“Skate park told comply or close”

A group of volunteer parents and teens built the Uncle Bud Skate Park in downtown Marshfield, Massachusetts over the last five years, but the state Office on Disability is threatening to order the park closed to the public because the park does not meet accessibility requirements. (The park does contain an ampitheater, so it’s not just an issue of accommodating disabled roller-bladers.) So far Public Works Superintendent R. Jeb DeLoach has responded in Harrison Bergeron fashion, by removing a bench and a portable toilet that was not handicapped accessible. (Needless to say, this does not make the park any friendlier to the handicapped, but rather makes it equally unfriendly to the non-disabled.) There’s still an issue because only one of the three entrances to the park is accessible; compliance costs for this and other violations will raise the cost of the park 25%. (Shamus McGillicuddy, Patriot-Ledger, Apr. 12) (via Newman, who asks, “[I]f you hated the handicapped and wanted to hatch a plot that would cause children and their families to resent them, could you really do better than this?”). For the tale of the wheelchair ramp in the mountains, see Jul. 9, 2003.

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