My original intent for this blog was to use it as a tool to develop my argument that Montgomery County is discrimination against people like me - people with disabilities who count primarily on County public rights-of-way. It has been very helpful in that way. I am working on the last draft right now. I plan to send it out tonight.
I had hoped to solicit some feedback through this blog, but most of my conversation on this topic have been in person, over the phone, or by email. I guess that figures. No one wants to go on the record about this, but I have had a lot of quiet consultation with many different people over the years. The pace of advice has quickened during this complaint process in particular. I have made myself available to anyone. I have shared my plans well-ahead and in detail. I have protected sources, gauged my words and actions, and tried to be respectful. I have tried desperately to collaborate with others around this issue. I have spent countless hours of my own time, energy, and money on this cause. I have organized, contributed, aided, advised, supported, and have tried to be straight and honest with everyone.
This complaint is nothing more than my last-ditch effort. I don't expect things to be decided in a few weeks, or even in a couple of years. It will take a lot more work before these wrongs are corrected. There is no magic bullet. It takes awareness, a plan, trained people, leadership, hard work, and some money.
It is important. It is a real presence in the lives of thousand of people. The disabled, the young, the poor, the immigrant, the homeless, the elderly. THE TRANSIT USER. It is a moral imperative, but it is also an economic, health, transportation equity, environmental, quality-of-life issue.
For a County where so many believe that these issues are important, Montgomery County has a terrible record of public right-of-way management. The lack of a clear plan to make the public right-of-way more accessible is the equivalent of saying, "Get in a car and things will be OK. Otherwise - you're on your own."
That's how I feel. On my own. I wrote the words my self. I got advice, but I typed everything on my own. My eyes are bleary. My back is sore. My legs are cramped. My "typing elbow" is killing me. I'm exhausted.
I sure hope this works...