Letters to the Editor

Reader applauds walkability stories

I was stirred to learn that others had concerns about the walkability of the Las Vegas sidewalks and meeting Federal Americans with Disability Act standards ("Walkers, wheelchair-bound challenged by poor sidewalks, lighting," "City tries to keep pace with making community more walkable," Oct. 16, 2012). Honestly, I felt quite alone as a citizen in my efforts to improve the quality of life of an estimated 10,000-12,000 citizens with disabilities struggling daily to navigate the lack of ADA-compliant curbs, in excess of 400, and some 12.3-plus miles of missing, broken and intermittent sidewalks that plague Wards 3 and 5. That literally, my only contribution in this effort would be fodder for two politicians pilfering my citizen complaint for their private political gain and not my ADA field research efforts.

I was pleased that View staff writers Nolan Lister and F. Andrew Taylor didn't hold back in their stories, citing the ADA, surveying field research, and relying on public observations, not politicians' platitudes.

Twenty-two years after the passage of the landmark ADA, the city states publicly that there is a plan in place. My page at facebook.com/sidewalksforvegas documents only some of the many physical obstacles faced by citizens living in east Las Vegas.

It is my plan to reapproach the city of Las Vegas with a six-point public request - none of which currently exist - as follows:

1: Show the plan publicly in a series of posted ward meetings and online, inviting feedback;

2: Adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act, including establishing a dedicated ADA coordinator;

3: Provide a publicly listed, direct number to a qualified ADA coordinator;

4: Hold the city manager accountable for administering the ADA;

5: Adopt the standardized Department of Justice ADA complaint form and make it available both online and via hard copies;

6) Establish a working board from the community that will evaluate current efforts and assist in identifying future efforts at becoming ADA-compliant.

In times of prosperity between 1990 and 2006, the city of Las Vegas did not prioritize disabled citizens, favoring high profile, multi-million-dollar legacy-naming projects. Now it states it cannot afford to fully address decades-old issues affecting the disabled in the community. So when will the city prioritize its many disabled citizens? The time for action is NOW. As per Dr. King's invocation of Justice Holmes's observation those many years ago, "Justice too long delayed is justice denied."

- Martin Dean Dupalo

Las Vegas