Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Removal for People with Disabilities

Curb cuts are inadvertent victims of street plowing. Accessible parking spaces do seem to be too frequently used for snow piles. Ramps and inclines can get treacherous.

New Jersey pioneered a “Snow Removal Law” in 1999 to enforce removal of “snow, ice, or other obstacles from accessible parking spaces, curb cuts, and other improvements designed to promote accessibility”.

As a 20 year veteran of Multiple Sclerosis caregiving and wheelchair pushing, I do not believe plow operators, businesses, and homeowners are really criminal minds. I find most people simply overwhelmed by snow storms in general and unaware, bordering on oblivious, of the ripples that deny access to others.

As much as anyone I was thrilled to see snow plows keeping our neighborhood streets open. However where are they going to put it? Here Pennsylvania “may inconvenience the property owner by plowing snow onto the sidewalk rather than allowing snow accumulation to become a hazard on the highway.”

Inconvenience? It was difficult to tell if I was shoveling plowed snow off my sidewalk or spelunking.

While the pictures below may appear to signal my success restoring our sidewalk’s access for Patti, there is also a curb cut still buried under the snow to Patti’s left.

But that is a project for tomorrow. Today was Valentine’s Day, Patti seemed impressed visiting our snow canyon before we headed off to some fun and dinner at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

We spent a couple hours enjoying penny slot machine physical therapy with Patti alternating her left and right arms as she pulled the slot machine lever, with of course breaks for cigarette smoking therapy for eye hand coordination. Started with $10 and cashed out with $11.01!

Laughter and good times are accessible. Too often their greatest obstacle is time and effort.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. always a good day if you come back winning from the "one arm bandits" as my mom used to call them

    amazing with all that snow!!

    glad you guys were able to enjoy a nice Valentine's Day despite the obstacles taken to make it nice


  2. Apparently the state of Michigan may also inconvenience the homeowner, if need be. Living in rural Michigan long before my disability days, the plows would come along at Mach 3 and launch our mailbox into the back 40. I began to understand why so many of the neighbors surrounded their mailboxes with concrete bunkers!

    I'm glad you and Patti had a fun evening.

  3. Another great post, Patrick. Guess I forgot how bad snow really can get!
    Congratulations on your winnings :-)

    And to zoomdoggies: Living in Michigan now, I can tell you things really haven't changed...

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