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Monday, January 28, 2008

In the Blinq of an Eye


It seems I've become an overnight sensation out there in the so-called blogosphere. Alerted last week to a request by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin for insight into the accessibility situation in Philly, I contacted Mr. Rubin and began an e-mail dialogue on the subject. Today, one of my e-mails appeared in Mr. Rubin's blog, Blinq, along with a link to Winheld's World.

To be sure, the exposure is wonderful. But I'm even happier to know that Mr. Rubin has pledged to spend more time looking into accessibility here in the City That (Supposedly) Loves You Back. I mean, I'm about the biggest Philadelphia cheerleader around. Philly's a great place, with lots to see and do, much of which is readily accessible to those of us in wheelchairs. Still, there's plenty of room for improvement. Curb cuts and sidewalks can be treacherous; many shops and restaurants are out of reach. And don't even get me started on parking and mass transit!

Accessibility in cities is to be the focus of my master's thesis in urban studies, so I'll be learning more in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, if you have any observations that you'd like to share about accessibility in the city where you live, please consider posting a comment...

1 comment:

Kathie said...

Josh,
I agree with you about cobblestone, and brick walkways (in your e-mail). I used to think they were beautiful until I rolled over them time and time again in historic downtown Boston! What a bumpy ride! Most of us who use two legs never even give that a thought - I have always been well aware of stairs, narrow hallways, sharp corners, and curb cuts – and often will say something to the owners about the lack of accessibility of their building – but always loved those beautiful historic walkways… Maybe all city planners should spend a day in an electric wheelchair in an older city before building anything. It certainly would give them a different perspective! (You should see if you could work a field trip into the curriculum – preferably in January!)

Of all the cities I've lived in Tucson has to be the best as far as accessibility, lots of smooth pavement, sidewalks, curb cuts, and no snow or sleet to plow though. Cities like that are hard to find in the East as most of them are older, and not nearly as flat!

Enjoy your thesis! That sounds like it would be a really fun project, I can’t wait to hear more about it!