Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Multimodal Meetup, Bus Rapid Transit and COMMENTS

The point of this contribution to the 3 petabytes of data / second swirling through the internet:

The rest of RantWoman's schedule is getting in the way of in-person appearance at the next round of town hall meeting regarding Seattle Department of Transportation work on Bus Rapid Transit in the Madison Valley. HOWEVER, RantWoman has identified an issue that needs people with an eye on accessibility to watch and pay attention to: the inclusion of curb cuts in the planning and particularly the budget as this work goes forward. RantWoman is not really inclined to fly into a panic over the issue but could definitely appreciate clearer communications.

The issue came up in one of those wonderful meetups featuring people who are big enough transportation ners to willingly spend a Saturday afternoon indoors talking about transportation! RantWoman had a sense of being in a congenial place based simply on the number of people she already knew there; RantWoman also notes that RantWoman herself is more than enough of a nerd to see whether there are nerdy youth who might also feel a sense of belonging and investment in their future if there were paths for them to be involved in discussion too.

Slides from Cascade Bicycle Club as presented at multimodal Meetup.

and a public participation opportunity RantWoman has to miss.
...The Madison BRT project has three open houses coming up very soon on Wednesday, August 3; Thursday, August 4 and Tuesday, August 9th. See the event details and RSVP here. 

That said, the recent multimodal Meetup featured officials from many relevant public agencies, concerned members of the public, and bloggers / journalists of various stripes including RantWoman.  This means that besides journalistic standards like naming one's sources and quoting accurately, there would also be questions of open meetings and open government. RantWoman wants to acknowledge these issues as part of work in progress.

In particular, besides a kind of notebook style compilation of half-digested links, RantWoman means to refer to comments from people who work in two different public agencies. RantWoman neglected to mention during introductions that for RantWoman it REALLY HELPS if people say their names every time they speak. RantWoman tends to remember either names or affiliations during introductory go-arounds but not both unless RantWoman has already met someone before.

RantWoman can now tell you the titles of the people whose comments she needs to refer to  and which agencies they work for, but for the time being RantWoman wants just to concentrate on the substance of the issue and figure that there will continue to be opportunities to work further on the question exercising RantWoman, funding for curb cuts as sidewalks get improved along the route for the Madison Valley BRT. RantWoman could also chatter about options for keeping track of ADA esoterica like funding for curb cuts on the project, but maybe that is a separate conversation.

RantWoman actually did not hear who first made the comment that funding for curb cuts is not included in the funding Seattle DOT is managing. The person who made the comment left the room by the time RantWoman posed her question to Responsible Public Official #1. Plus RantWoman being not necessarily a fully schooled journalist blurted the question out in kind of a "have you stopped beating your wife" phrasing. The question RantWoman asked "since when is compliance with the ADA optional?"

RantWoman was invited to rephrase her question and basically repeated what she had heard earlier about funding for curb cuts not being included in the BRT funding.. Responsible Public Official Number 1 ducked RantWoman's question by pointing out that the person who made the comment was out of the room.

But the question remains: curb cuts are part of compliance with the ADA. RantWoman's question did not get answered.

At some point further in the discussion, Responsible Public Official from a different agency whom RantWoman has worked with before told RantWoman of Responsible Public official #1's job title.


Enough said?

 Responsible Official #2 also said that funding for curb cuts in Madison Valley is part of the Sound Transit 3 #ST3 funding package.


Having Responsible Public Official #1 be able to say that would have been plenty of answer for the time being. But maybe RantWoman is supposed to add "What happens if #ST3 does not pass? RantWoman would definitely think to ask this in a public meeting. In the meantime, RantWoman offers Twitter content pointing to a document RantWman has not read about that very question.

Rather than figure out a link for the large pdf referenced below, RantWoman offers the link out of a tweet. Trust RantWoman; it WILL take you to the document. RantWoman has not read it.

John Niles (@JN_Seattle) tweeted at 9:06 PM on Sun, Aug 07, 2016:
Finally, @SoundTransit has published a complete guide to its plans if #ST3 tax hikes lose: https://t.co/87BDUR4aiB Nothing very bad happens!

Oh happy day and onto the next item on the to-do list, telling the department of Justice how much it matters to have accessible information streams for governmental websites.


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