To the Editor:
Regarding the story, “P&Z Pleased that Latest Plans for Wilton Center Apartment Complex ‘Have Come a Long Way,’” I attended the meeting and agreed with the comments criticizing the substantial lack of wheelchair accessibility of the [proposed new] building [at 3 Hubbard Rd.]. I sent a message to the Commission saying so.
It is good to see that the developer has done much to make the building convenient to the town center, railroad station, and amenities — for able-bodied people! But they have done, as they themselves admit, only the bare legal minimum to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Only the first floor is wheelchair accessible. The building does not have an elevator, so the second- and third-floor apartments are inaccessible to wheelchair users and anyone with difficulty walking. It also means that no one residing on those floors can have visitors who use wheelchairs. And it also means that anyone who has broken bones or surgery that prevent them from walking up stairs cannot get to their apartment.
The developers made much of the lovely walkways, including a pollinator pathway, they designed in the plan, which connect the building to the town center, but there is zero wheelchair access from the building to those pathways! Thus people with mobility disabilities are again being treated as second-class citizens in our building design.
Does anyone think this makes sense in 2021?
(Whose house at 179 Skunk Ln. is adapted for wheelchair use)