17th Street crosswalks violate the ADA from Castro Street to Church Street
LRV tracks trap wheelchair front tires and impede disabled folks in many ways. Some mobility impaired people are thrown by even small changes in the level of the sidewalk as occurs in certain track arrangements. People using canes and more elaborate mobility assistance devices can be delayed or trapped in the flange ways that run alongside the rails. On a foggy morning the steel rails will be slippery belts laid into the ash fault crosswalk.
The bottom line is that train tracks in urban crosswalks do constitute a serious issue and potential violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These pictures start at Castro Street & Market Street at the wheelchair ramp and continue down 17th Street all the way to Church Street examining each crosswalk impacted by these specific very controversial tracks.
Crosswalk # 1
Approaching the ramp from the South:
Putting the wheelchair ramp on an island in the middle of a set of tracks is a problematic plan from inception.
Crosswalk # 2
Here we will approach from the North, only having to cross one set of tracks which are completely plugged up just twenty yards away so no train could possibly ever use them. But they are present and must be crossed to get to the island.
Crosswalk # 3
Proceeding East our next crosswalk is at the corner of 17th Street and Hartford St. where instead of a nice single track we have a set of switch tracks.
Crosswalk # 4
Our next intersection is 17th St. & Noe St. where three crosswalks are impeded by one track that is in service and several others that should have been removed decades ago. We will proceed through the walkways from the S.W. corner to the N.W. corner, continuing on to the N.E. corner and ending on the S.E. corner. While we are here it should be noted that this corner could be served with a single track for the F-Market streetcars to spin the block.
Crosswalk # 5
(Turn right to cross Noe St.)
Crosswalk # 6
(Turn right to cross 17th St. again)
Crosswalk # 7
One block further to the East we come to the intersection of 17th and Sanchez Streets. The School is Sanchez Elementary School. This is a relatively simple case of two crosswalks that transverse 17th Street being impeded by two tracks that should not even be there.
Crosswalk # 8
Church Street Intersection
Our tour ends at 17th and Church Streets. A magnificent and deadly intersection this massively overbuilt juncture was part of the detour route built in 1972 for the construction of Church Street Station and Castro Street Station.
This detour enabled the entire MUNI light rail system to run from Embarcadero up Market Street to Duboce Avenue (under the Mint) turning on Church Street to scoot over to 17th Street to head straight into the the Twin Peaks Tunnel at Eureka Street Station. It should have been disassembled back to the original Church Street North South tracks back in 1980 or at the very latest in 1997 when the Noe Street Terminal Loop opened for F-Market revenue service. But it is here now massively impeding access to three crosswalks.
Crosswalk # 9
Crosswalk # 10
Crosswalk # 11
What happens when bike tires get caught in the tracks? Check out this video to find out.
Curb Cuts and the ADA