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MUNI ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MAAC)
Minutes of October 18, 2007
Les Clark (Chair), Janet Copriviza, Edward Evans, Melvin Galloway (ARC), Barbara George (JLMB), Randall Glock, Ed Harley, Jean Kempf, Miro Kielbus (ASL Community), Dave Longa, Jeanne Lynch, Bruce Morgan, Bruce Oka, Arden Wheeler
Rae Chamberlain (excused), Jean Ellis-Jones (TWU250A), Paul Fichera (Secretary), Roger Rose (excused), Vernon Smith (Vice-Chair)
Accessible Services Staff Present:
Jamie Osborne, Virginia Rathke, Annette Williams
Sherri Anderson (SFMTA Safety and Health), Beth Berensen (Lighthouse), John Duchene, Patricia Henry (Passenger Services), Mohammed Hosny (SFMTA Finance), Jim Lowe (Muni Planning), Ursula Steck
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:04PM.
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 September MAAC meeting:
The minutes for the September 20, 2007 MAAC meeting were approved with corrections.
Comments from the Chair
MAAC Chair, Les Clark, expressed appreciation for the invitation to the Muni Joint Labor Management Board (JLMB) Driver Safety Awards Banquet. He announced that with the cooperation of the Transit Workers’ Union, he has seen a marked improvement of LRV operators making transfer point announcements.
MAAC Access Recognition Award Presentation: Patricia Henry
MAAC Housekeeping Proposal: Adjust MAAC Bylaws to increase maximum membership to 20 people
Accessible Services has been receiving an increased numbers of people wishing to join MAAC. Members discussed the issue of raising the membership limits from 16 to 20 members. After much discussion, it was determined that the max number of members should be changed to 21. This odd number was chosen because it would reduce the probability of an evenly split committee on a contentious issue. Members approved the increase in maximum membership to 21.
MAAC Member Nominations, Randall Glock and Roger Rose
Hyde and Turk Bus Shelter Review
Jamie Osborne reviewed the issue of the Bus Shelter at Hyde and Turk that was removed in mid July 2007. He informed the committee that a hearing regarding the replacement of the shelter was scheduled for October 26th at 10AM. He gave specific information about the location of the hearing and encouraged MAAC members who were interested in the outcome of the issue to attend the hearing.
The shelter was adjacent to the Turk-Hyde Mini Park. The shelter was removed because members of a neighborhood housing organization complained that it was endangering residents and children who used the park by facilitating loitering, vagrancy, illegal drug sales and drug usage.
MAAC members and Muni Planning staff provided their perspectives on the issue. They indicated that seniors and people with disabilities who live in the neighborhood or use the transit stop to transfer between Muni lines needed the shelter and seating. They noted that the problem was endemic of the Tenderloin neighborhood and would not decrease with the removal of the shelter. Members suggested that the Tenderloin police force should stop the illegal activities and that riders who needed seating and shelter should not be penalized by this law enforcement issue.
Members unanimously requested that a letter be written on their behalf in support of replacing shelter.
Les Clark, MAAC Problem Solving Part 4: POOR ATTITUDES WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Les Clark introduced the four MAAC goal priority that was identified in previous meetings. He outlined the problem that some Muni operators and staff discriminate and treat senior and disabled riders poorly because of their age or access needs.
MAAC members and guests offered their observations about this issue:
Les Clark - If MAAC members find themselves in this situation that they should immediately take down the operator’s vehicle number and contact 311 | 415-701-2311, Muni Passenger Services 415-923-6148 or Accessible Services 415-701-4485.
Ed Evans – A greater scope of training needs to be done so that operators are able to appropriately act with seniors and people with disabilities.
Jeanne Lynch – We should be in better communication with the union. It would be a good idea if a delegation from MAAC went to a union meeting and gave a presentation on how operators are doing.
Ursula Steck – Operator’s time schedules put them in a high pressure situation. Their poor attitudes towards wheelchair users often reflect this stress.
Bruce Morgan – Drivers may feel that boarding disabled riders make them late and cause them to be penalized by their line inspectors.
Barbara George – A training where we role play and reverse the roles of people with disabilities and the operators would help operators better understand access issues. Disability awareness should have a greater focus in the training. A representative from MAAC should sit with each division when operator schedules are being approved.
Ed Evans – Poor operator attitudes result from negative interactions with senior and disabled riders. We should find resources to better train the senior and disabled communities about their responsibilities while riding.
Jeanne Lynch – I think that we need to update our Muni Manners video.
Bruce Morgan – We should create a resource to give to operators to remind them of their responsibilities.
Randall Glock – Some people have disabilities that make it difficult for them to be courteous. Operators should be trained to recognize mental health and psychological disabilities.
Barbara George – During training classes, operators should have exposure to people with different types of disabilities so they are more familiar with people’s needs. These are very complicated issues that really need to be addressed.
Bruce Oka, Strollers in wheelchair securement areas
MAAC member, Bruce Oka, reported that the SFMTA Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) had recently been discussing what options exist to make things easier for mother’s who take Muni with children in strollers. Mr. Oka is also a CAC member.
He requested that MAAC comment on the possibility of sharing access facilities on public transit vehicles with mothers who use strollers. Specifically, the CAC would like to change Muni policy to allow wheelchair securement areas to be utilized for positioning children in strollers while the vehicle is moving.
MAAC members gave Mr. Oka feedback to share with the CAC. Members overwhelmingly opposed this proposed policy change. They expressed their concerns that the mothers with strollers would not yield their spot in the wheelchair securement area to wheelchair users. Thus if this is allowed, wheelchair users may be denied service, because a stroller is in the securement area.
Muni staff indicated that although enforcement of this policy is not consistent from operator to operator, the policy has been in place to protect the child and ensure the safety of other riders. If these areas are open to other users, people will be encouraged to bring additional items, such as grocery carts, large baggage or furniture. They also felt that the policy should not be changed.
Pat Henry, ADA Complaints for July, August and September 2005-2007
Pat Henry and Jamie Osborne shared the complaint numbers for July, August and September 2005-2007 and answered ADA compliant and Muni passenger service questions with the Committee.
Ms. Henry encouraged people who make complaints to come to the hearing. She reported that it is a very effective way to make sure that operators are following the rules. She requested that people contact her at 415-923-6148 with ANY complaints (or commendations!) related to service for seniors and people with disabilities.
Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award Nominations
There were no nominations for the Muni Accessibility Advisory Recognition Award.
PLEASE NOTE: THE RECORDING FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE MINUTES WAS UNFORTUNATELY INCOMPLETE. PLEASE CONTACT MUNI ACCESSIBLE SERVICES IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR COMMENT, QUESTION OR ITEM FOR THE NEXT AGENDA INCLUDED IN THE MINUTES.
Member’s Questions and Comments
Items for Next Agenda:
At 2:45PM, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 15, 2007, at 1:00PM.
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