Connecticut locks all train bathrooms because half are not ADA compliant


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The coming dark age: Because of a complaint, Hartford officials have locked all bathrooms on a new train line because half are not ADA compliant.

Restrooms on half of the Hartford Line trains — those operated by the state as opposed to Amtrak — will remain closed until they are made accessible to individuals with disabilities in early 2019, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. The closure comes in response to a reversed decision from the Federal Railroad Administration, which had previously granted the state a temporary exemption from the Americans for Disabilities Act, according to the DOT.

Disability Rights Connecticut, a nonprofit advocacy group for state residents with disabilities, said it filed an ADA complaint with the FRA on June 8 regarding the new commuter line, which is scheduled to open June 16.

In other words, because a small number of people are unhappy, no one can be happy. They rule, and if they don’t get what they want then no one will get anything.

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5 comments

  • Edward

    Robert,
    You make it sound like the kid who says, “if I can’t have it my way, then I’m taking my baseball home with me.”

    Wait. That is exactly what it is like.

    Welcome to the bureaucracy, where brains get thrown out the window (defenestrated).

    It reminds me of a popular burger joint near me, which had been built on a small odd-sized lot. There was barely any parking, and none that could be converted into an accessible space. Someone complained, so the little restaurant had to close down due to lack of ability to comply with the ADA. One disabled person was inconvenienced a bit when he went for a burger, so now no one can have a burger.

    It reminds me of the unsuccessful lawsuit against Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch restaurant. A member of the disability community thought that it was unfair that to get to the only accessible restroom was to go 10 meters outside, but the courts agreed that the restaurant had made a restroom accessible, even if getting to it required going outside, so the Mission Ranch still exists. Come to think of it, I have been to plenty of fast food places and gas stations where the restroom was outside and around the corner.

    Due to unreasonable complaints and lawsuits such as these, I am not as much of a fan of the ADA as I was when it was signed into law. It seems to me that there are lawyers just out for a buck and “children” who take their baseball home and leave the rest of us disappointed.

    Or, in the case of the Hartford Line’s CTrail trains, leaving us hoping that we can make it to the next station with a restroom. (Is that a trickle down my leg, or did I just become an Obama fan, like Chris Matthews?)

  • Robert Pratt

    … “because a small number of people are unhappy, no one can be happy.” That so well sums up how socialism turns out, always.

  • B.E. Blue

    Related legal query for our Connecticut brethren – please cite the specific legal authority allowing the closure of public bathrooms. I suspect there isn’t any so no action should have been taken.

  • FC

    Does urinary or rectal incontinence qualify for ADA protection? Asking for a large class of people who I hope will sue the state of Connecticut into bankruptcy.

  • Edward

    B.E. Blue wrote: “Related legal query for our Connecticut brethren – please cite the specific legal authority allowing the closure of public bathrooms. I suspect there isn’t any so no action should have been taken.

    The United States works differently than the rest of the world. American liberty allows us to do things unless they are expressly forbidden. The up side is an amazing amount of freedom; the down side is that there has to be a law for virtually every action that harms another, such as mail fraud, wire fraud, etc. rather than just making fraud in general illegal. It can take the legislature a while to catch up with new ways to harm other people’s rights.

    Rather than needing an authority to allow the closure of a restroom, we need a law that prevents the closure of a restroom.

    The restrooms on the trains are not exactly open to the public, as access to them requires the purchase of a ticket. It is similar to a restroom aboard a passenger plane, it is not open to members of the general public who are not ticketed to be on the airplane, even when the plane is at the gate.

    There may not be a legal requirement for restrooms on commuter trains. There are no restrooms on my local commuter train.

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