Monday, June 3, 2013

Disabled Access

Now that my arthritis has become "moderately severe" (I don't want to know what just plain severe is like), J often hauls out the wheelchair that Kaiser kindly provides for us to take me places that involve lots of walking.  The last such occasion was the Sacramento Music Festival in Old Sacramento.

Now Old Sacramento has gotten it before over their lack of access.  The cutesy wooden sidewalks were built sufficiently below grade that there were steps required to every store in the area.  Sacramento has a dubious distinction: it spent many years fighting the ADA requirement that they make sidewalks accessible to the mobility-challenged--putting in curb cuts and fixing broken sidewalks, in particular.  The city, of course, lost the suit and now has to spend considerable funds performing the work it should have done 20 years ago.

But back to Old Sacramento.  Old Sacramento is a tourist trap, insofar as Sacramento has anything worthy of that name.  It has one good expensive restaurant (The Firehouse) and one good cheap restaurant (Indo), but absolutely nothing else to recommend it.  The stores sell boring schlock that they couldn't even unload elsewhere in Sacramento.  So it's not a place we frequent often.

So J packed me and my wheelchair into the car, drove us downtown, parked five or six blocks from Old Sac, put me into the wheelchair and took me off to the festival.  Please note that there was no formal disabled parking near the entrance.  In fact, the parking lots at Old Sac were full.  Then we went to the Festival trailer to obtain our wristbands where, had I been traveling alone, I would have faced--STEPS.  I discovered later that there were other places to get wristbands but they required a trip of several blocks along

COBBLESTONES.  Yep.  Ever traveled over cobblestones in a wheelchair?  Don't.  It hurts.  A lot.  And the cutesy wooden sidewalks aren't much better.  Bounce.  Bounce.  Jangle. Jangle.  Even my attendant/husband noticed the bouncing as particularly uncomfortable.  By the end of the day my whole body ached from all that bouncing.

Someone should sue, but why bother?  It's only Old Sac, after all.

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