Recently my wife and I came home from a week away to find our street corner partially demolished once again. We have lived about a block away, south from the Taraval Post Office, since 1972. This is the fifth time since about 1980 that our corner has been jackhammered and handicap ramps installed and or reinstalled.
Approx. timeline is as follows: 1980 – original ramps put in. 1990 – corner dug up and new wider ramps installed. New ADA regulations said original ramps were not wide enough for two wheelchairs to use side by side? 2000 – corner dug up again and new ramps with yellow squares installed. Dimples provide guidance for blind people, so I agree with that. I thought that was finally the end of the matter. But no, in 2020, the corner was dug up yet again because something was not right with the slope. It apparently was off about 1 degree No one I spoke with knew exactly what the problem was.
Two weeks ago, one half of the corner was again dug up with jackhammers and excavators. Something about the meeting between the yellow squares and the street was not quite right!
Every time my wife and I look at the new and improved (?) ramp and corner iteration, everything looks fine to us. In fact, every iteration of the corner since the first ramps were installed has looked perfect to us. But alas, no one has ever asked our opinion on the matter, even though we live on the corner.
Meanwhile, in the 50 years we have lived here, I’ve never seen one wheelchair come to the corner and use the ramps. I’m not saying they haven’t, but just that I’ve never witnessed one. And all of this time – 50 years – there are two north/south crosswalks on Taraval that have no ramps at all. The sidewalk just ends in a 5″ drop to the street. One on 27th and one on 28th and Taraval, a block away from our house. One just has to but wonder what is going on, who is responsible for the unnecessary duplication of the same corner being demolished again and again, and to me, a tremendous waste of taxpayers money, when there are many more heavily pedestrian-used crossings around the area that have had nothing done to them since first concreted over 50 years ago. We just don’t get it.
Daniel and Kathleen Fulmer
Categories: letter to the editor