About Latitude Artist Community

Latitude Artist Community serves all people - with an emphasis on those thought by some to have a disability - by creating meaningful, inclusive community interactions which allow participating artists to contribute culturally and politically to the life of their community.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Take an In-Accessiblity tour with Belinda Sellers

Call Latitude (859 806-0195) and ask to take a free In- Accessibility tour of downtown Lexington!
Over the past few years artist Belinda Sellers of Latitude's Project Easy Access Lexington (P.E.A.L.) has been providing
Inaccessibility Tours of downtown Lexington.

Tours usually occur within a radius of three blocks or so from Latitude's own door and last appx. 20 minutes. Below are some pictures taken on a recent tour. One thing you should know- these pics do not in any way convey the real difficulties endured here. You have take the tour to understand.
(special thanks to Laramie for assisting)

Here (above) Belinda and Bruce are seen using an outrageously dangerous curb cut (intersection of N. Broadway and Short Street) which forces you into the moving traffic on N. Broadway in order to cross Short Street. In 2006 PEAL members counted the number of cars running the red light here. We counted 100 light cycles and discovered that 106 people ran this red light in 100 opportunities!

Large hole in middle of sidewalk on Short Street.

This curb cut/ramp at Short Street and Market Street is off the chart! It is so steep we nicknamed it the "Ski Slope". Notice the manhole cover in the middle of the pedestrian crosswalk - its lip appx. two inches above the surface. Can you imagine hitting this with all the momentum gained from your ride down the "slope"?

Let's say you make it down the "slope" and avoid the manhole cover, on the opposite
side you are faced with this curb cut that has a raised lip of between 2- 3 inches !

This is typical of many, many raised grates throughout downtown. This one is two inches above sidewalk surface. Corner of North Broadway and Main Street.

Replacing missing pavers is one of the things which we have to do ourselves throughout downtown Lexington. A component of PEAL is the BrickSquad. On BrickSquad outings we load a canvas bag (Belinda is holding it in this pic) with bricks, sand and a trowel and get to work! Laramie and Belinda are pictured here in front of the old Court House on Main Street.

Poor design is a constant in public spaces in Lexington. There are so many problems with Triangle Park that you just have to see it with us to believe it- and don't even get us started on Rupp Arena!

We got this handy little measuring stick device from a friend at UK. Measures ADA widths, levels, etc. Don't event remember where this curb is- and that's the thing - it is actually UNCOMMON to find curbs, etc. that work for us.

Finally- one of our most common problems in downtown Lexington. This building on North Broadway has over 30 businesses inside and only one automatic door- which is not available on Mondays, nor between 5pm and 10am the rest of the week. This is common to most buildings in downtown Lexington. If you really examine this picture you will be able to understand why it is virtually impossible for most people in wheelchairs to open this door.

What can I do?
We don't provide this information to depress you, there is much positive too. Take our tour for the whole story! We also invite you to become involved and attend meetings of the LFUCG Commission for Citizens with Disabilities-- meets last Wednesday of the month at 9am, Lexington Public Library downtown branch. (Wed. Dec. 17 due to Holidays)