Disabled Group Says Williamsburg Bridge Bumps Violate Federal Law
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."
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: