[nfbmi-talk] Today's Airport Hearing
Terry D. Eagle
terrydeagle at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 17 12:13:50 UTC 2016
Now it is time to fight the discrimination that really impacts the daily
lives of blind persons, like discrimination in employment with inaccessible
state websites and the corrupt hiring of bedfellows, so the blind can even
afford to travel, beyond the few who live and travel on government pensions
and SSDI benefits.
From: nfbmi-talk [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Fred
Wurtzel via nfbmi-talk
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 10:33 PM
To: NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Fred Wurtzel <f.wurtzel at att.net>
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Today's Airport Hearing
Hello Michigan Federationists,
Today 15 or 20 federationists showed up in federal court. We were great!
Things are really coming to a climax. The airport has sent its attorneys to
federal court to defend what we, NFB Michigan have identified as
discriminatory and segregated policies. We need any of you who can make it
to come to the airport, tomorrow at 2 pm to make public comment requesting
that the airport board reject the segregated bus stop plan. Please contact
me or Mike Powell if you need assistance or information about attending.
Below is a Free press article about today's court hearing. The link is:
We are definitely making progress. Please go to the Free Press web page and
make a comment on the web page about the article in support of the NFB and
requesting that the airport not segregate persons with disabilities and
create inaccessible and illegal facilities. Our message is simple. It was
accessible. It is not now accessible. Put it back.
Court action filed to halt Detroit airport plan for disabled bus stops
Eric D. Lawrence
, Detroit Free Press
8:40 p.m. EDT March 15, 2016
(Photo: Salwan Georges, Detroit Free Press)
A federal judge is weighing whether to issue a temporary restraining order
against a Wayne County Airport Authority plan for what disability advocates
claim would create "segregated bus stops."
Both sides faced off today arguing their positions before Judge Victoria
Roberts in U.S. District Court in Detroit. However, the airport authority,
which has faced intense criticism for the effort, has already opted to delay
the plan for two weeks until March 28. Roberts indicated she would issue a
Jason Turkish, the Southfield attorney leading the charge against the plan
on behalf of the Indian Trails and Michigan Flyer bus companies and disabled
residents, has argued that the plan to add extra stops to provide closer
terminal access for disabled people while maintaining the current stops for
everyone else is illegal. He says that riders would have to identify
themselves as disabled to use the closer stops and that the real intent is
to hurt public transportation in the region.
"It injects chaos and confusion into what is already a very thin public
transit system in southeast Michigan," Turkish argued.
Gary August, the Farmington Hills-based attorney representing the airport
authority, said the effort is not segregation because riders would not be
required to use the stops. He called the program "100% voluntary." He also
argued that the case is really about one bus company's attempt - Michigan
Flyer and Indian Trails are affiliated - to secure a better bus stop for
"They believe Michigan Flyer - no one else - is entitled to the closest
accessible stop," August said.
Michigan Flyer operates the private-public AirRide service between Ann Arbor
and the airport. The bus service has been at the center of the battle over
the airport's decision in 2014 to move the public transportation bus stop
from curbside at the McNamara Terminal's International Arrivals area to the
farthest end of the Ground Transportation Center in the McNamara garage.
That added a significantly farther walk in an outdoor although covered
environment and set off a firestorm of criticism from the disability
community and various elected officials.
The airport authority issued its updated ground transportation regulations
late last month, prompting hundreds of critical e-mail responses from the
public. The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, which called the stops
"problematic and potentially illegal," and the University of Michigan
Council for Disability Concerns also expressed concern or opposition.
Turkish has called on the airport authority to either make the new stops
open to all travelers or return the public transportation bus stop to its
The airport authority is spending an estimated $350,000 to alter the curb
area at the McNamara Terminal Departures level to accommodate the additional
drop-off stop. Pick-ups at McNamara for disabled riders would be at a door
closer to the terminal entrance.
Delta Airlines is also a defendant in the case, but argues it had nothing to
do with the proposed regulations. Turkish claims that the airline's key
position at the airport makes that irrelevant or untrue.
Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence at freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter:
A lone wheel chair is seen at Detroit Metropolitan
A lone wheel chair is seen at Detroit Metropolitan Airport upper departure
level of the McNamara Terminal parking garage on Wednesday, March 9, 2016,
in Romulus, MI.
(Photo: Salwan Georges, Detroit Free Press)
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