By: Richard Bernstein 6/14/13 This was a memorable week in our fight to eradicate bullying from Michigan’s schools. As the school year comes to a...
By Richard Bernstein It was a great honor to have recently returned from traveling to London to work with Chabad Lubavitch UK. Chabad Lubavitch is...
A car accident can be a traumatic experience, no matter how serious. Even experienced, cautious drivers can be involved in accidents due to the negligent...
The Detroit News
By Maureen Feighan
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
DETROIT -- Three disabled Metro Detroit residents are suing the Road Commission for Oakland County, alleging that the agency's plan to replace several busy intersections with a series of roundabouts in West Bloomfield violates the American with Disabilities Act.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Garret Gersin of Oak Park, Jason Turkish of Huntington Woods and Michael Harris of Westland allege that the road commission's plan to construct at least three roundabouts -- traffic circles without traffic signals -- fails to provide a safe mechanism for disabled people to cross the street, a violation of Title II of the disabilities act.
They're seeking an injunction until the commission comes up with an acceptable plan to make the intersections accessible. Options include installing a pedestrian bridge or a pedestrian-activated traffic signal.
"It is physically impossible for a blind person to cross a roundabout," said Richard Bernstein, the plaintiffs' attorney, who is blind. "Blind people cannot cross an intersection without a traffic-control device. There must be a traffic-control device, because if you don't have one, how do you know if the cars are coming or not coming?"
Roundabouts are becoming increasingly common in the United States and Metro Detroit. Eight are in the works in western Oakland County as part of the $100 million Northwestern Connector project.
Craig Bryson, a road commission spokesman, said the commission isn't unsympathetic to the disabled community's concerns, but the big picture needs to be considered.
He said studies have shown roundabouts reduce traffic fatalities at intersections as much as 90 percent and that the federal highway administration has released data showing pedestrian injuries and accidents also decrease.
Bernstein disagrees and said the same federal agency has acknowledged the need for roundabout improvements for blind pedestrians.
Visually Impaired Athlete Sues USA Triathlon
Richard Bernstein Challenges ABA for Discrimination Against Blind Law Students
Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Honors Richard Bernstein with Courage Award
Attorney Richard Bernstein Named Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Victory! Disabled Win Access to U-M Stadium