Bad Ramps

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Whose bright idea was it to arrange these wheelchair access ramps diagonal to each other on the Mass Ave island near Union Station? This is not easy for the disabled in wheelchairs, as they must either negotiate the ramps in an “S” pattern, or cross the steep sides of the ramp at an angle, or as I have more often seen, just skip the island altogether and go around it, rocketing across Mass Ave against traffic coming up from 1st St NE. None of these options are safe, convenient, or sensible.

Is this the kind of thing for which I should be submitting a service request?

7 Comments so far

  1. darpino (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 11:01 am

    That’s pretty funny. It looks like Mass. Ave is covering a textbook strike-slip fault. We’re all doomed!


  2. poo poo (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

    i think they did that to slow down those pesky wheelchair speeders. you know how they can screw up traffic with DC’s pedestrian-right-of-way laws.

    wait. are they considered pedestrians???


  3. Mike Licht (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

    Those cobble-stone pavers will keep the wheelchairs full all by themselves.

    I wonder if the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons funds those brick and cobblestone sidewalks to increase the supply of broken ankles.


  4. W B (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

    Absolutely not. At least there are ramps, albeit inconvenient ones, in place. The "S shape" navigation would not be as difficult as you are making out to be. This city wastes enough money on superfluous road/curb repairs! Anyone drive on the Rock Creek Parkway recently? They just finished construction on the damn thing, then immediately tore it up again?!?! WTF? And in my NW neighborhood, the city place new cement curbs, waited 1 year, then tore them out for new granite ones. It’s an absolute ridiculous example of WASTE WASTE WASTE. Hell no, leave these ramps alone!

    PS: they might be angled like that to keep a wheelchair from rolling back into the road while waiting to cross the second half. See what I mean? Perfectly aligned ramps would create a small hill….think about it.


  5. W B (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

    Absolutely not. At least there are ramps, albeit inconvenient ones, in place. The "S shape" navigation would not be as difficult as you are making out to be. This city wastes enough money on superfluous road/curb repairs! Anyone drive on the Rock Creek Parkway recently? They just finished construction on the damn thing, then immediately tore it up again?!?! WTF? And in my NW neighborhood, the city place new cement curbs, waited 1 year, then tore them out for new granite ones. It’s an absolute ridiculous example of WASTE WASTE WASTE. Hell no, leave these ramps alone!

    PS: they might be angled like that to keep a wheelchair from rolling back into the road while waiting to cross the second half. See what I mean? Perfectly aligned ramps would create a small hill….think about it.


  6. John (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    I hated those misaligned ramps when I lived near Union Station. I used to take groceries home on the Metro in a wheeled shopping cart, and navigating those two ramps was fairly difficult. I imagine it is worse in a wheelchair. Better to ditch the ramps entirely and simply cut a lane through the median at the same level as the road surface.


  7. Lewis (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    The law (ADA) says you have to have a flat landing at the top and bottom of any ramp. What they should have done was just cut the entire damn thing flat to the pavement. But I’m sure the RFP said "Ramps", and nobody thought more than 5 seconds about it.



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