Saturday, June 20, 2009

The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, Doesn't Care about the Blind

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, has decided to support Dixon Jones Exhibition Road scheme in Kensington.

The road scheme has been the center of controversy between the city and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

According to Building Design, there were over 100 opposers who rallied around City Hall to protest "against Johnson’s £13 million contribution to the £25 million Exhibition Road plan."

The reason Guide Dogs for the Blind are worried is because the new scheme would make the streets extremely dangerous for the blind. The new streets would remove kerbs (curbs), barriers and create a single surface street. Guide Dogs for the Blind argue that without their safety precautions, drivers will become more reckless.

Johnson didn't even come outside to speak to them. Instead, he wrote a letter that stated, "I want the streets of London to be accessible to everyone in our community, including those who are blind and partially sighted. I acknowledge shared space is not a traditional design approach in the UK, but I do not consider that this would diminish the safety of road users."

Guide Dogs for the Blind spokesman, David Cowdrey retorted back, saying, "They want a single surface at any cost. The whole point of the design is that you make eye contact [with drivers]. If you have learning difficulties or are visually impaired you’ll have difficulty."

"Boris has refused to talk to the disabled people of London — he hasn’t got the courtesy. It’s sad."

Instead, it's very sad. What do you think about shared streets?

Image courtesy of Building Design and Conservative Home. All rights reserved.

Doggy Blurb, 19th June 2009

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