October 10, 2002
I was in attendance at the public meeting held last Tuesday in Portland. You
will see the offices I hold at the end of this email. I had to leave the meeting
early, and was hoping when you receive this that you will still be in Portland
and at the Hilton.
I caught my hotel shuttle on the Broadway side of the Hilton. I noticed the
architect had incorporated a wonderful seating ledge outside the door that could
seat 6-8 people comfortably, yet not be so wide as to make it attractive to
vagrants and homeless people wanting to lay down somewhere. I hoped you could
take a look at it.
As a person with aurarhinophalangeal syndrome, this congenital joint disorder
makes it difficult for me to walk long distances. In fact, prior to the latest
surgery in May, I was in a walker and could not stand upright for more than one
minute. Now, for the time being, I can walk up to about a mile without assistive
devices. However, more surgeries are needed, and once again my physical
condition will deteriorate.
I tell you this because I have a disability which needs street furniture. I
don't want the design or placement of the furniture to impede other pedestrians,
which made the Hilton seating area very attractive to me. I would love it if
there was somewhere to sit on every city block. I know that's extreme, but I
tend to stay away from the areas where I know there is no place to sit.
I have reviewed the draft guidelines for street furniture, and although I am
disappointed it does not require street furniture be available, the guidelines
for access seemed adequate, though I would like the benches to have a covering
for inclement weather.
Nat. Vice Chair for OHA's
Committee for Employees with Disabilities (CED)
Region X Chair for CED (WA, ID, OR, AK)
Region VIII Co-Chair for CED (Montana, N&S Dakota)