Wheelchair City | On a Roll | Paul Bendix | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

On a Roll

By Paul Bendix

E-mail Paul Bendix

About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

View all posts from Paul Bendix

Wheelchair City

Uploaded: Nov 18, 2013
Wheelchair access...well, it's also about strollers...even pedestrians wandering neighborhoods after dark. It's in everyone's interest to make our town accessible. It's also in everyone's budget, since tax dollars pay for it.

So how is wheelchair access in Menlo Park? Mixed.

First, let us commend the city's cement grinders. They have smoothed many of the tree-root tilted sidewalks downtown. Still, some of the worst concrete peaks remain. A few perilous cracks are painted hazard orange. In my wheelchair I avoid portions of Roble Avenue and Live Oak.

The key to rolling Menlo Park safely at night: a high-intensity light. My last wheelchair had a Volkswagen headlight. My newest has two marine lamps. After dark it's not safe to bounce along the city's cracked sidewalks.

If there are sidewalks. In parts of town "the sidewalk ends," and not with Shel Silverstein's whimsy. Try rolling a wheelchair west on Santa Cruz Ave., leaving downtown for residential neighborhoods. Portions of our main thoroughfare have sidewalks. Others don't. The reasons are unclear, but the effects are obvious...forcing wheelchairs onto the pavement.

Crosswalk traffic signals are important to anyone. In a wheelchair they are essential. Unfortunately, some buttons are out of reach at key intersections on El Camino.

Overall, wheelchair access is fairly good in Menlo Park. For little or no expenditure, it could be much better.
What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post
Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 53 comments | 14,830 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 30 comments | 1,751 views

Eat Your Values – August 15
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,197 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 2 comments | 1,013 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 625 views

 

Early Bird rates end Sunday!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now