Monday, June 9, 2008

Alameda: Health and Accessibility

By Vanessa, Juvan, Jessica, and Valeria

On yesterday’s fieldtrip, we got a lot of interviews. We asked, “What do you think about the accessibility for the handicapped in this area?” A storeowner told us that she made the aisles wider so people in wheelchairs could have an easier time shopping. In a beads shop, a lady told us that she had bought ramps for wheelchairs so they could come in and out a lot easier. She told us that she had a difficult time looking for them though. You don't really know where to start looking for stuff like that!

In Alameda, we saw a lot of food stores and only one health food store. One restaurant was selling only salads, but we saw a lot of Fast Food restaurants. We thought that Alameda was one of the healthiest places we've seen, but some people that we interviewed said that Alameda was not very healthy at all.

While we were walking around Alameda after we finished lunch, we got to a crosswalk and saw something very interesting. We pressed the button for us to cross, but there were no lights indicating if we could walk or not so we had to watch out for the cars ourselves. When we looked at the ground, there were some flashing lights. We figured out that the lights were there to warn oncoming cars of pedestrians crossing. We thought it was really cool because we’ve never seen anything like that before in Oakland. It also helps out a lot because sometimes, drivers can’t see pedestrians who are about to cross. For example, those who are in wheelchairs are sometimes hard to see because they aren’t able to stand at their full height. We think that there should be more of those contraptions here in Oakland, as well as other places.

Something that we noticed about Alameda is that they have a little ramp on every sidewalk for disabled people to go up and down on their wheelchair. Also their sidewalks are wider so the people won’t crash with someone that’s on a wheelchair. The sidewalks also don’t have that many big cracks on them. We think the sidewalks are taken very good care of. We think that they think about the disabled people a lot because everything looks as if it is made especially for them.

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