In win for residents with disabilities, Boston must upgrade curb ramps across the city

By Rupa Shenoy: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A long-running civil rights movement has won a huge but quiet victory in Boston. It’ll mean millions of dollars in spending, and construction projects across the city — including in Jamaica Plain, where Michael Muehe has lived for 20 years.

“Many of the curb ramps along here, many of the intersections have curb ramps that are insufficient or are nonexistent,” said Muehe, while guiding his wheelchair down Jamaicaway.

If a “curb ramp” doesn’t slope gradually, with a specific height, and overall shape, a tiny curb can become a formidable wall. There’s one such curb at the intersection with Moraine Street.

“I’m going to show you what happens if I try to go up here — it’s not going to let me tip over backward, but it’s not going to let me go forward either because it’s just too steep,” Muehe demonstrated. “That 2 inch curb is enough to stop me from going forward.”

When he can’t get his wheelchair up on the sidewalk, he has to stay on the road.

“So when I’m going up the street, people have to slow down and they pull a little bit closer to the opposite curb,” Muehe said. “It’s Boston drivers, too. So, people honk and people look angry — ‘What are you doing holding up traffic?’ and stuff.”

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