Sidewalks have become more crowded with the increased popularity of outdoor dining, making it more difficult for people with disabilities to navigate the city
During D.C.’s annual Pride weekend, Katie Bruckmann and a friend joined the large crowds Saturday evening on U Street NW. Colorful decorations celebrating the LGBT+ community dotted the road and sidewalks, and shops and restaurants welcomed festive patrons who stayed home last year because of the coronavirus.
Bruckmann is a wheelchair user and part of at least 12 percent of D.C. adult residents with a mobility disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During Pride, she noticed some restaurants blocking curb cuts to create more space for outdoor dining, making it harder for her to get back on the sidewalk when she needed. When she was on the sidewalk, some of the already narrow walkways were congested with large signs.
“It was so much fun, so lively,” Bruckmann said. “But there were certain places that we would have liked to have gone to that we couldn’t. That was disappointing.”