On a recent morning, an elderly man in a mobility scooter at the corner of Lark Avenue and Los Gatos Boulevard was trying to cross the intersection heading south on the Los Gatos Boulevard crosswalk.
Unfortunately, there is no ramp at the start of the crosswalk on Lark Avenue, so he was forced to use the vehicle access to the, 15171 Los Gatos Blvd., to get down to the street and access it.
He then proceeded to the large triangle island, which has the traffic light, but his access again was impeded due to the lack of a ramp. He had no choice but to go around the island to rejoin the sidewalk and attempt to cross the street.
While the light was red, however, he was forced to wait on the actual crosswalk and was nearly hit by a truck traveling eastbound on Lark Avenue and making a u-turn to travel westbound on the road. The truck driver backed up, adjusted, backed up, and finally had enough room to move forward and not hit the man.
When the road was clear, he finally continued southbound across the street only to find another missing ramp from the smaller triangle island, which also has a traffic light. Once again, he had to go around to finally access a ramp on the south side of Los Gatos Boulevard.
LOCATION: Corner of Lark Avenue and Los Gatos Boulevard.
PROBLEM: ADA non-compliant intersection prevents those in mobility scooters, wheelchairs from access islands that have no ramp access and no gradation to allow for safe passage. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, building on an earlier law requiring curb ramps in new, altered, and existing sidewalks, added impetus to improving conditions for sidewalk users. People with disabilities rely on the pedestrian and transit infrastructure, and the links between them, for access and mobility.
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department, which is responsible for maintaining the town's public parks, facilities, and infrastructure. The department is comprised of five organizational units: administration, engineering and capital projects, parks and forestry, facilities and streets and signals.
DATE REPORTED: Nov. 14, 2011.
DAYS ON WATCH: 9