PUBLIC MEETING MAY 15 ON PEDESTRIAN ACCESSIBILITY STUDY

2013 Pedestrian Accessibility Study available for community review; public meeting on Thursday, May 15, at 6 p.m. to gather community feedback

SOMERVILLE
– The community is invited to a public meeting to provide feedback on a report
that details how the City conducted its accessibility Self-Evaluation for
streets and sidewalks, and the system used to develop the curb ramp schedule
and reconstruction priorities for sidewalks.

The
public meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 15 at 6 p.m. in the Aldermanic
Chambers at City Hall will gather community feedback on the 2013 Pedestrian
Accessibility Study available online at http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/personnel/ADA
and by clicking “2013
Pedestrian Accessibility Study
” on the right. Residents can also send
questions and comments to ADA Coordinator Betsy Allen via e-mail to
[email protected] or by phone at (617) 625-6600 extension 2323. If you
wish to request reasonable accommodations in order to attend the meeting on May
15, please contact Betsy Allen by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 9.

This
pedestrian right-of-way (PROW) report will form part of the basis for the
City’s complete Transition Plan that will cover both physical and communication
barriers and outline the timeframe for removing those barriers. Community
feedback will assist in prioritizing the barriers identified in these reports,
and developing a living, multi-year Transition Plan to create equal access for
all to the City’s buildings, programs, services, streets and sidewalks.  The City contracted the engineering firm,
Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, of Burlington, Mass., to conduct the Pedestrian
Accessibility Study.

“I
am fully committed to keeping Somerville accessible to everyone and knocking
down the barriers that exist in our community. Feedback from the community is
essential to prioritizing what we need to do on our streets and sidewalks to
make an immediate and meaningful difference in residents’ daily lives,” said
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “I ask our residents to attend this meeting or send
their feedback by phone or email and help us make Somerville a city that is
truly open to all.”

“The ability to come and go as we please is something that
all of us who are not mobility-impaired take for granted every day. Yet for
individuals who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids, venturing outside can
be challenging, even dangerous. The City will do all that it can, through the
systematic upgrade and maintenance of its PROW, to ensure that individuals with
mobility impairments can travel safely,” said Allen. “We are once again calling
on disability rights advocates and the entire community to own, shape and mold
the change that is and will be happening. In keeping with the requirement and
the spirit of the ADA, we seek feedback from residents, particularly those with
disabilities.”

The
Self-Evaluation
of the City’s streets and sidewalks, facilities, websites and the Transition
Plan currently being developed are the main components of the City’s overall
efforts to increase accessibility throughout Somerville, along with the new
Streetscape Plan
and the active contributions of the Somerville
Commission for Persons with Disabilities
. The Commission meets the second
Tuesday of each month and works closely with the ADA Coordinator to improve the
lives of residents with disabilities. New Commission members are welcome.

To learn more about the City’s comprehensive plans to create
and maintain equal access for all and to participate in these efforts, please
contact ADA Coordinator Betsy Allen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2323 or by email at
[email protected].