RE: "Obstacles Sprout on New South Beach Sidewalks"
What surprises me most about the news stories published about the sidewalk "obstacles" on South Beach is that none address the most obvious, i.e. a total disregard of handicapped access. I thought the "obstacle" topic was addressed a couple of years ago, but apparently not. Although I personally think that the requirements and execution of handicapped access are sometimes confused and abused, it is very obvious to anyone looking at the situation on Clearwater Beach that the current configuration of the sidewalks and their palm trees and light poles make them impassable to pushed or motorized wheelchairs. Walking "next to each other" is nice, but handicapped access is more important. And aren't there some code requirements regarding this issue?
Furthermore, how difficult can it be, prior to sidewalk construction, to route a couple of electrical cables a few feet over to service light poles? Also, it is difficult to imagine that there are not some setback requirements that would allow these light poles, palm trees and other "obstacles" to be placed on right-of-way portions of business properties along these sidewalks, or that business owners would object to the addition of these amenities to improve their frontage. Planners, engineers, construction supervisors and inspectors: what were you thinking?
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