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Lawsuit Filed To Ensure ReImagine Washtenaw Project ADA Compliant

ADA Reimagine Washtenaw
Amanda LeClaire
89.1 WEMU
Two plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Christopher Cooley and James Briggs, demonstrate barriers for people with disabilities trying to cross at the intersection of Washtenaw Avenue and Golfside Rd

Disability advocates filed a class action lawsuit against MDOT and the Washtenaw County Road Division Thursday.

ReImagine Washtenaw
Credit washtenawavenue.org


Carolyn Grawi, of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, says advocates are concerned  that the Reimagine Washtenaw project will not follow legal guidelines for sidewalks and curbside ramps in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Grawi explained, "We want them to meet or exceed the ADA to make sure we are not preventing our veterans, our persons who are older, who with disabilities from being able to get where they need to go in a timely basis and safely."

Grawi, who is also legally blind, cited the recently built curb ramps at the corner of Washtenaw and Golfside road as indication the project will not take the needs of the disabled into consideration.  

"But right now the two curb ramps at this particular corner make dead ends for people with disabilities. If that's what the road commission has planned for it that's not going to give us more access." 

A press release announcing the action states:

The lawsuit seeks to make Washtenaw County’s sidewalks, bus stops and street crossings meet the Americans With Disabilities Act’s construction standards.
“Unfortunately, Washtenaw County’s sidewalks, bus stops and street crossings still suffer from hundreds of access barriers risking our safety and hindering us. The state and local governments must work together to make our sidewalks accessible to veterans and all other pedestrians with disabilities.” said Michael Harris, Executive Director of MPVA.

Growi says the lawsuit was filed Thursday at the federal courthouse in Detroit. 

A map requesting community feedback for the project can be found here: 

Patrik is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and functions as the New Media/Social Media manager for 89.1 WEMU.
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