Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), et al. v. City of New York, et al.New Yorkers with Disabilities Are Denied Equitable Access to the City’s Sidewalks
In July 2014, DRA and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP filed a class action lawsuit against the City of New York challenging widespread, dangerous curb ramps and inaccessible pedestrian routes throughout New York City neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan.
Access to pedestrian routes in Lower Manhattan is critical to reaching the many government buildings, centers for civic participation, offices, tourist sites, and places of public accommodation. However, 25 years after the passage of the ADA, New Yorkers with mobility and vision disabilities are excluded from this vital aspect of public life because many City sidewalks, curb ramps, and other pedestrian routes in Lower Manhattan are impassable to persons with disabilities due to a lack of curb ramps or curb ramps that are broken and crumbling, are too steep to navigate, contain high lips at the bottom of the cut, or lead directly into a pothole, among other barriers to wheelchair access. In addition, many curb ramps in Lower Manhattan have no detectable warnings to indicate to blind and low-vision pedestrians that they are about to enter the street.
In June 2015, a federal district judge denied New York City’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. DRA and Sheppard Mullin continue to litigate these critical issues while concurrently engaging the City in settlement discussions with the goal of a comprehensive remedial plan to improve the accessibility of the City’s pedestrian routes.