A stranger and I just helped a disabled lady in a motorized scooter mount the inaccessible curb adjoining the treatment center for disabled people in wheelchairs and scooters.
The medical center has been there for probably thirty years. And for probably thirty years, the inaccessible curb has barred the way for people seeking treatment.
I’m no statistician, but I’ll estimate that the little scene we three strangers just performed outside the medical facility has been reenacted at least a million times.
The facility is located between Second and First Avenues. An access road to an on-ramp to the Queens Midtown Tunnel divides the street in half. To get to the facility, you must traverse the access road.
An incomprehensible three-way traffic light controls the flow of people and cars across the T-shaped intersection. At least, in theory, it controls the flow. In practice, cars are always pouring into the access road. In fact, parents and nannies continually push prams into the access road in defiance of the constantly oncoming traffic. Besides medical facilities for the disabled, the half-block houses a huge and busy pediatric office; and there is a children’s playground just the other side of the center.
The lady somehow got her scooter down into the access road during the momentary interval when it was okay for pedestrians to cross.
She got to the other side and discovered there was no ramp up.
She began driving her scooter backwards and forwards in the road, searching for a ramp.
Cars began heading toward her.
A man and I walked over to her. She asked for help and we did our best, while the cars edged to the left of her.
How many people in wheelchairs cross this road day and night?
Have any died?