Thursday, July 27, 2006

City fined for more blatant disregard for the Law

I met these folks on the campaign trail, very frustrated with City Hall's refusal to take into account their input. They spent all the money on the faux sidewalks (which wheelchairs and others haved a hard time with) but nothing to fix this court ordered problem???

this is what happens when the whole city is run by "acting commissioners" should be "nonacting commissioners"

A day to celebrate the possibilities of justice!

The all-brick sidewalk on Huntington Avenue has now been shown to be a complete failure. It has never been safe for pedestrian travel. It is time for the city to face this reality.

We call on Mayor Thomas M. Menino to do the right thing, sit down with residents with disabilities, and work out a plan so that everyone can enjoy -- safely -- the sidewalks of Huntington Avenue.

Enclosed below is the press release issued this afternoon by the Executive Office of Public Safety.

CONTACT: Kelly Nantel, (617) 727-7775, x25542

After nearly two years, city sidewalks remain out of compliance with regulations

Following almost two years of summons, motions, hearings and extensions, yesterday, July 24, 2006 the Architectual Access Board voted to levy retroactive fines of $500 per day from November 30, 2005 to present against the City of Boston for failing to maintain accessible sidewalks on Huntington Avenue. On August 13, 2004, the Board, whose authority flows from Massachusetts General Law chapter 22 Section 13a, received a complaint from Mr. John Kelly of the Neighborhood Access Group of Boston allegeding that the sidewalk on Huntington Avenue was in violation of the 2002 edition of 521 CMR Section 22.3.1. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the sidewalk had a cross slop of greater than 2%, changes in level greater than ¼”, surface warping and non-continuous planes, all of which make utilizing the sidewalk very difficult, especially for persons with disabilites. On January 11, 2005, the Board found in favor of the complaintant and ordered the City of Boston to bring the sidewalks into compliance by July 1, 2005.

“This continued disregard for the regulations is unacceptable,” said Thomas P. Hopkins, Executive Director of the Architectural Access Board. “The Board provided the City with ample time and opportunity to fix the problems and when it became clear that the work wasn’t being done satisfactorily, we were left with little choice but to levy significant fines. It is our expectation that the City of Boston will make the necessary repairs immediately.”

On July 21, 2006 a site inspection was conducted at the section of sidewalk in question. This sidewalk stretches from the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Massachusetts Ave, to slightly past 250 Huntington Avenue. Measurements were taken using a calibrated two-foot “SmartLevel” to determine compliance with the regulations and it was determined that the sidewalk was still out of compliance. The regulations, which have been in place since 1968, ensures increased accessibility for individuals in Massachusetts with mobility difficulties steming from aging or disabling conditions. For failing to comply with prior orders, the Board levied at total of $133,500 dollars in fines. The retroactive fines to date total $128,500 (275 days @500/day) plus a $5,000 fine for failing to maintain an accessible route during construction work on the Huntington Avenue sidewalk. The Board will continue to review this case at its October 16th meeting.

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