Poor Planning Creates Barriers

Beyond a focus on Fair Housing law, we all need to be aware of barriers to community mobility as well. During a 2019 access audit of a new subdivision in Boise’s Harris Ranch, planning and design barriers were evident throughout the ‘walk and roll’ event. From the absence of Greenbelt access indicators to steep connecting ramps, missing or misaligned curb cuts, and even surface materials, we encountered multiple opportunities for improved mobility and access.

Images of the bridge connecting the neighborhood with foothills trails. Upper left shows the small front wheels of a wheelchair trapped in the bridge deck grating; right and lower left photos shows bridge decking with participants looking on as the tip of a white cane gets caught in the decking, and guide dog avoiding the decking surface. Take the bridge decking in the photo at left. The openings are the perfect size to trap small front wheels on a manual chair or swallow the tip of a cane. It’s also a surface service dogs might perceive as unsafe. This is a perfect example of the need to include a range of voices in the planning process. Problems can be addressed before injury occurs.

Until you’ve tried to navigate your community without full vision, hearing or mobility, access is often an afterthought. And remember, construction can create life-threatening barriers and hazards, as in this 2018 story about ongoing problems with road construction in and around Boise.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Boise construction zone tricky for people with disabilities

Highway signs in the path of travel can trip a pedestrian or force them into the roadway. This is not a mere incovenience; it can create a life-threatening situation. We all need to increase our access awareness and take an active role in creating barrier-free communities.

Navigating a maze of randomly placed construction barriers.

ACHD contractors place barricades and signs at random, creating seious hazards for pedestrians and cyclists.

Community Mobility: You can make a difference

A public service announcement on behalf of your neighbors with different abilities.

Morgan Romero was a reporter with Idaho’s KTVB News Group before relocating to the Portland market. Big thanks to folks like Morgan who help shed light on community access issues and solutions. Whether it’s garbage bins, construction signage, rental bikes or e-scooters, maintaining a clear path for pedestrians of all abilities is serious business and a shared responsibility. Whether or not we’re directly impacted, we can all be allies. When moving through your neighborhood, workplace or community, imagine doing so from a wheelchair, without hearing or vision, or with some other navigational challenge.

‘This impacts people’s independence’: Tigard dad raising awareness about dangers of blocking sidewalks

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/dad-wants-roads-kept-clear/283-bc6d9b8c-09a8-4fef-bb1e-91efe4863e99

Lawsuit Alleges Disparate Impact in Hurricane Relief

Renters affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas are criticizing the recovery effort, saying that state and federal officials cut them out of $5 billion in aid and focused instead on homeowners.

“The suit accuses officials with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state General Land Office of ignoring the needs of renters in the Harvey recovery, and of steering the $5 billion in recovery programs to homeowners, developers and landlords.”

Click here to view full story

June 24-28 National Training Academy Webinar, Events in Boise

NTA is coming to Boise, ID from June 24-28, 2019.  We will be doing trainings on Preparing Housing Counselors for the HUD Exam, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, and Improving Your Homeownership Through Financial Capability & Coaching.

You can also check out our website at National Training Academy we have a multitude of recorded webinars on a variety of topics and will be doing new webinar series on HECM, Mental Health, and Homeownership Counseling.

Here also are the links for the trainings:

FH201:  Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)  (2-day)

HC115: Improving Your Homeownership Through Financial Coaching & Capability (3-day)

HC113: Preparing for the HUD EXAM (5 day)

Any questions please contact Josh Biehler, the training coordinator at 202-524-4884 or by email .

 

 

Boise Training Series 02