[tabi] Fw: Nova 2010

  • From: "djrogers0628" <djrogers0628@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 17:16:42 -0400

Here is what I wrote to Ms. Lightsey.  Wonder if she'll even respond.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: djrogers0628 
To: debbie.lightsey@xxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 4:57 PM
Subject: Nova 2010

Dear Ms. Lightsey:

I have been back in Tallahassee nearly 3 years, and I lived here 1.5 years in 
2004-2005.  During these times, I have never known you to side with disabled 
Tallahassee residents--especially the blind.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I did not make it to last night's City 
Commission meeting but know the people who spoke about the issues regarding 
Nova 2010 did so eloquently, so I won't re-summarize what was said by them.  I 
am speaking for myself and my husband who is also blind.

We have lived at 

2000 N. Meridian Rd.

for over 2 years.  We were told this area is very accessible to blind and 
visually-impaired persons.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Both my husband and I have used public transportation in a number of cities to 
go to and from work and to recreate, run errands, visit friends, etc.

First there are no Audible Pedestrian Signals (APS) in this neighborhood, so 
crossing Monroe at John Knox is a crap shoot, as it is very difficult to hear 
the traffic patterns to let me or my husband know it is safe to cross.  We also 
cannot cross Meridian at Bradford or John Knox safely--we would need to cross 
Meridian at Bradford Road to find the only sidewalks that are on Meridian Road 
in our neighborhood.

Second, on our side of Meridian Road, there is virtually no sidewalk between 
Bradford Road and John Knox.  I have talked to both the city and county about 
this issue and have been told that it is a state highway and thus not under the 
jurisdiction of either entity to make sidewalk improvements to make it safe to 
navigate around the neighborhood.

In addition to there not being sidewalks on this side of Meridian Road, there 
is an uncovered culvert for storm run-off;; this forces us to stand and wait 
for traffic to clear on Meridian Road before we step out in the street and run 
several feet to get around it and back up on the curb out of Meridian Road.

As an educated woman, I believe you owe it to your constituents to learn more 
about the issues on which you vote; you obviously, do not know anything about 
the blindness community, or you would realize that being able to use Star Metro 
effectively, would provide freedom we currently don't possess because 
Dial-a-Ride reservations must be made 24 hours in advance, and it is very 
difficult to make it on time if one has more than one appointment for the day.  
Taxi fare has gone up considerably, and neither of us is currently employed.  
Using Star Metro would allow for more spontaneous trips, though the current 
Nova 2010 Plan does not give us any evening service.

I challenge you to leave your car at home--that would put less carbon monoxide 
etc. into the air--and walk up to your bus stop and take Star Metro to and from 
work for a week and ask Dial-a-Ride if you can become a temporary rider to see 
what using that service is like.

Blind and visually impaired people do vote, and believe me, if there isn't more 
willingness to really hear and understand our issues, we will encourage all of 
our community and friends, coworkers and business associates to vote with us.

We are not unaware of budget constraints, but, in the long run money would be 
saved if blind and visually impaired people had safe ways to navigate the city. 
 You know we are not lying about the unsafe pedestrian situation in 
Tallahassee.  I know you saw the study done and saw the dismal rating 
Tallahassee received.

So, in closing, I challenge you to "walk a mile in our shoes."   Only then can 
you cast educated votes that really represent the blindness community.  There 
are many more people with disabilities--many invisible--who live here and need 
to get about the city  using public transportation because they cannot drive 


Darla J. Rogers, B.A. Social Science; M.S. Rehabilitation Counselor Education


Home phone #:  850-329-7437
Cell #:  850-443-3571

Skype ID: wildflower0628
I suited up for the long walk back to myself...  
....Ani DiFranco

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