Woman claims DC curb ramps are covered with snow

Snow and ice on the sidewalks create barriers for wheelchair users.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - As the District continues to dig out from Tuesday’s storm and get back to normal, one woman feels like they’ve left her behind. 

Melissa Ortiz said she’s being held hostage in her home because she can’t get out of her block. Ortiz uses a wheelchair to get around and the curb cuts in her Friendship Heights neighborhood are covered in snow – which is slushy in some spots, icy in others. 

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“This happens every time,” she said. Ortiz canceled two meetings and a doctor’s appointment because she could not get to the Metro.  

A portion of Livingston Street heading to Friendship Heights Metro was covered in snow that was iced over and slippery. She tried to cross the street and her motorized wheelchair got stuck in the icy snow. 

WUSA9 reporter Delia Goncalves was there and pushed her out. 

“The whole point of my life is to try to be independent and I can’t always depend on people to push me through a snow drift. I am frustrated with the city and this neighborhood for dumping snow where they think it’s convenient.”

The Starbucks on Connecticut Ave. NW was not accessible because of slushy, slick snow at their curb cut but after an email to corporate communications, a spokesperson said they contacted the store and managers were told to take immediate action. 

DC law states that 8 daylight hours after the final snowfall sidewalks, including curb cuts, must be shoveled and passable.  Residents can face a fine of $25, commercial owners $150.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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