Louisville Metro Sweep for Access

Restaurants. Antique stores. Consignment shops. Bars. Hardware stores. Can a wheelchair get in? Bookstores. Hair salons. Banks. Bakeries. Do you have access? To coffee shops? Law offices?


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Photo of Santa Steve Snyder
Santa Steve Snyder

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Group canvasses 1200, 1300 blocks of Bardstown Road, finds most businesses still violating Disabilities Act

July 28, 2003 -- The vast majority of businesses open to the public in the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Bardstown Road still bar entrance to people in wheelchairs, 13 years after Pres. George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The "Christmas in July" event on Bardstown Road was a commemoration of the 13th anniversary of the July 26 signing of that law.

photo of Fred Otto as Business Elf
Business Elf
David Miller

Members of Louisville MetroSweep for Access canvassed businesses in the two-block stretch Monday morning to see if they were accessible to wheelchair users, as required by the 1990 federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Only 5 businesses in a two and a half-block stretch had entrances the group could use. Most businesses got "no access" stickers and a packet of information from Santa" Steve Snyder and Business Elves David Miller, Brian Shofner and Fred Otto, all wheelchair users. Most business owners did not come out to talk with the group, and were left material in mail slots and stickers affixed to doors.

Starting in the middle of the 1200 block of Bardstown Rd., on the east side and traveling south, Santa and his crew found their entrance barred by steps at the Satin and Lace Boutique , Highlands Taproom , General Eccentric, Kashmir Indian Restaurant and Zigafoos. Ramsi's Cafe, at 1293 Bardstown Road, did have an accessible entrance. But both Carmicheal's Books and Heine Brothers had steps barring entrance. Gary Heine's Frankfort Ave. coffee shop came under pressure from the group earlier this year, and that location has now installed an automatic door and lowered its threshold.

Crossing Longest Ave. onto the 1300 block, the group found that National City Bank had a ramp, but MetroSweep members could not open the two sets of heavy doors.

The Bristol Bar & Grille, at 1321 Bardstown Road, had an accessible entrance. But the next establishments, the Shoppes On The Alley (1325 Bardstown Rd. housing the Butterfly Garden restaurant), and Runako Gallery, at 1327 Bardstown Rd, barred entrance -- they had banks of steps, even though large areas devoted to gardens and landscaping allow ample room to construct a ramp for an accessible entrance.

The building housing Dugen Insurance & Cherokee Triangle Counseling was inaccessible. But to its south, the BB&T bank gave the group a warm welcome with its set of automatic doors and flat entrance.

At David Friedlander Antiques in the next block, at 1341 Bardstown Rd., the group talked at length with the proprietor, who tried to suggest that a portable ramp, kept inside, would suffice. The group pointed out that there was plenty of room for a permanent concrete ramp.

The group says it is planning further action regarding these businesses, although it is too early to tell what form that action will take.

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