Philadelphia sidewalks are the target of a federal lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia sidewalks are the target of a lawsuit filed last week by a group of people with disabilities and advocacy groups. They want the city to make repairs, so people who use wheelchairs or canes can get around without risking injury.

“Philadelphia’s sidewalks are dilapidated, disintegrating and teeming with obstacles,” the lawsuit stated, leaving people with mobility issues unable to get around.

Attorney David Ferleger says curb ramps at some intersections are crumbling, too steep or missing altogether.

“When you’re in a wheelchair, or a blind person using a cane, those few inches are as if they were a mountain,” he said.

The individual plaintiffs describe getting injured while trying to navigate the faulty ramps, or hitting bumps, cracks and obstructions.

They say the city is obligated under federal law to meet certain design standards and has failed to do so for decades.

In fact, they allege that instead of complying with a previous court order to fix the problems, the city has a policy of only making repairs if there’s a complaint; and Ferleger says even that doesn’t work.

“When people with disabilities have asked, through dialing 311 or otherwise, they’re ignored,” he added.

The city has declined comment.

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