Sunday, March 23, 2008


The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords protections similar the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex and national origin illegal.

Disability is defined as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."

This is where the problem lies. Throughout the City of Kingston, about half of the sidewalk corners are impassable, causing grief for the physically impaired that are still able to navigate our streets everyday. We are stuck in non-compliance with a federal law and continue to ignore the possible consequences.

Back in 2003, I submitted a communication to the Mayor and clerk’s office emphasizing this hazardous situation, which put the City of Kingston on notice. Since then, I have seen some effort on the part of the administration to rebuild the hundreds of corners throughout the city; usually done thorough CDBG monies during larger projects.
The sidewalks that have been altered are terrific, and worthy of praise, (see above) but we must be vigilant in this effort.

The planning department could force developers to comply when submitting the plans for curb modifications and sidewalks. The medical building on the corner of Broadway and Foxhall Ave has a back entrance. The Foxhall sidewalk reaches the Jansen corner, but swings around to the door rather than the curb. (See below) I informed the building manager, Karen Vetere , a few years ago, but to no avail.

This problem is pervasive and an awareness campaign needs to be heated up. Let’s use some of the 2008 CDBG monies to bring the City of Kingston back in good standing with the ADA.

Those meetings will commence in April. Let’s make this happen.


Anonymous said...

good post.

Anonymous said...

Although I dont need mobility help, my father-in-law does. I notice the curb cuts as I travel town to town.

Kingston could use some attention on this front. How we treat our seniors, vets and diabled is testimony to our virtues. The City of Kingston has its charm and pride, but its tarnished when we slide on the basics.

Lets mark the priority curbs immediately and get to work. Nice post Mike.

Anonymous said...

Yes and don't forget the Bluestone.

Mike Madsen said...

Protecting the historic bluestone throughout the city is in the works. Revised code legislation is being discussed. I will post an article when we have the changes fleshed out better.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Lowell Thing for writing such a comprehensive plan for Bluestone Sidewalks in the city of Kingston.

It's important that you and Alderman Reynolds take this to the city to get it's attention on this issue (not only it being a big part of Kingston's history, but because it could lead to an opportunity for future tourism as well)

Anonymous said...

what about blaber's rubber sidewalks??