This is embarassing to Greendale and the Village leaders need to take action (should've earlier) to force Simon (and SEARS) to stop this situation.The long trek to Southridge Mall in a wheelchair
Imagine the length of a football field. How about two? Now think about how long it would take an able-bodied person to walk from one end to the other.
Well, if you are in a wheelchair, use a walking aid such as a cane or even have bad knees and you take the bus to Southridge Mall in Greendale, be prepared to wind yourself along an obstacle course the length of more than three football fields just to get to the mall doors.
On Tuesday, I borrowed a wheelchair from Independence First and rode the bus to the mall to see just how difficult it is for those with limited mobility. It was very difficult.
Southridge Mall's decision to move a bus stop to the fringe of the mall's parking lot was a mistake, and it sends a clear message to those with impaired mobility: You are not welcome here.
In November, Southridge moved the bus stop from a location that was close to Sears' main entrance to the edge of the mall parking lot near S. 74th St. and W. Edgerton Ave. The new bus stop is more than 1,000 feet from Sears, but when you get off the bus, it seems as though it is much farther.
Southridge says that it moved the bus stop for safety reasons, but I don't buy that logic and neither did several of the bus patrons I spoke to. The original bus stop was safer because it let patrons off closer to Sears and people didn't need to cross the street. From the new location, once you get off the bus, you follow a yellow-striped path.
If you have good use of your legs, this may not be as much of a problem as it is merely an inconvenience. But if you are in a wheelchair or otherwise impaired, rocks, cracked pavement and uneven surfaces are sure to impede your path.
Once you clear that path, you go up a slight hill and then have to cross the street. And while some drivers did give me the right of way, one driver hastily tried to pass to the right of the stopped vehicles driving in the pedestrian lane.
Because I was in a wheelchair, she almost didn't see me. That was scary.
It's also uncomfortable going up a hill with your back to cars before you can get up on a sidewalk area that's riddled with broken concrete and is tilted on a slight angle that made pushing the wheelchair difficult.
The most frustrating part after completing the obstacle course occurred when I got to the doorway of Sears. I hit the button to open the door, and it did not work. If I were a shopper, I would have turned around right there and not given the mall my business.
"This is the kind of thing that occurs all the time that most people don't notice," said Diana Sullivan, a disability rights and access specialist with Independence First. "Most of the time, stores turn the doors off so they don't work. I don't know why they do this."http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/the-long-trek-to-southridge-mall-in-a-wheelchair-b99264225z1-258643071.html