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Smith, Bryan, Freelance NYDN All cabs could be accessible like this VPG 2011 MV-1 ― so why aren’t they?Related Stories   NYC poverty rate rose to 20% in 2010   New Yorkers can like bikes, including Citi Bike, without having disdain for the automobiles that share the road?   The best of New York real estate?   Readers sound off on Republicans, Democrats and the Mannings I’m a New Yorker, in my heart if no longer in residence. Born in Manhattan at Mount Sinai, my parents took me home to their apartment near Crotona Park in the Bronx. Every summer, I watched my Yankees struggle, and, in those days, usually triumph.And now my city has failed me.In 2008, I contracted an extremely rare spinal cord disease, transverse myelitis, which left me a hemiplegic ― paralyzed on one side of my body ― and in a  p90x sale wheelchair.Before you bemoan my fate, though, I’m doing fine, contrary to the stereotypes. My classes at the university are filled, several new books are in the works, I drive everywhere in a specially outfitted vehicle, and my marriage is beyond solid.New York, however, is a problem. Rolling into the world of the disabled, I discovered that Gotham has a well-earned reputation as the worst city in North America for wheelchair users; one publication referred to “notoriously wheelchair-unfriendly New York City.”There are many parts to the tale, but let’s start with one currently at the top. New York City is set to get a new fleet of cabs, the Nissan NV200. They’re totally inaccessible; among other problems, the seats are so high up, it’s nearly impossible to transfer from a wheelchair, unlike current taxis.Mayor Bloomberg’s response to complaints has been to provide lame, offensive excuses (at one point, he argued that in accessible cabs, riders sit so far back, it results in smaller tips for drivers). City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), who hopes to become the city’s first openly gay/lesbian mayor, refused to take questions last year from New Mobility, the leading magazine for wheelchair users.Apparently, her desire for social justice has its limits.New York, by the way, mobilizes 13,000 taxis;  cheap p90x under a deal between the mayor and the governor, 2,000 new yellow cabs ― coming who knows when ― will be wheelchair-accessible.London has 19,000 cabs, and every one of them is accessible.I’m not wed to riding around in cabs. I’d be happy to take the subway instead ― if there weren’t many stations throughout the system without elevators, which makes it as easy to get to the platform as it does for an able-bodied person to scale a skyscraper.This is not simply an issue of transportation. Rather, like an earlier civil rights movement, it is a question of whether or not the disabled are going to be full participants in civic life.Last summer, my wife and I traveled  cheap p90x back to see for ourselves. It was a trip the two of us had to make, to our hometown.Cabs were impossible. The first day we went to the  p90x sale Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, with the towers bathed in sunlight. Getting back, we went to the cabstand in front of the South Street Seaport, just beyond where the cobblestones startThe fact is, I and many other wheelchair citizens have no difficulty getting into and out of a  cheap p90x cab ― if they stop in the first place. A number of taxis sat there, idle, somehow too busy to take us; every one of them refused. Only by calling a car service did we make it to our hotel.A new fleet of accessible cabs could change this. So could two-man teams of plainclothes police. Put one officer in a wheelchair, with the other ready to hand out a summons for noncompliance.On our last day, we went to the American Museum of Natural History. As we were leaving, my wife went up to one of the information kiosks and asked where the wheelchair-accessible exit was.“Just up the stairs,” the lady  cheap p90x cheerfully replied, pointing the way. Monty Python couldn’t have delivered a better line.Slayton, professor of history at Chapman University, is finishing a memoir on becoming disabled.
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