Lawsuit claims Philly sidewalks discriminate against people with disabilities

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A new class-action lawsuit accuses the city of Philadelphia of discriminating against people with disabilities by failing to provide safe, accessible pedestrian routes and sidewalks. 

The lawsuit, which Philly Voice reported, was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, represents four Philadelphians and three nonprofits, and claims the city “discriminates against residents and visitors with disabilities that affect their mobility by failing to make its sidewalks and pedestrian routes accessible to people who use wheelchairs or are blind.” 

The suit claims that there are not enough curb ramps, and that the ramps that do exist don’t meet safety standards. Other concerns include crumbling pavement, dangerous slopes and construction zone detours, and obstructive snow piles, according to Philly Voice.

Furthermore, the report states, the suit says city sidewalks are “riddled with barriers,” causing major problems for people who are visually impaired or rely on wheelchairs, motorized scooters or crutches to get around. Such barriers include parked cars and outdoor furniture.

The lawsuit wants the city to fix up pedestrian routes so everyone, including people with disabilities, can travel safely. 

Representatives from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities did not immediately return a request for comment. Philly residents can visit Phila.gov to file an ADA grievance against the city and submit a request for curb ramps and other reasonable modifications.

 

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