Sunday, November 6, 2016

Elevator and ...Humor?

Please excuse RantWoman.

RantWoman has been collecting data about all sorts of things and until today RantWoman failed completely to appreciate the humor of the situation.

RantWoman has been complaining about matters related to this announcement posted October 24 on the @SoundTransit Website and updated October 28

Elevator Outage at International Boulevard Pedestrian Overpass

It is now Nov. 6. Only today has it occurred to RantWoman to check the Soundtransit website for alerts. The alert is still in effect; visual evidence from RantWoman's last ride home
Elevator, Sign still there

Honestly, lots of people have Smartphones. If there are going to be generic outage signs at sites such as the affected elevator, reminding people of the url and to check the website would not be terrible.

RantWoman and a number of other #blind people had particularly piquant experiences Nov. 3-5 while going between the SeaTac Airport station and the hotel where an annual WA Council of the Blind  convention was occurring.

RantWoman first learned of the problem Thursday afternoon. RantWoman has enough vision to read the sign; other blind people reported various forms of "help," help finding the stairs, help with something that took someone down to the not preferred side of International Boulevard.  There was also a gap between promises in program and reality on the convention side, but RantWoman did not hear any experience except her own about that point. RantWoman also did nothing to fix the gap between program and reality but will put the topic on the list for planning next year when the event will be in Pasco and RantWoman will get to learn about rather different transit realities.

RantWoman was able to find stairs and handle all 4 flights. RantWoman was also able to find a phone number of Sound Transit security. RantWoman put on her "member of the host chapter" hat. The nice woman RantWoman spoke with recognized the importance of RantWoman's point that there might be a number of blind people vexed. The nice operator nenver mentioned either the website or the workaround involving the Tukwila station and the A line. Sigh.

The operator also called RantWoman back to say they have the necessary part and "are working on it." RantWoman briefly nutured the hope that repairs might occur before it was time to go home. Silly RantWoman? Mention of the Tukwila option would have been fine help though then there would be the question of directions a blind person can follow. RantWoman would not have been able to call such to mind without going there to check things out.

A couple people complaining at convention reported hearing warning messages in the downtown transit tunnel. That is nice, but RantWoman never went to the tunnel. RantWoman is unclear whether anyone heard warning announcements in the train. RantWoman did not.

RantWoman realizes it MIGHT be prudent to check for alerts affecting one's route before setting out. This is not automatically a habit for RantWoman

RantWoman's real guffaws chimed in while grumbling to someone in her faith community. Turns out faith community person has even funkier story: Faith Community friend needed to catch a plane ona day when there was a blockage on the tracks serious enough that the train stopped at Othello station and people got buses to the airport.

Airports and transit frequently mean there is luggage too. Did the buses let people off at the transit point near the airport where people have paths that do not involve 4 flights of stairs? Nooooo! RantWoman burst out laughing. The only thing more "fun" that four flights of stairs is four flights of stairs while toting luggage!


After penning the comments above, RantWoman has still been scratching her head about life for wheelchair users especially when BOTH the elevator at the pedestrian overpass is out of order and people are being bused between link stations. If people are being bused between stations, there is no train to solve the problem of access to the airport for wheelchair users. Yet another reason besides luggage that RantWoman would strongly encourage Sound Transit to drop people at the transit hub at the other end of the airport where there is more plausible wheelchair access than at a stairwell with  4 flights of stairs rather than at S 176th St.

But then, RantWoman is not getting paid to figure this out and MAYBE she should leave the work to people getting paid.
Tough. One dollop of Free Advice!

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