GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Wednesday marked 33 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law.
The law protects the rights of people with disabilities. On this anniversary, local activists were in Greenville, advocating for their rights. They say there is not enough sidewalk space for those in a wheelchair to get off a bus and move away or go elsewhere.
People like Donna Hall and Steven Hardy-Braz were out on Wednesday. Both said the lack of more sidewalks makes it difficult for them and others with disabilities to get on and off the bus. Hardy-Braz also said out of the 282 bus stops in Greenville, 120 are not compliant with federal mandates.
“The bus can let me off, but there’s no accessibility to roll any further, like to get off the edge off the sidewalk,” Hall said. “They need to put some sidewalks where there are bus stops to make it accessible for people.”
“Accessibility delayed after all these decades is accessibility denied,” Hardy-Braz said. “People with disabilities are about a quarter of the population with a physical or mental disability, and they are tired of it. we want our equal rights recognized by the city.”
The NC Department of Transportation said municipalities like Greenville are typically responsible for bus stops but they are currently working to put in curb ramps to help with accessibility. Officials with the City of Greenville said they’re continuing to look for ways to enhance mobility for residents and visitors with streetscaping and reconstruction.
Hardy-Braz said he has reached out to both and said while they have started to address some of the issues, there's still more to be done.