Thursday, May 14, 2015

ASU Students believe "Walk Only Zones" Disrespect Disabled.

Sometimes, you just have to scratch your head and wonder.......what the @#^%$ is going on in this world?!

I recently learned that Arizona State University (ASU) designated certain high traffic areas on the ASU campus as "Walk Only Zones". According to the ASU website:

Walk Only Zones ".........enhance pedestrian safety and ease vehicle congestion on the Tempe campus." and "Walk-Only Zones enforcement is 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.During enforcement times, no one may ride, drive or park wheeled vehicles in Walk-Only Zones".

The list of wheeled vehicles include:

Bicycles (traditional and motorized)
Delivery/Maintenance & Landscaping cars, trucks and carts
Electric vehicles and golf carts
Inline and roller skates
All motorized and wheeled vehicles.

ASU makes it perfectly clear that: "The Walk-Only Zones are not intended to limit or redirect use of mobility devices by individuals with disabilities".

Who could object to this?

ASU student Alec Melger, for one.

Melger has started an online petition at, "Change the name to 'Pedestrian Only' or any other inclusive title." The petition reads:

"ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States and is a place of work, learning, and leisure to over 75,000 people on campus. Enforcing "Walk Only" zones onto campus property marginalizes disabled bodies who cannot walk. This petition is in effort to make a more blanket title for these zones that encompasses the diversity of all bodies who occupy the community that is ASU."

When I came across an article which led me to Melger's petition, the petition had 56 supporters. Some of the reasons supporters used for signing the petition include:

"I was on crutches for 5 weeks and felt uncomfortable when seeing this sign."

"I am signing because the 'Walk Only Zones' are exclusive to only those who can walk. ASU has a diverse set of students and should be inclusive to all."

"This is necessary. Oppressive language is a microagression [sic] that needs to be addressed and is often forgotten about. Word choice is one of the easiest things to change and often one of the most powerful".

"equality for all, marginalization is engrained in society we have to work together to change the consciousnes [sic] of our community ".

"I'm signing because as a disabled" [sic]

Before leaving the at petition, I became Melger's 57th supporter. I didn't sign the petition because I actually support such absurdity, but rather because it gave me the opportunity to post my own reason for signing:

"I understand that people with disabilities may be hurt by the use of 'Walk only', however, the word 'pedestrian' should not be used either as that word comes from the Latin word for foot."

You have to stand up and be counted.

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