Published – March, 2013
As a person who likes to walk for exercise, I am frustrated with the items that block sidewalks. Very often I have to walk in the street or try to balance across tree roots to avoid trash cans, parked cars, piles of trash, etc. It is impossible for my friend, who uses a scooter, to use the sidewalk because she has no way to get around these barriers. Is this an ADA issue?
Signed…Going Cross Country
Your experiences are all too common and create a dangerous situation.
If the sidewalks are in your neighborhood and your neighborhood association is responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalks, then allowing these barriers is a violation of the Fair Housing Act, as amended. You should tell your Association that these barriers need to be removed and they are responsible for making sure they are removed, and that other items are not put on the sidewalks.
If you are using sidewalks that are maintained by a municipality, that town or city or county is responsible for making sure the sidewalks are clear. In fact, the Supreme Court has determined that sidewalks are municipal programs and must be accessible to everyone.
Our agency can help inform and train employees of the cities and counties, or members of your neighborhood association or condo board. Once you have informed the responsible party of where barriers are and ask they be removed, contact us if you would like our help in making your sidewalks safe and inclusive for everyone. Just contact us at 704-537-0550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.