Thursday, January 17, 2013

Somebody cares

Whenever I'm not sure what to write about next, my life surprises me.  I've written so much about accessibility already. About how some people deeply care, yet others often don't think but have good intentions. I have never, that I know of, had somebody openly, knowingly obstruct wheelchair access by blocking the entire ramp. I've also written about this venue before, so it's not entirely new. And the problem with bikers taking up space is not something I've never encountered. I have even had an editorial about it printed in the local press. It all happened Wednesday night. I was about to watch a movie, a weekly routine of mine at a local arthouse movie theatre downtown. It's an old postal/courthouse/bank building converted into performance venue. Not the most disability friendly place, but they do what they can. And it has a ramp on the side, with flights of stairs in the front. Over the last few weeks, ever since I've written about how bikes  put me at risk of being injured by the elements that stick out and get in the way, the problem was bring very well handled. Turns out, it's not the bikers that stopped tying their transportation to the the railings inside and out of the ramp out of newshound awareness , it's the staff that has been diligently removing them. But then, I have never seen a bigger display of complete disregard for the needs of other people. On Wednesday I found a bike, tied and set completely across the entire ramp. I struggled lifting it and moving it to the side, so I can actually go by and get to the building. The biker wasn't even a movie patron. As always they were just having dinner at a restaurant across the courtyard Take a look at the picture. How can you miss that it's a wheelchair ramp? It's for wheelchairs. So they can get in. Are you in a wheelchair? No. You're in a bike. But then, you're not even in the building, you're at Boca Fiesta. I came up to the Box Office and I told the girl working there my story. I also told her the story from the night before. I was at the local restaurant called The Top, waiting for the wheelchair accessible cabin, the only one inside. While I wait, and when the doors open a guy and a girl get in front of me and get inside. Then they lock themselves in for the next twenty minutes and I still wait to use the restroom. Because they can go anywhere, anywhere else. I can't. As they leave I say "I hope your quickie was worth it". The guy knows me. He's a bartender at a local piano bar. He just doesn't care. "A bathroom is a bathroom" he says. The girl later gets embarrassed and apologizes to me after a while. But as I told the box office attendee the story something amazing happened. She was upset. She was moved. She started crying. As her coworker started putting up notices that the bikes will be removed at a certain time, (there were already three more) I thought to myself, Wow. Somebody does care. There are good people in this town

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