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Letter: Are sidewalk curb replacements really necessary?

Original post made on Jul 31, 2009

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 31, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Annoyed
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2009 at 10:17 pm

First of all, I would like this gentleman to get his butt in a wheelchair and try to get across the street and up the sidewalk currently and tell everyone how easy it was. Secondly, you shouldn't have to "see" anyone in order to install better sidewalks. Everyone is talking about equal opportunity, so why don't the disabled deserve this as well?

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Posted by Grace
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I agree, Annoyed. My mother is 82 and uses a walker to get around. Her doctor has said that she should get out and walk everyday, but with her eyesight and the accompanying problems of old age, I always have to accompany her. As a result, I've been made intimately aware of the shortcomings of the sidewalk system in our neighborhood specifically, which echoes the larger structure around town. In order for her to cross a street, we have always have to enter a street at a driveway 20 or so feet before the intersection, maneuver gingerly *on the street* for the rest of the way, cross the street, continue on past the intersection until the next driveway (which sometimes isn't until mid-block) and then head back up to the sidewalk level. The issue isn't the introduction of the black-and-yellow bumps, as far as I'm concerned when accompanying her, but simply the "cut-outs" at the intersection which allow her/us to maneuver safely and not have to walk in the street.

Just offering some information to the discussion, from my experience accompanying a disabled person. I can't be the only one in town with an elderly parent...!

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Posted by Kevin Heller
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2009 at 3:07 am

I think it's a good use of money.

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Posted by Andy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2009 at 7:04 am

The retrofit is not specifically for people in wheelchairs. In actuality the brightly colored "bumpy" sidewalks are meant for people who have limited eyesight. The bumpy pattern allows blind people to know that they have reached the end of a sidewalk at times where there might not be an overwhelming amount of traffic to have them "hear" cars passing by. The bright colors allow people with diminishing eyesight, such as people who are partially blind or the elderly the better ability to see the sidewalk as well.

Think of it as an investment for yourself for 20 years from now when your children won't come and see you because you're prejudiced against people who aren't as able bodied as yourself. You'll need some way to get around town without getting hit by a'll walk, and when your eyesight's dwindling you'll be thankful that those bumpy sidewalks are there.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm

waste of money...let them eat cake!

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

I haven't seen any mention of it on this thread, but isn't there some new or recently new law/code stating that all sidewalks have to be up to par, which includes these new yellow bumps? And if a city/town doesn't install them they risk getting fined? We install the curbs, we get complaints- we ignore the complaints, someone gets hurt, the city gets fined, and we still get complaints.

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Posted by My 2/100
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Aug 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Mr. Nevins,

Why, yes. Yes they are necessary. I hope that the upgraded assist with the mobility of those who may need them.

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Posted by I appreciate them
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 2, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I personally appreciate the upgrade as the parent of three little ones.

Whether I'm out walking with my kids using my stroller or my kiddos are on a trike or unstable on a big kid bike (or I am out with all three "wheels" - it's a noticeable sight) we would really appreciate not having to enter the roadway on small residential streets to ride.

When I travel down Harvest, for example, there aren't ramps to go down and up from the street, and I either have to help each child off and back on at each cross street or we have to travel down to a driveway and loop back around. It's just annoying. In my head I constantly say, "Why didn't they put ramps in here originally???" It just seems like a simple thing to do.

Ultimately the money that is spent will end up in someone's pocket to spend, right? I'm not an economist (well, not outside of my household...wink) but I would gather it can't hurt.

And like 94566 said, better now than to be motivated by a much more costly settlement as decided by an ambulance chaser, oops, my bad, I meant to say, injury attorney (much classier!).

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Posted by Guest
a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 3, 2009 at 7:44 am

The curb replacements are required in accordance with the ADA (American Disabilities Act). The replacements are occurring throughout the state and are not just limited to Pleasanton.

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Posted by JS
a resident of Dublin
on Aug 3, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Wow, some of you Pleasanton residents complain about EVERYTHING..... even if it's improving your City. Get a grip!

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Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:39 am

They are not neccesary unless you want to be legal. If someone comes from out of town, or is local, and sues the city for not being to code we will pay more than what it will cost to fix all the curbs twice. As long as the city is currently retrofitting we are legal. If we stop retrofitting it opens up the gate to lawsuits.

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Posted by Scott Curtis
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Pleasanton was sued by a Central Valley lawyer who simultaneously is suing Oakland, Fremont, Berkeley, Livermore, and all the other cities in Alameda County. The jist of the lawsuit was that cities have failed to upgrade all of their sidewalks to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Let's just be glad that Pleasanton is now taking steps to meet the ADA, for the reasons everyone else notes.

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Posted by Paulette
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 9, 2009 at 9:25 am

I'm glad that Pleasanton put in sidewalks that are amenable to disabled people. Like others, I don't like the look or the feel of the bumpy yellow sections; but, I can understand the purpose. I can live with the ugly yellow if it helps some poor soul who is blind or with partial vision. Too many people in this country are oblivious to the needs of the disabled. We need to catch up with other countries in our compassion for the elderly and disabled. California use to really be in tune with their needs until attitudes began to change in the 70's and programs that helped these folks were slashed to save money. And, it's been downhill ever since. It's unfortunate that the disabled have to sue governments in order to be recognized. This is disturbing. Culturally, we should be taught from childhood to be compassionate towards those who are frail, elderly, or disabled, through no fault of their own. It could be any one of us someday. Serious eye diseases can happen to anyone. For years, I wondered when or if our city would accomodate the needs of these folks. I'm glad to see that it's been done. Kudos to them for this recognition of the needs of their frail and disabled citizens. I also notice now that more people use the sidewalks on their daily walks than the streets since they put those in. I think that's safer. It always bothered me to see mother's pushing baby buggies out in the street, where cars go whizzing by. So, I think they've helped them too by installing ramps.

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Posted by Payne Rd Man
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I am very glad the city finally put handicap access curbs in. In my neighborghood ive seen families walking with there children in strollers and there young ones on bikes with trainging wheels. And before the curbs I used to see them ride off the curb with no handicap access curbs and they would fall off there bikes. Yes, I would laugh {its always funny watching a kid fall off their bike} but it still needed to be done. Even if there are no wheelchair riders in your neighborhood there eventually will be. So as a tax payer I am happy my city finally installed those curbs!!

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Posted by Cee
a resident of Avignon
on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

FYI - I totally ate it on one of these inserts 4 days ago! Damaged my knee pretty badly - granted the traction on my shoes wasn't great, still the bumps left very interesting and bloody marks all over my left knee...ouchie!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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