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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

City of Toronto Removes Wheelchair Curbside Access to BLCF in Favour of Bike Lanes

 


Regarding the City of Toronto's eagerness to social engineer transportation in the city: The City of Toronto removed parking and vehicle access from the front of BLCF Church that has been in front of the church entrance since 1938. 




The Project Director of the Bloor West Bikeway responded to my concerns that many of our congregation use canes, walkers, and or wheelchairs need to be dropped off and picked up by a vehicle in front of the church, telling me in the opinion of his legal advisors, the disabled have no right of access to either the curb or the sidewalk, though Ontario Human Rights and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 both indicate that no entity can design, let alone construct a new barrier that obstructs or makes more difficult access to a building or service, which is precisely what this new Bloor West Bikeway has done to the disabled members of our church. In other words, in Toronto, people riding bikes are more entitled to access curbs and sidewalks than the disabled. 


Toronto City Council rushed their plans to complete the bikeway during a pandemic at a time when the elderly and disabled, who are the most vulnerable, who were unable to attend public meetings to voice their concerns without great personal risk. Meanwhile, the Bikeway chose to ignore our church's written concerns submitted both by mail-in and an online survey. I heard on City Pulse that the expanded patios constructed for restaurants were inaccessible to wheelchair-bound patrons. Sadly, We see a pattern here. If you disapprove of the City of Toronto's mistreatment of the disabled and elderly in this case please voice your objections to Mayor John Tory at mayor_tory@toronto.ca or to Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao councillor_bailao@toronto.ca



 Access for 


People with mobility impairments can find the barriers introduced by  bike lanes difficult to negotiate (relative to no bike lane at all).  Even in cases where design of barriers provides sufficient gaps, they can still be seen as an additional obstacle.  An obstacle that can both lengthen a walking distances and also require additional attention when crossing a street or getting out of a car.

http://www.cityclock.org/top-10-reasons-protected-bike-lanes/#.X4nWhdBKhdg


Policy Barriers

Policy barriers are frequently related to a lack of awareness or enforcement of existing laws and regulationsexternal iconthat require programs and activities be accessible to people with disabilities. Examples of policy barriers include:

  • Denying qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from federally funded programs, services, or other benefits;
  • Denying individuals with disabilities access to programs, services, benefits, or opportunities to participate as a result of physical barriers; and
  • Denying reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, so they can perform the essential functions of the job for which they have applied or have been hired to perform.                              

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/disability-barriers.html