See the first chapter of this report here: Part 1
When people say I should file a legal complaint when someone denies access on our trips time and time again, I tell them that don't go on vacation to become a lawyer or to start a legal fight...I'm there to enjoy it. Small hassles are endured or avoided but sometimes you just can't avoid it.
That's especially true when you're at home. Now I do have the time to do something about it, but still, I don't go out of my way to pick a fight.
There are times when you just can't leave the status quo.
I'm not a litigative or combative person. I can count on my one hand...four...the times, in fifty years, that I've been bugged enough to actually carry through a fight to conclusion. The fourth time is here at the Friday Night Family Festival in Monrovia.
When the manager of the festival decided they could squeeze in another couple of vendor booths by putting them on the corner curb ramps, blocking wheelchair access to some very popular eateries on Myrtle Avenue, I couldn't let it pass by.
It's funny...if you're in this situation you probably know...that when you complain to the people responsible for denying you access, many times the result is that they dig in their heels and dare you to do something about it.
Complaining to the vendors and the manager did nothing and after three weeks, the situation remained. Time to take it to the next level.
My next step was to find the relevant passage in the law. Although the entire text of the Americans with Disabilities Act is online, searching it was not easy. I searched on ramps and found specifications for building one. I searched on curb cuts and found specifications for installing those too.
I searched for a couple of days, off and on, until I hit upon "path of travel." Bingo! Section 12147 of the ADA specifies that publicly owned "paths of travel" can only be blocked temporarily when a repair is necessary.
I went to the City of Monrovia's website, found the e-mail address of the mayor, and fired off the most polite letter of complaint I could muster telling them that as owner of the curb cuts and streets, they were responsible for curing this situation.
That letter is as follows:
Thank you for your email. I agree with you that we should not violate the Act and should not allow Family Festival to either. I will look into this situation. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.