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MUNI ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MAAC)
Minutes of June 21, 2007
Les Clark (Chair), Janet Copriviza, Jean Ellis-Jones (TWU250A), Edward Evans, Melvin Galloway, Ed Harley, Jean Kempf, Jeanne Lynch (via speakerphone), Bruce Morgan, Bruce Oka, Arden Wheeler
Paul Fichera, Barbara George (JLMB), Dave Longa (Excused), Vernon Smith (Excused)
Accessible Services Staff Present:
Jamie Osborne, Marina Villena, Annette Williams
Steve Adams (Muni Service Planning), Stephanie Brooks, Ryan Glock, Jim Lowe (Muni Service Planning), Miro Kielbus (ASL Festival), Anthony Rosales (Muni), Ethel Silverstein
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:00PM.
Introductions were made in lieu of a roll call.
Reading and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Approval of the minutes from March MAAC meeting:
The minutes for the April 19, 2007 and May 17, 2007 MAAC meetings were approved with some corrections.
Comments from the Chair
MAAC Chair, Les Clark, reported that he, Vernon Smith, Jamie Osborne and Annette Williams met with York Kwan, of Green Division training, Frank Lum, ofGreen Division operations and Michael Postell, the Green Division union representative to discuss chronic complaints related to rail operators. Mr. Clark indicated that he felt the meeting to be very helpful and hoped that the problems that riders have been experiencing related to LRV operators not calling out stops would be decreasing.
Mr. Clark also reported that MAAC members were well represented at the celebration of Jewell McGinnis’ life on June 9th, 2007. He was proud of the MAAC turnout and was sure that Jewell would be happy.
He also noted that he had been riding the 9X-Bayshore Express line and had noticed that the Digital Voice Announcement System (DVAS) was not working correctly on all of the buses he rode. He hoped that MAAC officers could have similar meetings with other divisions as they had with Green Division to address accessibility problems. He recommended that MAAC members continue to submit their complaints to Accessible Services staff.
Anthony Rosales, MAAC Access Recognition Award Presentation
Anthony “Tony” Rosales, an operator of the 33-Stanyan line, was presented was an award of recognition from MAAC members. Mr. Rosales was nominated for the award by Roger Rose, who had proclaimed himself a member of the “Tony Fan Club.” Mr. Rose was unable to attend the June meeting, but had previously spoken highly of Mr. Rosales’ treatment of all his riders ,especially those with disabilities. Mr. Rosales thanked the committee for their recognition and noted that he tried to validate and treat with respect everyone who rode his bus.
Jim Lowe, Muni Service Planning, Update on Recent Route Changes
Jim Lowe introduced himself and described the Muni service changes that would go into effect on June 30. He described the new 20-Columbus line that would provide supplementary service in response to rider requests for additional service in the North Beach area. He also noted that the K-Ocean View and T-Third would be interlining. K and T line trains would switch their line designations at the Embarcadero station. Mr. Lowe also noted that the 10-Townsend would reestablish its service hours to run on weekends. The 82X-Presidio shuttle would be changing it route so that it runs only between Levi Plaza and the Caltrain station. Mr. Lowe took questions from members.
Les Clark, MAAC Problem Solving: Operators Not Loading People with Disabilities First
Les Clark introduced the second MAAC goal priority that was identified in previous meetings. He described the issue of boarding problems for people who use the wheelchair lift. It has been often reported that operators will allow crowds of people to board prior to deploying the lift. In the process, the bus becomes full and the wheelchair lift user is forced to wait for another bus. While the disabled rider waits for the next bus, the bus stop again becomes crowded and the rider is repeatedly denied service.
MAAC members and guests offered their observations about this issue:
Jean Ellis-Jones – “We discuss these issues on a case by case basis. In researching this issue, I have not found anything that requires operators to board riders with disabilities first. It is a courtesy to give people with disabilities preferential boarding – Not a rule. I did find that people with disabilities want to be treated equally. Maybe we need to address this issue further.”
Jeanne Lynch – “I am now a wheelchair user. I am very lucky for my experiences with MAAC and the Paratransit Coordinating Committee (PCC) as they have made me very familiar with the needs of people who use wheelchairs. I think that people with disabilities need to be considered a priority.”
Ed Evans – “Being treated equally does not mean that we should all be directed to the back door. When the buses and stops are crowded, there is a flood of people boarding in front of me. I cannot board at the back of the bus. These conditions simply prevent people with disabilities from getting on the bus.”
Jean Ellis-Jones – “Maurice Wilson used to hold classes that provided a constant dialogue between operators and the disabled community. I think that is helpful for everyone.”
Bruce Oka –“Muni’s policy is a recommendation, not a hard-fast rule. I think that all riders should be treated equally.”
Annette Williams – “We had a series of public outreach posters that encouraged non-disabled riders to allow people with disabilities to board first. Part of the problem is education of the riders. Do we want to do another outreach campaign?”
Bruce Morgan – “I think that announcements asking people to be considerate would be helpful.”
Miro Keilbus – “This is an impossible situation. People really want to board the bus. They are emotional and stressed. I think that a strict rule that mandates priority boarding may just make nondisabled riders more angry and not solve the problem.”
Accessible Designs for New Bus Shelters
Gail Stein, with SFMTA Real Estate, has been the project manager for the bidding process for the Muni Shelter Advertising Contract. She introduced the process and gave MAAC members an update the agencies progress. Jamie Osborne, with Accessible Services, gave a brief slide presentation of the proposed Muni shelter designs. He described the various access features that were built into the designs. He answered questions from members and guests.
July 4th Street Closings / Route Changes Review
Jamie Osborne and Steve Adams, with Muni Service Planning, described all of the temporary route changes and street closures during the July 4th 2007 celebration along San Francisco’s Northeast waterfront. Accessible Services will be sending an update to riders with disabilities that describes the specific changes. They took questions about the changes from the committee.
Pat Henry, ADA Complaints for May 2005-2007
Pat Henry was unable to attend the June MAAC meeting. In her place, Jamie Osborne shared the complaint numbers for May 2005-2007 and answered ADA compliant questions with the committee. Mr. Osborne requested that in light of the discussion with Muni rail training and operations staff, committee members give him specific information about rail operators not calling transfer points for people with visual disabilities.
Nominations for Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award
There were no new nominations for the access award.
Member’s Questions and Comments
1. Jeanne Lynch – “I want to thank Mr. Oka and Ms. Kempf for their participation in the demonstration in support of keeping bicycles off of the sidewalk at Arguello and Geary. The Richmond district is treated as a stepchild in relation to the services for people with disabilities. Also, what can we do to increase the public’s awareness of the great drivers that are out there? These people should be recognized for the work that they do.”
2. Ed Evans – “In the Tenderloin, we have six signs that we would like to have made that address issues of sidewalk safety. However, we received a note from the MTA that they are not going to pay $648 for these signs. What is $648 to the M-T-A?”
3. Arden Wheeler – “I’m still concerned about the smoking in bus shelters. I called the San Francisco Police Department to report an incident of people smoking in the shelter. The next day, they were gone. I suggest that MAAC members call the SFPD to report this happening.”
4. Jan Coprivisa – “I’ve witnessed people smoking in the shelters.”
1. Ethel Silverstein – “The new low-floor buses are poorly designed. I did not see support poles or anywhere to grab throughout the whole vehicle. When I tried to get off the bus, the operator said she lowered the bus as low as it could go, but I was terrified. The step from the bus to the pavement was too high!”
2. Ryan G. – “I appreciate all the work that SFMTA does to make sure that the system is accessible. The low floor buses are new and will take a while to get used to. I think that SFMTA really needs to act and solve the issue of crowded conditions on the trains and buses, as these create significant access problems for people with disabilities.”
Items for Next Agenda:
1. Les Clark – “I think that we should nominate Miro Keilbus for full MAAC membership.”
2. Ed Evans – “Where are we with the allowing Disabled FastPass holders to ride BART?”
There were no announcements.
At 2:55PM, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, 2007, at 1:00PM.
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