They get it, or should I say, he gets it. Board of Selectman Chairman Tom Creamer was recently quoted in the Sturbridge Villager in which he spoke about the front door snafu at the recently restored historic town hall. In order to comply with the American with Disabilities Law, the front doors of the building, the historic, and traditional entrance can not, currently, be used. All pedestrian traffic is directed to the back door since the front door does not meet ADA requirements for equal access. What's more is that the pedestrian traffic must walk to the back door along Maple Street, and there is not a sidewalk in place for pedestrians to do so safely.
" Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Thomas Creamer said opening the front door is a matter of safety as well as convenience. He pointed out there is no sidewalk from the front of the building to the rear and that people have to walk down a street to get to the back. "What we are doing with this setup is encouraging people to walk down a street used by people coming to Town Hall and it is the main access for people who live in the neighborhood back there,” he said. “That increases the chances of having a conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.”
Creamer said he would like to get the issue resolved quickly and was disappointed that the issue was not raised during the planning stages of the project. “It is mind-boggling we just got this information in September when we started asking questions,” he said. “This is something that should have been anticipated in the design phase and incorporated into the plan for the building. I am embarrassed because I can’t give residents an explanation. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the board and I am not looking to shift blame, other than the fact that there was a lack of communication."
Now we wait.
Tom is aware, as is everyone in town government that has a stake in this situation. What happens next is entirely dependent upon how soon they want the fix to occur, and who is taking the lead in making sure it happens. If the Chairman takes this current episode of "As Sturbridge Turns" as seriously as he taken other issues, then I feel we can rest easy. Unless, of course, we have to spend $100,000 for a ramp for the front door. If that happens, I'll meet you at the doors with my Skill saw, and hammer.
I'll bring the level.ReplyDelete
Thank you for keeping us updated!
You wrote:" What happens next is entirely dependent upon how soon they want the fix to occur, and who is taking the lead in making sure it happens."
We should have much more info by now from the BOS regarding who is taking what steps to fix this! Today we had snow, and ice will appear at any time, which makes it a dangerous situation for those crossing over from the center office building. They have to walk down the hill from the old school, cross that darned intersection, and then make their way down Maple St. to the back of the town hall, with God only knows how many vehicles trying to maneuver in that area. Especially in wintry weather this is dangerous for them, and it is costly for us because of the paid time it takes to get from one office building to the other.
I wonder how OSHA would rate this work enviroment. Changing the access for residents may not happen, but the Feds may want changes for the work place.ReplyDelete
What is a variance...permission to go outside of the zoning rules, in this case permission to go outside of the ADA requirements. Makes sense, the handicap parking is in the rear not the front of Town Hall, the elevator is in the rear of Town Hall. So if a variance is granted, we don't need to comply with ADA rules, thus no ramp would be needed.ReplyDelete
In a town where bricks and slate, were so all fired important, we are being told that we don't "need to comply" with ADA rules for the front door of the town hall? Excuse me! Someone decided to use our Chapter 90 fund for bricks. I didn't want them to do that. Why aren't the same people insisting that the front door of the town hall be accessible to all? Looks? A handicap ramp or whatever it would take to make that entrance ADA compliant would give me a much warmer and more welcome feeling than do those bricks along highly traveled 131!ReplyDelete