I hate when there's talk of making a city less car-centric and somebody chimes in with "Well what about disabled people!? They need cars!" as a gotcha, like there aren't a fuckton of disabled people who need more buses, curb cuts, and crosswalks to navigate the city, or longer lights to cross, or sound and tactile cues to let them know where they are. There are many kinds of conditions with different kinds of needs, and being driven around everywhere addresses only a certain subset of this, not to mention the class issue of who can afford a car or who has access to someone who can drive them.

And I am speaking about this as somebody who is able-bodied, but who spent their childhood caring for adults in wheelchairs, one who had cancer and another who had a stroke and glaucoma, and later my father who could barely walk and who didn't own a car, so finding subway stops with elevators became a priority.

Adding benches so people can sit is also a disability issue. Having freely available public restrooms is also a disability issue. Having clean water fountains is a disability issue. All of these things would also make cities more walkable and they would make them more friendly to people who are living on the street.

@ancient_domains_of_word Indeed! And on the base of it all, using say only half of the street and parking area for buildings and thus making the city much more dense is also a disability issue, because that would dramatically shorten the average trips and thus making walking and cycling more viable option to those who are able to walk and cycle short trips but not long trips.

@ancient_domains_of_word I've deeply felt all of these things this past year and a half, and I'm able bodied…

i was just mildly inconvenienced by a smol child.
finding a place where you can change a kid, have a piss, or drink some water when every coffee shop, restaurant, shop etc has either closed, or doesn't allow access to facilities because of a pandemic?

wow that sucks

i wonder how homeless people cope, huh? I also think it's funny that they never seem to consider how like, you can do both. regardless of how car-centric your streets are, emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances are still going to need to be able to use them. so if the primary problem is the typical class of commuter vehicles in the city, it's entirely possible to ban those, while still allowing vehicles for transporting disabled people. preferably accompanied by an expansion of tax-funded paratransit services that people could use for free.

@heartles It's really all or nothing, and nothing inherently favors the cars. So you have arguments talking about how we need to keep things the way they are for vaguely described disabled people when disabled people were never really considered in the design of the city in the first place. It's very "think of the children!" Oh, you want wider sidewalks that would be great for people with walkers and wheelchairs? Well, actually we need to keep the street 4 lanes with not even a traffic light or curb cut because disabled people.

@ancient_domains_of_word also as someone who works in social work specifically with disability issues, I think only one of my clients has access to a car. shockingly enough people who make $750 a month can't afford something that costs thousands of dollars upfront + thousands in upkeep

@NumberOneBug It's very situational, but it does grate on me how people who can't afford a car are always left out of this conversation, when being on benefits makes it hard to impossible to own a car in your own name.

@ancient_domains_of_word it's always so confusing to see the implicit belief that everyone who could benefit from a car
1) has a car
2) wants a car
3) wouldn't be better served by a society that decenters cars

@ancient_domains_of_word infrastructure is so crucial to effective transit but cities and transit agencies drag their feet on it. Also, not every person with disabilities can drive?? Taking a bus or train is a good way to be independent!

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