15+ years to build, costing $40+ Million and still not getting it right! It is beyond frustrating to have a BRAND NEW space open and have clear wheelchair accessibility issues. I wish I could say this is rare. Sadly, just another prime example of looks over function. Oh, and I bet the lineup and wait for the one elevator, servicing its five floors, is nothing but a joy.
With the amount of time and financial investment into that New Jersey Library, it is a blatant statement that the space is not meant for me (a wheelchair user) and everyone involved along the way was fine with it. Owners, City Officials, Board members, workers, builders, all of them passed the buck and said this was ok. Shame on them. Similar to any business in late 2019 (ADA became law 1990) that does not have an accessible entry. You clearly do not want my money, and why should I give my effort and my money to a business that has no interest in welcoming me?
It’s one thing in an old building where foundations and sidewalks have settled leaving an unfortunate threshold barrier (still easily fixable with a threshold ramp from any big box store or online), even then, once an obstacle has been pointed out, fix it!! I do not know how many times I have pointed out clear obstacles or safety hazards just to hear ‘Ok, yeah I’ll look into that.' Only to return and see that nothing has changed. One example is a place that has about a 2” threshold to its door, but also uses a garage door that lifts up for the nicer weather that is zero step entry. So without a threshold ramp, my only entry is through the large garage door. Maybe if I go there enough through these winter months and force them to lift that big door, let the freezing air in and heat out, they will reconsider making the change. Then, on the other hand, do I really want to spend my time and effort just to make a point at a location that didn’t want or ignored my conversation with them in the first place? Probably not. More likely to never go back. I’ll go somewhere I feel welcomed. Rather than as an annoyance because of your own design. Like I said, I’m more likely to never return and possibly speak poorly of you than I am to keep coming back to make a point. Unless I get frustrated and bored. Then might be the perfect time to come out to frustrate others and inconvenience you and your intentional disregard of accessibility.