Scooting by a couple in front of me, I thanked them and zoomed on. Then on the next block I came to a stand still. they were doing construction and pedestrians were being forced off the sidewalk onto the road beside with concrete barriers set up creating a very narrow passageway. To make it “accessible” they made a concrete ramp from sidewalk to passageway. Because it was narrow, the ramp was really, really steep. I feared that I’d tip over going down forwards and if I didn’t tip, the speed at which I’d go down I’d run into the concrete barrier. It was a long way back to the light to cross over to the other side. I reviewed my options.
Settling on going down backwards, I turned the chair around and the couple who I had passed had caught up to me. They stopped to give me room to make my manoeuvres and I carefully made my way down. I was touching the barrier while still on the ramp but made the turn anyway and got down. Then I saw the other ramp on the other side, equally steep, equally treacherous. The couple, who were from the Southern States in the United States, spoke with a lovely accent.
“They don’t make it easy for y’all, do they,” she said, and I agreed. He said, “My mother used to say there’s a difference between have t’ and want t’, this here,” he indicated the curb, “would be a have t’.” I agreed wholeheartedly he was right. This was there because they had to do something “accessible” not because they wanted to make it accessible. I climbed back up onto the sidewalk and wished them a good vacation in the city.
I wish I could catch their accent here but I can’t, I still hear his voice saying ‘have t” and ‘want t” because I know I’m going to use that classification a lot in my head when it comes to ranking accessibility in my head. I’m already guessing there’s a lot more have t’ than want t’ out there.
A lot more.