Spring 2003, p.18

Disabled Group Says Williamsburg Bridge Bumps Violate Federal Law

Willi B's bumps endanger path users.

In April, T.A. visited the Williamburg Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path with staff from the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association to determine whether its twenty-six metal bumps comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new path opened in December 2002 and is used by 1,500 cyclists and pedestrians every day. Path users dislike the bumps because they are precarious and jarring to bicycle over, and dangerously slippery when wet.

The Veterans Association concluded that, according to the U.S. Department of Justice's "ADA Standards for Accessible Design," the steep-sided, two-inch high bumps violate the Americans with Disabilities Act because the slope of the bumps is too severe and could cause someone in a wheelchair, a pedestrian or a bicyclist to crash.

Ironically, the DOT's Web site states that, "The new footpath/bikeway complies with all regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act."
It does not.

Write to:
DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall
40 Worth Street
New York, NY 10001


Say What?

The DOT's May 2003 response to the flurry of letters and e-mail about the hazard and discomfort caused by the Williamsburg Bridge bumps:

"Our agency will make two changes on the path to make crossing the joints easier. By the middle of May, Bridge Operations will complete painting all 24 joints yellow to draw special attention to them. Additionally, this action will be supplemented by the installation of standard warning signs to further alert path users to the presence of the joints.

Sincerely,
NYC DOT Customer Service"

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