Physical Distancing and Public Spaces After the COVID-19 Pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we cheer ourselves by thinking of future socializing in-person. We also think about returning to work or activities we love. These hopes help us through the challenges of physical distancing. Moreover, these challenges show us that we can be more flexible or more creative than we thought we could. For instance, structures and spaces have adapted to physical distancing requirements during the pandemic. Many of these adaptations are also practices that make spaces more accessible for citizens with disabilities. Governments are mandating new guidelines for how people arrange or move through buildings and other spaces. In the post-COVID-19 future, more people may recognize the value of adapting spaces to meet citizens’ diverse needs. Consequently, governments that approve designs for public spaces may think differently about physical distancing and public spaces after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physical Distancing and Public Spaces After the COVID-19 Pandemic

As spaces adapt to physical distancing requirements, their owners or managers are showing visitors how far apart people should be. For instance, essential businesses are placing markers so that people know how far apart to stand in lines. Alternatively, owners or managers of public spaces could adapt in ways that make their layouts more accessible to citizens with disabilities. For example, they could install fixed-queuing guides for line areas. These guides perform the same functions as markers painted on the floor. However, the guides may be more noticeable and harder for people to ignore as they move through spaces.

More Accessible Features for Public Spaces

People are becoming accustomed to new requirements governing the physical layout of businesses. In the same way, buildings and public spaces could adapt their premises in other ways to improve their accessibility. For instance, they could install:

These and other changes to physical environments make spaces accessible to more people.




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Ford Government to Spend Over a Half Billion Dollars on New Schools and Major School Additions, Without Announcing Effective Measures to Ensure that These Schools Will be Fully Accessible to Students, Parents and School Staff with Disabilities


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

Web: www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

Ford Government to Spend Over a Half Billion Dollars on New Schools and Major School Additions, Without Announcing Effective Measures to Ensure that These Schools Will be Fully Accessible to Students, Parents and School Staff with Disabilities

July 30, 2020

          SUMMARY

Last week, the Ford Government announced that it is investing over half a billion dollars into building new schools and expanding existing ones, without announcing any effective measures to ensure that those schools will be designed to be accessible to students, parents, teachers, or other school staff with disabilities. Public money should never be used to create new barriers against people with disabilities. If new barriers are created, it costs much more to later renovate to remove them.

For years, Ontario’s Ministry of Education has largely left it to each school board to decide what, if anything, to include in the design of a new school building to ensure it is disability-accessible. Each school board is left to decide on its own whether it will include anything in the building’s design for accessibility, beyond the inadequate accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, in standards enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and under a patchwork of local municipal bylaws. The Ontario Government does not have a standard or model design for a new school or for an addition to a school, to ensure its accessibility to students, parents and school staff with disabilities.

On July 23, 2020, the Ford Government announced a major plan to build 30 new schools and to construct additions to another 15 schools, to provide both learning venues and more day care locations for students across Ontario (announcement set out below). The Ford Government has not announced any requirement that this new construction must be disability-accessible. It is wasteful, duplicative and counter-productive for the Ontario Government to leave it to 72 school boards to each re-invent the wheel when it comes to the design of a school building to ensure that it is accessible. Moreover, school boards are not assured to have the requisite expertise in accessible building design. Making this worse, too often architects are not properly trained in accessible design.

This is not a situation where each school board is best situated to assess the unique local needs of its community. A student, parent or school staff member with a disability has the very same accessibility needs, when it comes to getting into and around a school building, whether that school is in Kenora or Cornwall.

It has been well established for years that compliance with the insufficient accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act accessibility standards and local municipal bylaws do not ensure that a new building is in fact accessible and barrier-free for people with disabilities. To the contrary, the AODA Alliance has shown how new buildings and major renovations in major public projects can end up having serious accessibility problems. This is illustrated in three online videos, produced by the AODA Alliance, that have gotten thousands of views and extensive media coverage. Those videos focus on:

* the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre;

* the new Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre and

* several new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations.

Over a year and a half ago, the third Government-appointed Independent Review of the implementation of the AODA, conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley, found that progress in Ontario on accessibility has proceeded at a “glacial” pace. Among other things, it recommended that the Ontario Government should treat as a major priority the recurring barriers facing people with disabilities in the built environment. The Onley Report emphasized as an illustration the AODA Alliance’s video depicting serious accessibility problems at Ryerson’s new Student Learning Centre.

Strong, effective and enforceable provincial accessibility standards for the built environment are long overdue. Yet the Government has announced no plans to develop and enact a Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the AODA. Beyond this, for over two and a half years, the Ontario Government has been in direct violation of the AODA. This is because the Government has still not appointed a mandatory Standards Development Committee to review the palpably inadequate “Design of Public Spaces” Accessibility Standard, enacted under the AODA in December 2012. Under section 9(9) of the AODA, the Ontario Government was required to appoint a mandatory Standards Development Committee to review that accessibility standard by December 2017. The former Kathleen Wynne Government is on the hook for failing to appoint that Standards Development Committee for the seven months from December 2017 up to the Wynne Government being defeated in the June 2018 provincial election. The Ford Government is on the hook for violating the AODA for the subsequent two years, from the time it took office up to today.

The Ford Government should now direct all school boards receiving any of the public money that the Government announced on July 23, 2020 that all those new projects must be fully accessible. This must go further than simply meeting the inadequate accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, in AODA accessibility standards enacted to date, and in local bylaws. The Ford Government should set specific accessibility requirements that must be met. A good template for this is set out in the AODA Alliance’s draft Framework for the Post-Secondary Education Accessibility Standard.

There have now been 546 days, or over a full year and a half, since the Ford Government received the ground-breaking final report of the Independent Review of the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by former Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley. The Government has not announced any comprehensive plan of new action to implement that report. That makes even worse the serious problems facing Ontarians with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more background, check out:

* The AODA Alliance website’s Built Environment page, that documents our efforts to get the Ontario Government to enact strong accessibility standards for the built environment.

* The AODA Alliance website’s Education page, documenting the AODA Alliance’s efforts to tear down the many barriers in Ontario’s education system facing students with disabilities.

          MORE DETAILS

 July 23, 2020 Ontario Government News Release

Originally posted at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-building-and-expanding-schools-across-the-province-1.html

Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Ontario Building and Expanding Schools across the Province

July 23, 2020

Modern Facilities Will Strengthen Student Learning and Increase Access to Child Care

BRAMPTON — The Ontario government is investing over $500 million to build 30 new schools and make permanent additions to 15 existing facilities, supporting over 25,000 student spaces across the province. These new, modern schools will create the foundation for a 21st century learning environment for thousands of students across the province. This investment will also generate nearly 900 new licensed child care spaces to ensure families across the province are able to access child care in their communities.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

“Our government is making a significant capital investment in our school system,” said Premier Ford. “By making these smart investments today, we will ensure our students and teachers have access to modern facilities to learn with features like high-speed Internet, accessible ramps and elevators, and air conditioning, while providing parents with access to more licensed child care spaces.”

The government is investing over $12 billion in capital grants over 10 years, including over $500 million invested in this year alone to build critical new school capital projects and permanent additions. Today’s announcement continues to build upon the government’s commitment to invest up to $1 billion over five years to create up to 30,000 licensed child care spaces in schools, including 10,000 spaces in new schools. These new projects will also result in the creation of new jobs in the skilled trades as over $500 million of major infrastructure projects break ground in short order.

“It is unacceptable that too many schools in our province continue to lack the investment that our students deserve,” said Minister Lecce. “That is why this government is making a significant investment to build new schools, to extensively renovate existing schools, and expand access to licensed child care spaces in our province. Our government is modernizing our schools, our curriculum, and the delivery of learning, to ensure students are set up to succeed in an increasingly changing world.”

QUICK FACTS

list of 4 items

  • The Ministry of Education reviews all Capital Priorities submissions for eligibility and merit prior to announcing successful projects.
  • The Ministry is working in partnership with school boards to deliver high-speed Internet to all schools in Ontario, with all high schools having access to broadband by September 2020, and all elementary schools having access by September 2021. As of March 31, 2020, broadband modernization has been completed at 1,983 schools, including 403 Northern schools. Installation is currently in progress at 2,954 schools, including 99 northern schools.
  • The Ministry is investing $1.4 billion in renewal funding, which continues to meet the recommended funding level by the Auditor General of Ontario to preserve the condition of Ontario’s school facilities.
  • To find out more about projects in your community, visit the Ontario Builds map.

list end

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

list of 1 items

  • Learn more about Ontario’s commitment to modernizing schools and child care spaces.

list end

CONTACTS

Ivana Yelich

Premier’s Office

[email protected]

Alexandra Adamo

Minister Lecce’s Office

[email protected]

Ingrid Anderson

Communications Branch

437 225-0321

[email protected]

Office of the Premier

http://www.ontario.ca/premier



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Ford Government to Spend Over a Half Billion Dollars on New Schools and Major School Additions, Without Announcing Effective Measures to Ensure that These Schools Will be Fully Accessible to Students, Parents and School Staff with Disabilities


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: http://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 30, 2020

SUMMARY

Last week, the Ford Government announced that it is investing over half a billion dollars into building new schools and expanding existing ones, without announcing any effective measures to ensure that those schools will be designed to be accessible to students, parents, teachers, or other school staff with disabilities. Public money should never be used to create new barriers against people with disabilities. If new barriers are created, it costs much more to later renovate to remove them.

For years, Ontarios Ministry of Education has largely left it to each school board to decide what, if anything, to include in the design of a new school building to ensure it is disability-accessible. Each school board is left to decide on its own whether it will include anything in the buildings design for accessibility, beyond the inadequate accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, in standards enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and under a patchwork of local municipal bylaws. The Ontario Government does not have a standard or model design for a new school or for an addition to a school, to ensure its accessibility to students, parents and school staff with disabilities.

On July 23, 2020, the Ford Government announced a major plan to build 30 new schools and to construct additions to another 15 schools, to provide both learning venues and more day care locations for students across Ontario (announcement set out below). The Ford Government has not announced any requirement that this new construction must be disability-accessible. It is wasteful, duplicative and counter-productive for the Ontario Government to leave it to 72 school boards to each re-invent the wheel when it comes to the design of a school building to ensure that it is accessible. Moreover, school boards are not assured to have the requisite expertise in accessible building design. Making this worse, too often architects are not properly trained in accessible design.

This is not a situation where each school board is best situated to assess the unique local needs of its community. A student, parent or school staff member with a disability has the very same accessibility needs, when it comes to getting into and around a school building, whether that school is in Kenora or Cornwall.

It has been well established for years that compliance with the insufficient accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act accessibility standards and local municipal bylaws do not ensure that a new building is in fact accessible and barrier-free for people with disabilities. To the contrary, the AODA Alliance has shown how new buildings and major renovations in major public projects can end up having serious accessibility problems. This is illustrated in three online videos, produced by the AODA Alliance, that have gotten thousands of views and extensive media coverage. Those videos focus on:

* the new Ryerson University Student Learning Centre;

* the new Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre and

* several new and recently renovated Toronto area public transit stations.

Over a year and a half ago, the third Government-appointed Independent Review of the implementation of the AODA, conducted by former Lieutenant Governor David Onley, found that progress in Ontario on accessibility has proceeded at a glacial pace. Among other things, it recommended that the Ontario Government should treat as a major priority the recurring barriers facing people with disabilities in the built environment. The Onley Report emphasized as an illustration the AODA Alliances video depicting serious accessibility problems at Ryersons new Student Learning Centre.

Strong, effective and enforceable provincial accessibility standards for the built environment are long overdue. Yet the Government has announced no plans to develop and enact a Built Environment Accessibility Standard under the AODA. Beyond this, for over two and a half years, the Ontario Government has been in direct violation of the AODA. This is because the Government has still not appointed a mandatory Standards Development Committee to review the palpably inadequate Design of Public Spaces Accessibility Standard, enacted under the AODA in December 2012. Under section 9(9) of the AODA, the Ontario Government was required to appoint a mandatory Standards Development Committee to review that accessibility standard by December 2017. The former Kathleen Wynne Government is on the hook for failing to appoint that Standards Development Committee for the seven months from December 2017 up to the Wynne Government being defeated in the June 2018 provincial election. The Ford Government is on the hook for violating the AODA for the subsequent two years, from the time it took office up to today.

The Ford Government should now direct all school boards receiving any of the public money that the Government announced on July 23, 2020 that all those new projects must be fully accessible. This must go further than simply meeting the inadequate accessibility requirements in the Ontario Building Code, in AODA accessibility standards enacted to date, and in local bylaws. The Ford Government should set specific accessibility requirements that must be met. A good template for this is set out in the AODA Alliances draft Framework for the Post-Secondary Education Accessibility Standard.

There have now been 546 days, or over a full year and a half, since the Ford Government received the ground-breaking final report of the Independent Review of the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act by former Ontario Lieutenant Governor David Onley. The Government has not announced any comprehensive plan of new action to implement that report. That makes even worse the serious problems facing Ontarians with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more background, check out:

* The AODA Alliance websites Built Environment page, that documents our efforts to get the Ontario Government to enact strong accessibility standards for the built environment.

* The AODA Alliance websites Education page, documenting the AODA Alliances efforts to tear down the many barriers in Ontario’s education system facing students with disabilities.

MORE DETAILS

July 23, 2020 Ontario Government News Release

Originally posted at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-building-and-expanding-schools-across-the-province-1.html

Ontario Newsroom

News Release

Ontario Building and Expanding Schools across the Province
July 23, 2020

Modern Facilities Will Strengthen Student Learning and Increase Access to Child Care
BRAMPTON The Ontario government is investing over $500 million to build 30 new schools and make permanent additions to 15 existing facilities, supporting over 25,000 student spaces across the province. These new, modern schools will create the foundation for a 21st century learning environment for thousands of students across the province. This investment will also generate nearly 900 new licensed child care spaces to ensure families across the province are able to access child care in their communities.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.
“Our government is making a significant capital investment in our school system,” said Premier Ford. “By making these smart investments today, we will ensure our students and teachers have access to modern facilities to learn with features like high-speed Internet, accessible ramps and elevators, and air conditioning, while providing parents with access to more licensed child care spaces.”
The government is investing over $12 billion in capital grants over 10 years, including over $500million invested in this year alone to build critical new school capital projects and permanent additions. Today’s announcement continues to build upon the government’s commitment to invest up to $1 billion over five years to create up to 30,000 licensed child care spaces in schools, including 10,000 spaces in new schools. These new projects will also result in the creation of new jobs in the skilled trades as over $500 million of major infrastructure projects break ground in short order.
“It is unacceptable that too many schools in our province continue to lack the investment that our students deserve,” said Minister Lecce. “That is why this government is making a significant investment to build new schools, to extensively renovate existing schools, and expand access to licensed child care spaces in our province. Our government is modernizing our schools, our curriculum, and the delivery of learning, to ensure students are set up to succeed in an increasingly changing world.”

QUICK FACTS
list of 4 items
The Ministry of Education reviews all Capital Priorities submissions for eligibility and merit prior to announcing successful projects.
The Ministry is working in partnership with school boards to deliver high-speed Internet to all schools in Ontario, with all high schools having access to broadband by September 2020, and all elementary schools having access by September 2021. As of March 31, 2020, broadband modernization has been completed at 1,983 schools, including 403 Northern schools. Installation is currently in progress at 2,954 schools, including 99 northern schools.
The Ministry is investing $1.4 billion in renewal funding, which continues to meet the recommended funding level by the Auditor General of Ontario to preserve the condition of Ontarios school facilities.
To find out more about projects in your community, visit the Ontario Builds map. list end

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
list of 1 items
Learn more about Ontarios commitment to modernizing schools and child care spaces. list end

CONTACTS
Ivana Yelich
Premiers Office
[email protected]
Alexandra Adamo
Minister Lecces Office
[email protected]
Ingrid Anderson
Communications Branch
437 225-0321
[email protected]
Office of the Premier
http://www.ontario.ca/premier




Source link

An Interim Victory for Disability Advocates


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: http://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 29, 2020

SUMMARY

Yesterday disability advocates won an important interim victory in Toronto, Canadas largest city, in the campaign to protect the public, including people with disabilities, from the proven dangers to public safety and disability accessibility that are posed by electric scooters (e-scooters).

At the July 28, 2020 meeting of Toronto City Council, the issue of e-scooters came up on the agenda. A City Staff Report had identified serious problems that e-scooters pose. Despite this, the Staff Report recommended that the City take some preliminary and preparatory steps towards running a pilot with e-scooters next year. However, yesterday Toronto City Council voted instead to direct staff to do more research on the disability accessibility concerns that have been raised regarding e-scooters.

The AODA Alliance has been in the lead in showing that e-scooters pose a serious danger to people with disabilities and others. On February 3, 2020, the City of Torontos Accessibility Advisory Committee unanimously voted to recommend to Toronto City Council that e-scooters should not be allowed at all. The City Staff Report had mentioned this important unanimous recommendation, but had given no reasons why the Report did not follow that Accessibility Advisory Committees recommendation.

It is our understanding that as a result, nothing moves forward in Toronto until the City staff complete the new research that Toronto City Council has directed. The Toronto City Council motion that passed on a vote of 12 to 11 on July 28, 2020, with 2 Councillors not present, was as follows:

3 – Motion to Refer Item moved by Councillor Paula Fletcher (Carried)

That City Council refer the Item to the General Manager, Transportation Services and direct the General Manager to report back with any changes needed to address the issues identified by the Citys Accessibility Committee, including issues related to insurance.

The AODA Alliance commends Toronto City Council for taking this step, in the face of its being heavily pressured by the corporate lobbyists for e-scooter rental companies to ignore the public safety and accessibility dangers that their product inflicts, said AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky. In the face of overwhelming evidence that e-scooters in Toronto would endanger public safety, inflict serious personal injuries, create new accessibility barriers for people with disabilities and expose the City to law suits, it is a relief that City Council is slowing down to take a serious look at the problems that e-scooters would cause for all Torontonians, and especially for people with disabilities. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, City Council should stop debating e-scooters, and should instead focus all its attention on the communitys urgent needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is only an interim victory. We still have a great deal of work ahead of us, and cannot let down our guard. The corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies are no doubt re-doubling their pressure on members of Toronto City Council.

It is deeply troubling that fully 11 members of Toronto City Council voted against having City Staff conduct further research into the dangers that e-scooters pose to people with disabilities. The members of Toronto City Council that commendably voted in favour of this motion were Mayor John Tory and Councillors Bradford, Carroll, Fletcher, Matlow, Minnan-Wong, Nunziata, Pasternak, Perks, Perruzza, Thompson, Tory and Wong-Tam. The members of City Council who voted against having additional research done on the harms that e-scooters inflict on people with disabilities include Councillors Ainslie, Bailao, Colle, Crawford, Filion, Ford, Grimes, Holyday, Lai, Layton and McKelvie.

On July 28, 2020, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky was interviewed on News Radio 1310 in Ottawa, on the problems with e-scooters that have already emerged shortly after Ottawa began its ill-considered pilot with e-scooters. We will have more to say on the e-scooters issue over the coming weeks. Below is set out an excerpt from an article on this in the July 29, 2020 Toronto Star. The history of this item at Toronto City Council is set out on its website at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.IE14.10

For more background:

Read the AODA Alliances July 8, 2020 brief to the City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee, already endorsed by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and the March of Dimes of Canada

Read the open letter to all Ontario municipal councils from 11 major disability organizations, opposing e-scooters in Ontario, and

Read a sampling of news reports on the serious injuries that e-scooters have caused in communities that permit them.

Read the AODA Alliances July 10, 2020 news release explaining what happened at the July 9, 2020 meeting of Torontos Infrastructure and Environment Committee where the AODA Alliance and others presented on this issue.

Visit the AODA Alliance e-scooters web page.

MORE DETAILS

Toronto Star July 29, 2020

E-scooters remain stalled in Toronto
Council wants answers on safety, insurance before considering pilot project

David Rider and Francine Kopun Toronto Star
Electric scooter services will remain parked for now.

Toronto city council on Tuesday never voted on a city staff proposal that would have laid the groundwork for e-scooter rental services to start operating in Toronto for a trial period starting next spring.

That proposal, which would have seen council decide this fall whether to green-light the controversial pilot project, was rendered moot when a competing motion from Coun. Paula Fletcher passed 12-11.

City staff will now look solely at concerns the short-term rental of e-scooters by companies such as Bird Canada pose to the safety of disabled Torontonians, as well as issues around insurance liability for riders and anyone they might hit.

Council won’t get those answers before fall, almost certainly meaning further delay in a possible start date for the scooter services that have aggressively lobbied city officials, originally in hopes of having riders whizzing around Toronto last spring




Source link

An Interim Victory for Disability Advocates — Toronto City Council Directs City Staff to Investigate Dangers to People with Disabilities If Electric Scooters are Allowed


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

Web: www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

An Interim Victory for Disability Advocates — Toronto City Council Directs City Staff to Investigate Dangers to People with Disabilities If Electric Scooters are Allowed

July 29, 2020

          SUMMARY

Yesterday disability advocates won an important interim victory in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, in the campaign to protect the public, including people with disabilities, from the proven dangers to public safety and disability accessibility that are posed by electric scooters (e-scooters).

At the July 28, 2020 meeting of Toronto City Council, the issue of e-scooters came up on the agenda. A City Staff Report had identified serious problems that e-scooters pose. Despite this, the Staff Report recommended that the City take some preliminary and preparatory steps towards running a pilot with e-scooters next year. However, yesterday Toronto City Council voted instead to direct staff to do more research on the disability accessibility concerns that have been raised regarding e-scooters.

The AODA Alliance has been in the lead in showing that e-scooters pose a serious danger to people with disabilities and others. On February 3, 2020, the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee unanimously voted to recommend to Toronto City Council that e-scooters should not be allowed at all. The City Staff Report had mentioned this important unanimous recommendation, but had given no reasons why the Report did not follow that Accessibility Advisory Committee’s recommendation.

It is our understanding that as a result, nothing moves forward in Toronto until the City staff complete the new research that Toronto City Council has directed. The Toronto City Council motion that passed on a vote of 12 to 11 on July 28, 2020, with 2 Councillors not present, was as follows:

“3 – Motion to Refer Item moved by Councillor Paula Fletcher (Carried)

That City Council refer the Item to the General Manager, Transportation Services and direct the General Manager to report back with any changes needed to address the issues identified by the City’s Accessibility Committee, including issues related to insurance.”

“The AODA Alliance commends Toronto City Council for taking this step, in the face of its being heavily pressured by the corporate lobbyists for e-scooter rental companies to ignore the public safety and accessibility dangers that their product inflicts,” said AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky. “In the face of overwhelming evidence that e-scooters in Toronto would endanger public safety, inflict serious personal injuries, create new accessibility barriers for people with disabilities and expose the City to law suits, it is a relief that City Council is slowing down to take a serious look at the problems that e-scooters would cause for all Torontonians, and especially for people with disabilities. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, City Council should stop debating e-scooters, and should instead focus all its attention on the community’s urgent needs during the COVID-19 crisis.”

This is only an interim victory. We still have a great deal of work ahead of us, and cannot let down our guard. The corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies are no doubt re-doubling their pressure on members of Toronto City Council.

It is deeply troubling that fully 11 members of Toronto City Council voted against having City Staff conduct further research into the dangers that e-scooters pose to people with disabilities. The members of Toronto City Council that commendably voted in favour of this motion were Mayor John Tory and Councillors Bradford, Carroll, Fletcher, Matlow, Minnan-Wong, Nunziata, Pasternak, Perks, Perruzza, Thompson, Tory and Wong-Tam. The members of City Council who voted against having additional research done on the harms that e-scooters inflict on people with disabilities include Councillors Ainslie, Bailao, Colle, Crawford, Filion, Ford, Grimes, Holyday, Lai, Layton and McKelvie.

On July 28, 2020, AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky was interviewed on News Radio 1310 in Ottawa, on the problems with e-scooters that have already emerged shortly after Ottawa began its ill-considered pilot with e-scooters. We will have more to say on the e-scooters issue over the coming weeks. Below is set out an excerpt from an article on this in the July 29, 2020 Toronto Star. The history of this item at Toronto City Council is set out on its website at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.IE14.10

For more background:

Read the AODA Alliance’s July 8, 2020 brief to the City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee, already endorsed by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and the March of Dimes of Canada

Read the open letter to all Ontario municipal councils from 11 major disability organizations, opposing e-scooters in Ontario, and

Read a sampling of news reports on the serious injuries that e-scooters have caused in communities that permit them.

Read the AODA Alliance’s July 10, 2020 news release explaining what happened at the July 9, 2020 meeting of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee where the AODA Alliance and others presented on this issue.

Visit the AODA Alliance e-scooters web page.

          MORE DETAILS

 Toronto Star July 29, 2020

E-scooters remain stalled in Toronto

Council wants answers on safety, insurance before considering pilot project

David Rider and Francine Kopun Toronto Star

Electric scooter services will remain parked for now.

Toronto city council on Tuesday never voted on a city staff proposal that would have laid the groundwork for e-scooter rental services to start operating in Toronto for a trial period starting next spring.

That proposal, which would have seen council decide this fall whether to green-light the controversial pilot project, was rendered moot when a competing motion from Coun. Paula Fletcher passed 12-11.

City staff will now look solely at concerns the short-term rental of e-scooters by companies such as Bird Canada pose to the safety of disabled Torontonians, as well as issues around insurance liability for riders and anyone they might hit.

Council won’t get those answers before fall, almost certainly meaning further delay in a possible start date for the scooter services that have aggressively lobbied city officials, originally in hopes of having riders whizzing around Toronto last spring…



Source link

Accessibility Training for Architects After the COVID-19 Pandemic


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, people out in public are learning to think differently about the spaces they travel through. For instance, workers and customers need more open space around them, to comply with physical distancing. Features such as wide aisles and fixed-queuing guides for line areas keep people safe. These features also make spaces more accessible for people with disabilities. In short, accessible building features make spaces safer for everyone. However, many architects lack knowledge about the features allowing people with disabilities to navigate spaces. As a result, they often design buildings without accessible features. Accessibility training for architects after the COVID-19 pandemic would help designers create buildings with fewer barriers and more safety.

Accessibility Training for Architects After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Architects and other professionals involved in building design should learn more about accessibility during any courses they take to educate themselves. These professionals should be prepared to design buildings for all people, not just people without disabilities. Therefore, the professional schools that qualify them in their field should include courses or modules on accessible design.

For instance, when architects design buildings or public spaces, anyone should be able to move through them. Therefore, architects should know how to design spaces and buildings without barriers. They should learn about design features that create barriers, such as narrow hallways. In addition, they should also learn about design features that improve accessibility, such as contrasting colours and textures. In addition, they could learn about designing with the dignity of all people in mind. For instance, they could understand that an accessible main entrance allows all people to use the front door. In contrast, an accessible back entrance means that some visitors may always need to search for a useable door. Moreover, this set-up sends the message that people without disabilities are more valued than people with disabilities.

Solutions

Mandatory physical distancing during COVID-19 shows us that accessible buildings are useful for everyone. Therefore, accessibility training for architects should also be mandatory. The government could mandate accessibility in professional training by requiring modules or courses about accessible design. Newly-trained architects would know, at the start of their careers, how to serve people of all abilities. Likewise, professional development should also be required for people in mid-career. These modules or courses would ensure that practicing professionals add accessibility to their existing areas of expertise. Finally, the government could audit building designs for accessibility and permit only accessible buildings to reach construction. This mandate would give architects incentive to make their sites accessible.




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More Overwhelming Proof that Electric Scooters Endanger Public Safety – AODA Alliance


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities

Web: www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

More Overwhelming Proof that Electric Scooters Endanger Public Safety

July 27, 2020

          SUMMARY

On the eve of Toronto City Council considering the question of whether to allow electric scooters in Canada’s largest city, here is yet more overwhelming proof that electric scooters pose a danger to the safety of the public. We set out a sampling of four news articles below. A CBC News July 21, 2020 report showed a troubling increase in serious personal injuries in Calgary, resulting in hospital emergency room visits, due to e-scooters. A January 11, 2020 report in MarketWatch documented is entitled “Electric scooter injuries jumped 222% over the past four years.” The Berlin Spectator June 18, 2020 reported on serious injuries in Berlin, Germany, leading police to sound the alarm. A July 26, 2020 report in the Singapore Press is entitled “E-scooter rider who knocked down woman refuses to pay over $445,000 in damages as he can’t afford it, says lawyer.”

If it is so well established that e-scooters endanger public safety, not to mention accessibility for people with disabilities, why is Toronto City Council even talking about the possibility of conducting a “pilot” with e-scooters? What is the purpose of a pilot? To see if Torontonians will get injured? We know they will. There is no need to subject them to e-scooters to find that out. Should Toronto conduct a “pilot” to find out if it will cost the public money to allow e-scooters? We know it will. Do we need a “pilot” to find out that Toronto’s law enforcement officers don’t have the time and resources to enforce proper conduct by those silently racing around on e-scooters? The City knows that they lack sufficient law enforcement capacity right now, without piling e-scooters onto their responsibilities.

The lead proponents of a “pilot” are the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies. They stand to make piles of money from a new market, without bearing the costs. They no doubt want a “pilot” to try to get a foothold on a new market for their product, hoping that if e-scooters are allowed, it would be harder to get them banned.

An e-scooter is a motor vehicle, pure and simple. Yet the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies want them treated as if they were not. That would leave public safety less protected.

We will all be watching Toronto City Council tomorrow, July 28, 2020, starting at 9:30 a.m., where its meeting is streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIKd97OqGeM

It is quite an irony that Toronto City Council has decided to now discuss the possibility of creating this new danger to the public including people with disabilities. On Sunday, July 26, 2020, the US celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Americans with disabilities focused on the progress they’ve made and the barriers yet to be removed for people with disabilities. The US is years ahead of Toronto, of Ontario and of Canada on inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.

The fight for the Americans with Disabilities Act inspired a generation of disability advocates around the world, including right here in Ontario, to fight for new disability rights laws. Yet here we are, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, having to battle to avoid the silent menace that e-scooters present to all innocent pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

Let’s learn from the experience of Montreal, which called off its e-scooter pilot. Let’s learn from the experience of places like Calgary, Berlin, Singapore and several US cities, which have subjected so many of their residents to undue danger from e-scooters. Let’s learn from their mistakes, rather than repeating them.

Tell Toronto City Council to protect public safety rather than corporate lobbyists’ profits. City Councillors’ contact information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/council/members-of-council/

          MORE DETAILS

 CBC News July 21, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/injuries-rise-with-popularity-escooters-calgary-streets-1.5657159

Injuries rise with popularity of e-scooters on Calgary streets

Rider says he looked back and saw his girlfriend on the ground

Elissa Carpenter · CBC News · Posted: Jul 21, 2020 10:58 AM MT | Last Updated: July 21

A Calgary emergency room doctor says rider injuries led to almost 700 emergency-room and urgent-care visits last summer in Calgary. (CBC)

A Calgary couple is telling a cautionary tale involving an ambulance ride, a broken jaw and surgery.

Paul Fox and his girlfriend rented electric scooters Sunday evening. Both had used the ride-share scooters before, but this time something went wrong.

“We were driving the scooters and then I look back and she is just laying there” Fox told CBC News.

His girlfriend was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery for a broken jaw.

Fox was shocked when the surgeon told him he had seen six of the same kind of injury in recent days.

“It’s been the same mechanics of the injury. All jaw injuries … within the last week ” Fox said.

2019  Calgarians wheel into hospitals by the dozen with injuries from new e-scooters

2019 | Calgary e-scooters used nearly 10,000 times per day in August

The department head for emergency medicine in the city isn’t surprised.

Dr. Eddy Lang studied scooter-related injuries last fall after Calgary’s first season of the ride-share program.

“We saw almost 700 emergency-room and urgent-care visits of adults and children with scooter-related injuries last year,” Lang said.

By comparison, about 2,000 people a year are injured while cycling.

“You also have to keep the denominator in mind, if you will ” Lang said. “The number of Calgarians who use bicycles on a regular basis probably far exceeds the number of scooter users.”

Injuries to head, neck and face most common

Lang says the most common injuries were head, neck and face.

“Last year, we studied this in detail and looked at about 30 cases that were transported to hospital by ambulance. The common denominator was speed.”

Lang says the scooters are a great way to see the city or commute quickly to work, but points out they are a motorized vehicle and should be treated as such. He recommends helmet use, staying away from large crowds and riding sober.

With a third company joining the program this year, there are now about 2,500 scooters on the streets.

A second injury study is coming in the fall.

 MarketWatch January 11, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-first-e-scooter-ride-will-probably-land-you-in-the-hospital-2019-05-03

Electric scooter injuries jumped 222% over the past four years

And your first e-scooter ride will probably land you in the hospital, research suggests

Published: Jan. 11, 2020 at 9:36 a.m. ET

By Nicole Lyn Pesce

Many e-scooter riders suffered broken arms and head traumas. XTREKX/ISTOCK

More Americans are taking electric scooters for a spin — and it’s been a bumpy ride.

In fact, the number of e-scooter-related injuries jumped 222% between 2014 and 2018, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery, adding up to almost 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises being treated in emergency rooms across the country.

And those injuries spiked over that last year, in particular, jumping 83% from 8,016 in 2017 to 14,651 in 2018.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco analyzed U.S. government data on nonfatal injuries treated in ERs, and reported a “dramatic increase” in injuries and admissions associated with e-scooter use, which has become a popular form of alternative transportation across the U.S.

And the number of hospital admissions jumped 365% to almost 3,300 cases between 2014 and 2018, although most injured riders overall weren’t hospitalized. E-scooter riders aged 18 to 34 were also the most likely to be injured.

This study was limited in that it didn’t have details about collision scenarios, alcohol use or helmet use for each injury report, but two studies published last year reported that between 95% and 98% of injured e-scooter riders weren’t wearing helmets.

“We hope to raise awareness that riders should wear helmets and ride safely,” lead author Dr. Benjamin Breyer from the University of California, San Francisco told the Associated Press.

(Related: Famous British YouTuber dies in electric scooter accident)

This is the latest report to raise concerns about the rising number of e-scooter riders hitting the roads and sidewalks, in some cases before the riders have been properly trained to use the vehicle safely. In fact, one in three people injured on e-scooters gets hurt during their very first ride, according to a government safety report released last May.

The CDC and the Austin Public Health department analyzed emergency department data from nine Austin hospitals between September and November 2018.

The city’s almost 1 million people had access to about 14,000 dockless electric scooters, and the study counted 192 e-scooter-related injuries during those three months alone. Two were non-riders (a pedestrian and a cyclist), and the remaining 190 were navigating the motorized scooter at the time. But this report probably underestimated the true number of injuries, the authors noted, because it didn’t include urgent care centers or primary care physicians’ offices.

And one in three of those injured was riding an e-scooter for the first time. In fact, most of those who landed in the hospital were novices; about 63% had ridden just nine times or less before getting hurt.

Almost half of the accidents resulted in head injuries, as only one of the riders was wearing a helmet. The other most common injuries were to the upper limbs, including the arms, shoulders, wrists and hands (70%); the lower limbs, including the legs, knees, ankles and feet (55%); as well as the chest and abdomen (18%).

Many injured e-scooter riders were speeding and/or not wearing helmets.

Most of the accidents actually didn’t involve cars; only 10% of injured riders were hit by motor vehicles. Rather, half (50%) reported their accidents resulted from road conditions such as potholes and cracks. More than a third admitted they crashed while going too fast, and 10% said they hit a curb. Just under one in five (19%) claimed that their scooter malfunctioned. And more than half (55%) were injured in the street, while one-third were hurt on the sidewalk.

The report pushed for more training and education about e-scooter operation and safety to prevent injuries, advising that, “These educational messages should emphasize both wearing a helmet and maintaining a safe speed while riding an e-scooter.” And these PSAs should target riders ages 18 to 29, in particular, as nearly half of all injuries were reported in young adults, and more than one in four (29%) victims had consumed alcohol within 12 hours of crashing. As it stands, many of the scooter companies offer instructional videos on their apps — such as Lime’s “How to Lime” clip — but riders aren’t required to watch them before taking a spin.

Nick Shapiro, Lime’s vice president and Head of Trust and Safety, told MarketWatch in an emailed statement that, “Lime’s highest priority is the safety of our riders, and we advance this through rider education, community engagement, product innovation and policy development.” He added that, “we appreciate UCSF’s attention on this important topic and remain committed to ensuring safe rides for all users.” Reps for Bird were not immediately available for comment.

Motorized scooters from companies such as Bird, Lime and the Ford-owned Spin have been appearing all over the country, generally charging users anywhere from 15 cents to $1 a minute to rent e-scooters docked throughout an urban area, which can zip around as fast as 15 miles an hour. (The average speed of most city bicycle riders is about the same, although one can hit 20 miles an hour when speeding down a hill.)

The global e-scooter market is expected to hit $41.98 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research, Inc. And that’s spurring ride-share heavyweights like Lyft and Uber to get in on the action. Uber and Alphabet invested $335 million in Lime in 2018, and Lyft has rolled out its own motorized scooters in cities including Austin, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.

But the rapid expansion of e-scooters is also revving up safety concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 3,300 scooter-related injuries in 2016, and 25% of them occurred to the head and face. After the Bird scooter landed in Memphis, local doctors reported an increase in emergency department visits for head and face injuries, which were related to e-scooters. Again, many riders were not wearing helmets. After a 26-year-old Nashville resident died in a e-scooter accident in May 2019, the city’s mayor David Briley said he would recommend banning them. Chattanooga, Tenn. went ahead and enacted a six-month ban on dockless electric scooters and bikes.

A handful of e-scooter riders have also died in the U.S. after colliding with cars in Austin and Washington, D.C., while a Dallas man was killed after falling off his scooter while riding home from work. Last July, British YouTube star Emily Hartridge, who presented the online series “10 Reasons Why,” was killed in a collision with a truck, becoming the U.K.’s first death involving an e-scooter. She was 35.

But a Portland, Ore., study published in January 2019 also found that scooter safety risks were no worse than those found in other modes of city transportation. In fact, scooter-related injuries (including injuries from non-motorized scooters) only accounted for about 5% of the estimated 3,220 of total traffic crash injury visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers. And while scooters were involved in 176 ER visits, that was less than half of the 429 visits for bicycle-related mishaps.

 The Berlin Spectator June 18, 2020

Originally posted at https://berlinspectator.com/2020/06/18/berlin-police-log-high-number-of-e-scooter-accidents/

Berlin Police Log High Number of E-Scooter Accidents

By Imanuel Marcus

Berlin’s Police Department is sounding the alarm. Too many e-scooter users cause accidents. Serious injuries and even one death were reported. Besides, people do not seem to know the rules.

A year ago, on June 15th, 2019, the use of e-scooters on the streets of Berlin was approved. Since, several rental companies have popped up. They place e-scooters on the streets. Their customers locate them in apps, rent them and get going.

Flip Side

The positive side of the coin is obvious: Individuals, including tourists, can move around in Berlin easily. Taking e-scooter rides is fun indeed. But there is a flip side. The Berlin Police Department just released numbers that show there is a problem.

From June 15th, 2019 to March 31st, 2020, there were 354 accidents that involved e-scooters. One person died, 38 individuals were injured severely, while 182 persons sustained light injuries, according to those statistics mentioned by German-language media.

E-Scooter Rules

In the same time period, police in the German capital distributed as many as 3,340 tickets to e-scooter riders because of infractions they were responsible for. As it turns out, many e-scooter enthusiasts do not know there are rules. And those who know do not seem to care much.

These are some of the rules:

Riding e-scooters on sidewalks is prohibited. More than 1,000 persons were caught doing so anyway.

E-scooters need to be parked in an orderly manner where they do not obstruct pedestrians. Nine hundred people got tickets for choosing bad spots.

E-scooters are vehicles the use of which is not allowed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police gave out 280 tickets to drunk individuals who rode those vehicles anyway.

All general traffic rules need to be adhered to. Too many people did not. For instance, red lights were taken, cell phones were used while riding, people rode through pedestrian zones.

E-scooters may not be used by more than one person.

Head Injuries

Making people aware of the fact that e-scooters are not toys, but vehicles propelled by electric motors is the responsibility of the companies that rent them out. Adding clear instructions to the apps is one way of doing it. The thing is that riding those e-scooters is more difficult and requires more attention that some people seem to believe.

In January, Berlin’s Charité university hospital came up with statistics regarding e-scooter accidents for July of 2019. More than half of all accident victims sustained head injuries. Many wounds on feet needed to be treated. The same applied to broken legs, arms and hands.

Foregone Conclusion

During the first three months of the ongoing Corona crisis, most rental e-scooters disappeared from the streets of Berlin. Now they are back. Renting them is rather expensive. An 8-kilometer trip (5 miles) can cost 12 Euro (13.50 U.S. Dollars or 10.75 Pounds Sterling).

The Berlin Police Department said its officers would continue monitoring e-scooter users. It is a foregone conclusion that more tickets will be distributed to those who do not behave.

Singapore Press July 26, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/e-scooter-rider-who-knocked-down-woman-ordered-to-pay-damages-lawyer-says-he

E-scooter rider who knocked down woman refuses to pay over $445,000 in damages as he can’t afford it, says lawyer

Nicholas Ting Nai Jie caused Madam Ang Liu Kiow to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016.

Nicholas Ting Nai Jie caused Madam Ang Liu Kiow to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016.PHOTOS: ST FILE

Published Jul 26, 2020, 8:19 pm SGT

Selina Lum

Law Correspondent

SINGAPORE – A man who caused a female pedestrian to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016 has been ordered to pay her damages of over $445,000.

Madam Ang Liu Kiow, a 57-year-old mother of three, is still unable to speak, read or write nearly four years after the accident and needs help in daily activities such as dressing, using the toilet and eating.

For more background:

Read the AODA Alliance’s July 8, 2020 brief to the City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee, already endorsed by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and the March of Dimes of Canada

Read the open letter to all Ontario municipal councils from 11 major disability organizations, opposing e-scooters in Ontario, and

Read the AODA Alliance’s July 10, 2020 news release explaining what happened at the July 9, 2020 meeting of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee where the AODA Alliance and others presented on this issue.

Visit the AODA Alliance e-scooters web page.



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More Overwhelming Proof that Electric Scooters Endanger Public Safety


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Web: http://www.aodaalliance.org Email: [email protected] Twitter: @aodaalliance Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aodaalliance/

July 27, 2020

SUMMARY

On the eve of Toronto City Council considering the question of whether to allow electric scooters in Canadas largest city, here is yet more overwhelming proof that electric scooters pose a danger to the safety of the public. We set out a sampling of four news articles below. A CBC News July 21, 2020 report showed a troubling increase in serious personal injuries in Calgary, resulting in hospital emergency room visits, due to e-scooters. A January 11, 2020 report in MarketWatch documented is entitled Electric scooter injuries jumped 222% over the past four years. The Berlin Spectator June 18, 2020 reported on serious injuries in Berlin, Germany, leading police to sound the alarm. A July 26, 2020 report in the Singapore Press is entitled E-scooter rider who knocked down woman refuses to pay over $445,000 in damages as he can’t afford it, says lawyer.

If it is so well established that e-scooters endanger public safety, not to mention accessibility for people with disabilities, why is Toronto City Council even talking about the possibility of conducting a pilot with e-scooters? What is the purpose of a pilot? To see if Torontonians will get injured? We know they will. There is no need to subject them to e-scooters to find that out. Should Toronto conduct a pilot to find out if it will cost the public money to allow e-scooters? We know it will. Do we need a pilot to find out that Torontos law enforcement officers dont have the time and resources to enforce proper conduct by those silently racing around on e-scooters? The City knows that they lack sufficient law enforcement capacity right now, without piling e-scooters onto their responsibilities.

The lead proponents of a pilot are the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies. They stand to make piles of money from a new market, without bearing the costs. They no doubt want a pilot to try to get a foothold on a new market for their product, hoping that if e-scooters are allowed, it would be harder to get them banned.

An e-scooter is a motor vehicle, pure and simple. Yet the corporate lobbyists for the e-scooter rental companies want them treated as if they were not. That would leave public safety less protected.

We will all be watching Toronto City Council tomorrow, July 28, 2020, starting at 9:30 a.m., where its meeting is streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIKd97OqGeM

It is quite an irony that Toronto City Council has decided to now discuss the possibility of creating this new danger to the public including people with disabilities. On Sunday, July 26, 2020, the US celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Americans with disabilities focused on the progress theyve made and the barriers yet to be removed for people with disabilities. The US is years ahead of Toronto, of Ontario and of Canada on inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.

The fight for the Americans with Disabilities Act inspired a generation of disability advocates around the world, including right here in Ontario, to fight for new disability rights laws. Yet here we are, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, having to battle to avoid the silent menace that e-scooters present to all innocent pedestrians, including those with disabilities.

Lets learn from the experience of Montreal, which called off its e-scooter pilot. Lets learn from the experience of places like Calgary, Berlin, Singapore and several US cities, which have subjected so many of their residents to undue danger from e-scooters. Lets learn from their mistakes, rather than repeating them.

Tell Toronto City Council to protect public safety rather than corporate lobbyists profits. City Councillors contact information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/council/members-of-council/

MORE DETAILS

CBC News July 21, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/injuries-rise-with-popularity-escooters-calgary-streets-1.5657159

Injuries rise with popularity of e-scooters on Calgary streets

Rider says he looked back and saw his girlfriend on the ground
Elissa Carpenter · CBC News · Posted: Jul 21, 2020 10:58 AM MT | Last Updated: July 21

A Calgary emergency room doctor says rider injuries led to almost 700 emergency-room and urgent-care visits last summer in Calgary. (CBC)

A Calgary couple is telling a cautionary tale involving an ambulance ride, a broken jaw and surgery.

Paul Fox and his girlfriend rented electric scooters Sunday evening. Both had used the ride-share scooters before, but this time something went wrong.

“We were driving the scooters and then I look back and she is just laying there” Fox told CBC News.

His girlfriend was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery for a broken jaw.

Fox was shocked when the surgeon told him he had seen six of the same kind of injury in recent days.

“It’s been the same mechanics of the injury. All jaw injuries within the last week ” Fox said.

2019 Calgarians wheel into hospitals by the dozen with injuries from new e-scooters 2019 | Calgary e-scooters used nearly 10,000 times per day in August The department head for emergency medicine in the city isn’t surprised.

Dr. Eddy Lang studied scooter-related injuries last fall after Calgary’s first season of the ride-share program.

“We saw almost 700 emergency-room and urgent-care visits of adults and children with scooter-related injuries last year,” Lang said.

By comparison, about 2,000 people a year are injured while cycling.

“You also have to keep the denominator in mind, if you will ” Lang said. “The number of Calgarians who use bicycles on a regular basis probably far exceeds the number of scooter users.”

Injuries to head, neck and face most common
Lang says the most common injuries were head, neck and face.

“Last year, we studied this in detail and looked at about 30 cases that were transported to hospital by ambulance. The common denominator was speed.”

Lang says the scooters are a great way to see the city or commute quickly to work, but points out they are a motorized vehicle and should be treated as such. He recommends helmet use, staying away from large crowds and riding sober.

With a third company joining the program this year, there are now about 2,500 scooters on the streets.

A second injury study is coming in the fall.
MarketWatch January 11, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-first-e-scooter-ride-will-probably-land-you-in-the-hospital-2019-05-03 Electric scooter injuries jumped 222% over the past four years
And your first e-scooter ride will probably land you in the hospital, research suggests

Published: Jan. 11, 2020 at 9:36 a.m. ET

By Nicole Lyn Pesce

Many e-scooter riders suffered broken arms and head traumas. XTREKX/ISTOCK

More Americans are taking electric scooters for a spin and its been a bumpy ride.

In fact, the number of e-scooter-related injuries jumped 222% between 2014 and 2018, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery, adding up to almost 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises being treated in emergency rooms across the country.

And those injuries spiked over that last year, in particular, jumping 83% from 8,016 in 2017 to 14,651 in 2018.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco analyzed U.S. government data on nonfatal injuries treated in ERs, and reported a dramatic increase in injuries and admissions associated with e-scooter use, which has become a popular form of alternative transportation across the U.S.

And the number of hospital admissions jumped 365% to almost 3,300 cases between 2014 and 2018, although most injured riders overall werent hospitalized. E-scooter riders aged 18 to 34 were also the most likely to be injured.

This study was limited in that it didnt have details about collision scenarios, alcohol use or helmet use for each injury report, but two studies published last year reported that between 95% and 98% of injured e-scooter riders werent wearing helmets.

We hope to raise awareness that riders should wear helmets and ride safely, lead author Dr. Benjamin Breyer from the University of California, San Francisco told the Associated Press.

(Related: Famous British YouTuber dies in electric scooter accident)

This is the latest report to raise concerns about the rising number of e-scooter riders hitting the roads and sidewalks, in some cases before the riders have been properly trained to use the vehicle safely. In fact, one in three people injured on e-scooters gets hurt during their very first ride, according to a government safety report released last May.

The CDC and the Austin Public Health department analyzed emergency department data from nine Austin hospitals between September and November 2018.

The citys almost 1 million people had access to about 14,000 dockless electric scooters, and the study counted 192 e-scooter-related injuries during those three months alone. Two were non-riders (a pedestrian and a cyclist), and the remaining 190 were navigating the motorized scooter at the time. But this report probably underestimated the true number of injuries, the authors noted, because it didnt include urgent care centers or primary care physicians offices.

And one in three of those injured was riding an e-scooter for the first time. In fact, most of those who landed in the hospital were novices; about 63% had ridden just nine times or less before getting hurt.

Almost half of the accidents resulted in head injuries, as only one of the riders was wearing a helmet. The other most common injuries were to the upper limbs, including the arms, shoulders, wrists and hands (70%); the lower limbs, including the legs, knees, ankles and feet (55%); as well as the chest and abdomen (18%).

Many injured e-scooter riders were speeding and/or not wearing helmets.

Most of the accidents actually didnt involve cars; only 10% of injured riders were hit by motor vehicles. Rather, half (50%) reported their accidents resulted from road conditions such as potholes and cracks. More than a third admitted they crashed while going too fast, and 10% said they hit a curb. Just under one in five (19%) claimed that their scooter malfunctioned. And more than half (55%) were injured in the street, while one-third were hurt on the sidewalk.

The report pushed for more training and education about e-scooter operation and safety to prevent injuries, advising that, These educational messages should emphasize both wearing a helmet and maintaining a safe speed while riding an e-scooter. And these PSAs should target riders ages 18 to 29, in particular, as nearly half of all injuries were reported in young adults, and more than one in four (29%) victims had consumed alcohol within 12 hours of crashing. As it stands, many of the scooter companies offer instructional videos on their apps such as Limes How to Lime clip but riders arent required to watch them before taking a spin.

Nick Shapiro, Limes vice president and Head of Trust and Safety, told MarketWatch in an emailed statement that, Limes highest priority is the safety of our riders, and we advance this through rider education, community engagement, product innovation and policy development. He added that, we appreciate UCSFs attention on this important topic and remain committed to ensuring safe rides for all users. Reps for Bird were not immediately available for comment.

Motorized scooters from companies such as Bird, Lime and the Ford-owned Spin have been appearing all over the country, generally charging users anywhere from 15 cents to $1 a minute to rent e-scooters docked throughout an urban area, which can zip around as fast as 15 miles an hour. (The average speed of most city bicycle riders is about the same, although one can hit 20 miles an hour when speeding down a hill.)

The global e-scooter market is expected to hit $41.98 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research, Inc. And thats spurring ride-share heavyweights like Lyft and Uber to get in on the action. Uber and Alphabet invested $335 million in Lime in 2018, and Lyft has rolled out its own motorized scooters in cities including Austin, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C.

But the rapid expansion of e-scooters is also revving up safety concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 3,300 scooter-related injuries in 2016, and 25% of them occurred to the head and face. After the Bird scooter landed in Memphis, local doctors reported an increase in emergency department visits for head and face injuries, which were related to e-scooters. Again, many riders were not wearing helmets. After a 26-year-old Nashville resident died in a e-scooter accident in May 2019, the citys mayor David Briley said he would recommend banning them. Chattanooga, Tenn. went ahead and enacted a six-month ban on dockless electric scooters and bikes.

A handful of e-scooter riders have also died in the U.S. after colliding with cars in Austin and Washington, D.C., while a Dallas man was killed after falling off his scooter while riding home from work. Last July, British YouTube star Emily Hartridge, who presented the online series 10 Reasons Why, was killed in a collision with a truck, becoming the U.K.s first death involving an e-scooter. She was 35.

But a Portland, Ore., study published in January 2019 also found that scooter safety risks were no worse than those found in other modes of city transportation. In fact, scooter-related injuries (including injuries from non-motorized scooters) only accounted for about 5% of the estimated 3,220 of total traffic crash injury visits to emergency rooms and urgent care centers. And while scooters were involved in 176 ER visits, that was less than half of the 429 visits for bicycle-related mishaps.

The Berlin Spectator June 18, 2020

Originally posted at https://berlinspectator.com/2020/06/18/berlin-police-log-high-number-of-e-scooter-accidents/ Berlin Police Log High Number of E-Scooter Accidents By Imanuel Marcus

Berlins Police Department is sounding the alarm. Too many e-scooter users cause accidents. Serious injuries and even one death were reported. Besides, people do not seem to know the rules.

A year ago, on June 15th, 2019, the use of e-scooters on the streets of Berlin was approved. Since, several rental companies have popped up. They place e-scooters on the streets. Their customers locate them in apps, rent them and get going.

Flip Side

The positive side of the coin is obvious: Individuals, including tourists, can move around in Berlin easily. Taking e-scooter rides is fun indeed. But there is a flip side. The Berlin Police Department just released numbers that show there is a problem.

From June 15th, 2019 to March 31st, 2020, there were 354 accidents that involved e-scooters. One person died, 38 individuals were injured severely, while 182 persons sustained light injuries, according to those statistics mentioned by German-language media.

E-Scooter Rules

In the same time period, police in the German capital distributed as many as 3,340 tickets to e-scooter riders because of infractions they were responsible for. As it turns out, many e-scooter enthusiasts do not know there are rules. And those who know do not seem to care much.

These are some of the rules:

Riding e-scooters on sidewalks is prohibited. More than 1,000 persons were caught doing so anyway.
E-scooters need to be parked in an orderly manner where they do not obstruct pedestrians. Nine hundred people got tickets for choosing bad spots.
E-scooters are vehicles the use of which is not allowed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police gave out 280 tickets to drunk individuals who rode those vehicles anyway.
All general traffic rules need to be adhered to. Too many people did not. For instance, red lights were taken, cell phones were used while riding, people rode through pedestrian zones. E-scooters may not be used by more than one person.

Head Injuries

Making people aware of the fact that e-scooters are not toys, but vehicles propelled by electric motors is the responsibility of the companies that rent them out. Adding clear instructions to the apps is one way of doing it. The thing is that riding those e-scooters is more difficult and requires more attention that some people seem to believe.

In January, Berlins Charité university hospital came up with statistics regarding e-scooter accidents for July of 2019. More than half of all accident victims sustained head injuries. Many wounds on feet needed to be treated. The same applied to broken legs, arms and hands.

Foregone Conclusion

During the first three months of the ongoing Corona crisis, most rental e-scooters disappeared from the streets of Berlin. Now they are back. Renting them is rather expensive. An 8-kilometer trip (5 miles) can cost 12 Euro (13.50 U.S. Dollars or 10.75 Pounds Sterling).

The Berlin Police Department said its officers would continue monitoring e-scooter users. It is a foregone conclusion that more tickets will be distributed to those who do not behave.

Singapore Press July 26, 2020

Originally posted at https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/e-scooter-rider-who-knocked-down-woman-ordered-to-pay-damages-lawyer-says-he E-scooter rider who knocked down woman refuses to pay over $445,000 in damages as he can’t afford it, says lawyer

Nicholas Ting Nai Jie caused Madam Ang Liu Kiow to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016.
Nicholas Ting Nai Jie caused Madam Ang Liu Kiow to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016.PHOTOS: ST FILE

Published Jul 26, 2020, 8:19 pm SGT

Selina Lum
Law Correspondent

SINGAPORE – A man who caused a female pedestrian to suffer severe brain injuries after he hit her while riding his electric scooter in 2016 has been ordered to pay her damages of over $445,000.

Madam Ang Liu Kiow, a 57-year-old mother of three, is still unable to speak, read or write nearly four years after the accident and needs help in daily activities such as dressing, using the toilet and eating.

For more background:

Read the AODA Alliances July 8, 2020 brief to the City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee, already endorsed by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and the March of Dimes of Canada

Read the open letter to all Ontario municipal councils from 11 major disability organizations, opposing e-scooters in Ontario, and

Read the AODA Alliances July 10, 2020 news release explaining what happened at the July 9, 2020 meeting of Torontos Infrastructure and Environment Committee where the AODA Alliance and others presented on this issue.

Visit the AODA Alliance e-scooters web page.




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Physical Distancing and Building Design After the COVID-19 Pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we cheer ourselves by thinking of future socializing in-person. We also think about returning to work or activities we love. These hopes help us through the challenges of physical distancing. Moreover, these challenges show us that we can be more flexible or more creative than we thought we could. For instance, structures and spaces have adapted to physical distancing requirements during the pandemic. Many of these adaptations are also practices that make spaces more accessible for citizens with disabilities. Governments are mandating new guidelines for how people arrange or move through buildings and other spaces. In the post-COVID-19 future, more people may recognize the value of adapting spaces to meet citizens’ diverse needs. Consequently, more architects may think differently about physical distancing and building design after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physical Distancing and Building Design After the COVID-19 Pandemic

As essential businesses encourage physical distancing behaviours, some are creating protocols mandating how far apart people should be. For instance, some organizations have moved work stations so that workers are more than two metres apart. Likewise, in-person customer service providers are placing markers so that people know how far apart to stand in lines. In short, people out in public are learning to think differently about the spaces they travel through. Workers and customers need more open space around them. For example, organizations benefit from:

Moreover, these and other spacing requirements also remove physical accessibility barriers. Spaces with room for physical distancing also have more room for people to move through them with:

Accessible Building Features Benefit Everyone

Alternatively, features that make buildings accessible also help keep people safe during the pandemic. For example, automatic doors allow people to enter buildings without touching the doors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this feature helps to keep people of all abilities safe from the virus.

People are becoming accustomed to new requirements governing the physical layout of buildings. Likewise, people may also recognize that accessible building features benefit everyone. As a result, architects may start to think differently about the importance of including accessible features in new buildings they design after the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, they may choose to make aisles and doorways wider, increase colour contrast, and install automatic doors. In addition, they may also include more accessible features in their designs, such as:

  • Lifts or elevators whenever there are stairs
  • Accessible public washrooms
  • Good lighting
  • Visual fire alarms
  • Signage that includes:
    • Detailed information
    • Large print and Braille
    • Clear language or pictures

In the same way that people have adapted to physical distancing, they can also adapt to buildings designed in accessible ways.




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Coronavirus: COVID-19 drives surge of online shopping




The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in thousands of people shying away from malls and in-person retailers due to concerns over limiting the spread of the coronavirus and as a result, online shopping companies are seeing a surge of business. With back-to-school around the corner in the U.S., some consumer experts expect another surge in July…



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