news and decry their point of view, dismiss it in its entirety rather than open a dialogue based on the many, many points of view represented by the local constituency.


My personal bitch was this - I dodged cabs and cars going way too fast on Pine, Sutter, Post and especially Montgomery Streets. It seems the ultra motivated Board of Supervisors or the Mayor don't mind placing wheelchair cutaways at street crossings which require anyone in a chair to have to dodge oncoming traffic because the cutaways don't always parallel the direction of traffic.


Geez, and I wondered how it seems so many wheelbound pedestrians get plowed under buses, trucks or oncoming traffic. As one who is rarely fearful of speaking his mind, I had several letters (12, in fact) for a cabbie who came within inches of running me down - all because this socially conscious City hasn't really done much more to help itself than pick up on the "flavor of the month" topic and beat it into the ground.


These cutaways are so deadly I'm considering a suit against the City demanding, for my safety and their insurance carrier's peace of mind, full ADA compliance with sidewalk cutaways at street crossings. If they haven't already directly killed a disabled pedestrian, they will...or, in my case, it will cause great physical harm to the next cabbie or meter maid who fails to provide the right of way I am entitled to as a pedestrian.


I'm also a little concerned this hasn't been an issue raised by the tens of thousands of people who work in the Financial District every day. Maybe they feel that because SF is such a politically active municipality, if they can't get a proper cutaway built it must be due to some Republican President's personal vendetta. There's a funny kind of discourse at most SF political press conferences, the kind that's exasperating because nothing is being done by The City to fix anything, but they can spend days of heated exchanges considering the plight of Tibet. It would seem funny if it weren't simply insane.


So - Gavin, I'd like to meet with you. Maybe we can take a lunchtime stroll down Montgomery and you can caunt the expletives I direct at unyielding drivers.Who knows? If you're lucky, maybe a Muni bus will hit me because your cutaways put me right in its path with nowhere to go.


Too bad...with all the BS that comes out of the Mayor and Board of Supervisors every day, you'd think someone would touch on this issue just through a random process of topical elimination. And woe to me if Carole Migden's driving down the street! Carole, next time you drive home from Sacramento - please, TAKE THE BUS!

2008-07-12 05:07:39 GMT
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