Jump to my 10 point plan

July 26, 2022, marks the 32nd anniversary of when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law and I attended a celebration this afternoon honoring that achievement and discussing steps we still need to take at the local level. July is Disability Pride Month. Our governor also declared today to be Americans with Disabilities Act Day.

Accessibility is something that a lot of people don't think about because they aren't personally affected. In my career, I am a User Experience Designer, and I have dedicated my career to making digital websites, apps, and processes accessible and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. I want to take my expertise and passion for accessibility to Robbinsdale City Council as the Council Member for Ward 3 and advocate for those with different levels of ability. 

I want to take my expertise and passion for accessibility to Robbinsdale City Council

My 10 Point Plan: 

1 ) Prioritize fixing or replacing dangerous sidewalks that present a tripping hazard or barriers to many, but especially those with mobility issues.

2 ) Make crosswalks safer. Crosswalks -- especially those across busy roads or highways like Bottineau, need to use best practices.

- "Refuge islands" at medians for streets such as Bottineau that are 60 feet or more to cross, so that people are safe even if they can't make it across the entire road during the light.

- High visibility for crosswalks with pavement markings, proper parking to keep crosswalks visible, proper lighting, and Yield signs.

- Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHB) lights at intersections that flash towards traffic after being activated by pedestrians. Research shows yield rates over 90% and that PHB's can reduce pedestrian crashes by almost 70% and total crashes by 29%.

- Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons (RRFB) lights that flash at uncontrolled crosswalks after being activated by pedestrians. Research shows yield rates as high as 98%.

3 ) Increase traffic enforcement, so it is safer to cross the street for kids, pedestrians, cyclists, and those with varying levels of ability. Our traffic drives way too fast and recklessly, and I keep hearing about near misses, people actually being hit by cars, and pets being run over. Our police must do more to address this livability and accessibility issue.

4 ) Adopt the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) best practices at our city level. The ABA has requirements for accessibility to federal sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities.

5 ) Make our city website ADA-compliant

- Larger font sizes

- Colors must have at least a 4.5:1 contrast ratio, which makes text legible for those without perfect vision - Use text that is easy to understand

- Make information easy to find

- Don't make people go to multiple websites to access information like the City Code

- Post information (for example City Council meeting packets) in a timely manner

- Post pressing news items on the homepage and not in the bright yellow format that pushes down page content

- Provide "alt text" and ARIA text descriptions for images - Use descriptive text for links instead of "Click Here"

6 ) Park signage should help people find our trails and locations. For example, there is no indication of how to find the Lakeview Terrace Park Pavilion from the main parking lot or by the baseball fields. This caused at least one resident to miss a recent community meeting on transit.

7 ) Support increased transit, including the Blue Line Extension. The bus doesn't run often enough, and Metro Mobility doesn't offer enough flexibility. We need light rail to lessen the strain on other services.

8 ) Restore reliable waste services. It is not acceptable to let Waste Management keep picking up only some of our waste and on an erratic schedule. While better than nothing, it is not enough to provide one bin at the edge of the city. We need to provide curbside/alley waste service on a consistent, reliable schedule, so that our waste containers can be put out of the way of pedestrians.

9 ) Create a Renters' Commission for Robbinsdale, which will advocate for renters to the City Council. Many people with disabilities are renters because of the maintenance required and the cost it would take to hire it out. We have multiple renter communities in Robbinsdale for seniors and those with disabilities, and they deserve to have a forum to address their concerns.

10 ) Incentivize homeowners who do not have a sidewalk or walk to their front door to install them.

What do you think? How do you think we should make Robbinsdale more accessible?

How do you think we should make Robbinsdale more accessible?