Saturday, July 6, 2013

Parade viewers block access to Ashland library

With the Ashland Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth of July parade behind us, can we talk about access and courtesy? Maybe even -- as we near the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, can we talk about respect for the law?

On Wednesday afternoon -- the day before the holiday parade in the City of Ashland, Oregon -- several people obstructed the mobility walkway that leads to Jackson County Library Services’s Ashland library.

The walkway was cluttered with blankets and boards, creating an uneven surface and obstacles to safely navigating the path.

I believe these obstructions would have entirely blocked someone using a wheelchair. As it was, they posed a tripping hazard to this patron, who walks assisted by a cane.

I urge library workers to please monitor the walkway during hours that lead up to a parade. And I urge Ashland residents to please keep the walkway clear.

A community tradition of staking your claim to curbside viewing space does not allow you to entirely obstruct a mobility access walkway. Your convenience does not trump my right to safely access public facilities. Thank you for reading.

Posted as a letter to the editor, July 9, 2013, by the Ashland Daily Tidings

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