Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Developments in Clarksville (TN) Access Settlement

See this report from Inclusion Daily. An excerpt:

Three and a half years ago, three advocates with the nonprofit group "Wheel Me On" filed a class action lawsuit against the town, claiming that its failure to provide accessible facilities and services violated their rights under Title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit was settled in January 2004 in favor of the plaintiffs, Julia Hollenbeck, Steve Traylor and Margaret Auld. However, a final agreement, known as a "consent decree", still has not been hammered out between the city and the advocacy organization.

Earlier this week, the advocates met with city officials to review the latest proposal.

While most of the elements of the proposal were agreeable to both sides, two issues remained unresolved, Wheel Me On's CEO Julia Hollenbeck told Inclusion Daily Express by telephone.

The first has to do with sidewalks, curb ramps and crosswalks on two of the busiest roads through Clarksville: U.S. Highway 79, known within the city as Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, and U.S. Highway 41.

Hollenbeck said that city officials had refused to include these routes because they are maintained by the state of Tennessee. The plaintiffs said that was not good enough, and demanded that the city put language in the agreement stating that they either will make those routes safe and accessible, or have the state do it.

The second provision that had yet to be negotiated had to do with there being continuous sidewalk coverage across the city's streets.


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