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A Letter I Can't Really Send

Dear Local City Planners,

I just wanted to write and explain how your recent decisions on how to change our town will affect those of us with disabilities. I'm sure you have good reasons to add these round-abouts, but I want to tell you what that will do.

For two years, I've walked the route from the junior high to Kodiak because it is the only route that is safe enough for me to walk with a cane or guide dog. That route is one of the easiest ways for me to give my guide dog Julio a chance to work while I am on break from school. Your decision to use round-abouts at 4th and Broadway and Lake and Broadway makes this impossible. Neither of us were taught to use round-abouts because they are not safe. While I will call an instructor from my school and ask, I doubt very seriously they will be able to help in this situation.

My independence is something I treasure. I do not have access to a car. I am required to ask someone to drive me when I am not at college. The route I explained above is one of the few chances I have to simulate independence and give Julio a chance to use his skills while we are home.

I hope, in the future, we could have healthy dialogue and that you will consider the needs of pedestrians in your future plans.



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Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Why won't you actually send this? Your city planners need to know about concerns such as these. You should send that letter, or something similar.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
your letter
I like this. I think with a bit of revising, it would be a fine letter to send. Can you think of some examples of ways that roundabouts may affect you in a broader sense? Suppose you weren't just taking Julio for a stroll... One of the most important skills of advocacy is the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes, and you are very close here... Suppose you were a teacher working at that school... On the other hand, if they are putting roundabouts there, where else are they putting them? A broad description of the practical difficulties encountered by a blind person when trying to use a roundabout would be extremely helpful in this letter.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)
Re: your letter
This is really embarrassing to admit, but I don't really understand roundabouts. I may try to start a dialogue with a few people about this and see what can be done.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: your letter
Don't be embarrassed. I've never encountered one myself, and I really don't want to. The O&M list may be a good place to collect some info for advocacy purposes and understanding how they work. Send an email to listserv@listmsu.edu and in the body put subscribe oandm and your first and last name.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: your letter
I'll try to subscribe to the list this weekend. Thanks for the info!
Mar. 3rd, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
I'm debating what to do. Unfortunately, I don't live in the city proper, meaning that I'm not really in their jouristiction, it's just the closest town to us. But I may try to see what can be done.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Let's try this again. My original response got lost in RSS madness. Anyway, I personally think you should send the letter. It lets the city council know that there are some people with concerns about the changes that they want to make, and even if it doesn't change their minds, at least you, (and probably others as well), have gone on record as having concerns. I know that if I ever had to deal with the round-abouts that we have down here it would be a rather big problem, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I say go for it! SMILE!

PS. Thanks for the Juice tip. I knew it had to be something simple!
Mar. 3rd, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
It will be interesting to see what I can do. I need to start dialoguing with a few people about this...
Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
I've used some with Felita, but they were on streets where the traffic flow is not extremely heavy.
If GDB says you can't use them, which is not a blanket answer I'd accept, I'd urge them to consult with a dog school in England. England is full of round-abouts, so I'm guessing they've had to develop some solution other than, avoid them.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely talk with them. I'm not sure what the timeline is going to be for when these will be going in. I've just heard they're bad. If I can, I may have our field rep look at it if it's built the next time she comes.
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