Tag Archives: ramps

The ramps of Route 1

[Cross-posted at CREECblog.]

Every summer or so, we visit my brother and his family at their place in Maine.  To do this, we generally fly into Boston and then drive the four hours from Logan to mid-coast Maine.  The first three hours are on I-95; the last hour or so on Route 1 from Brunswick to Thomaston.  It has long struck me, as we meander up the barely two-lane road — often at 30 mph behind a giant RV or tractor — the amazing number of very small businesses that have ramps.

This past weekend I made the trip with no deadline and no one else in the car, so I had the time* to take some photos of these examples of readily-achievableness. (Ready achievability?)**

Disclaimer, because every now and again some defense-side attorney (hi, guys!) may read this:  I did not evaluate these ramps for compliance with the Standards.  I don’t know their dimensions or slope.  If you try to introduce this as evidence in one of my cases, I will file a Motion for Judicial Notice of Completely Missing the Point.

The first couple were actually near Manchester, NH, where I had taken a detour to visit a college classmate.

Small free-standing store with parking lot.  Store has steps in front and a ramp up the side starting from the back of the store and rising to the middle of the right hand side.
These next two are churches, which aren’t even covered by the ADA (unless they have some sort of commercial business on the side):

Front view of white building with three steps at the front entrance (in the middle of the front of the building) and a ramp extending from the entrance along the front to the left side of the building.  Ramp has a sign that reads, "Christ Died for Our Sins."


Photo of beige church building with the words "Saint Peter" on the front and a ramp curving around to the right side of the building.


Onward to Rte 1:

One story building with front porch accessible by a short ramp in front of the building.

This actually might have been someone’s house.  Along Route 1, the distinction between house and business is often sort of vague.

Gabled grey house with wooden ramp extending from the front door and curling around to the right in the front yard.  The base of the ramp is white lattice work and flowers grow along the front of the base.

Just north of Wiscasset.

Small free-standing red building with a ramp extending from the middle of the front off to the right.

Jean Kigel Studio, Damariscotta.

One-story building viewed from the side where a ramp provides access up onto the porch.

Cheap cigarettes in Waldoboro.

One-store store with a sign in the front reading "Cheap Cigarettes."  The front door is served by a short apparently level ramp with a slighly sloped portion at the end.

Somewhere south of Thomaston.

House or business with approximately five steps to the front door and a ramp to a side door on the left.

The Hair Loft, Warren, Maine.

One-story building with a sign reading "Hair Loft."  The front entrance is on the left side of the photo, served by approximately six steps.  The door is also served by a ramp from the door leading to the right of the photo.

Unidentified business, Warren:

Front of a two-story house or business with a wide metal ramp leading to the front entrance.

The famous Moody’s Diner, Waldoboro:

White building with neon sign reading "Moody's Diner" on the roof.  A ramp is positioned along the left side of the building leading up to the entrance in the middle.

Ralph’s Homes, Waldoboro:

Freestanding white building with a long switch-back ramp serving the front entrance, which is up approximately six steps.

Random business south of Waldoboro:

Red building with approximately 3 steps to a porch serving the front entrance.  A ramp serves the porch as well.

The Nobleboro Antique Exchange:

Blue two-story building with a switch back ramp serving the porch and front entrance.  Sign in front of the building reads "Nobleboro Antique Exchange."

So next time you hear some fancy store or chain claim that it’s not readily achievable to ramp their business, here are some examples to, in legal terminology, call baloney.***


* My leisurely pace turned out to have been a good plan for another reason:  when I got to my brother’s house, he and his family were out and their house was guarded by their snarling goldendoodle.  Seriously.  This dog

Benign-looking light brown dog, sized somewhere between a poodle and a golden retriever, with a multicolored color, sitting on a lawn looking to the right of the photo.

exiled me to the hammock until my hosts returned to chaperone my canine interaction.

I was not suffering:

Legs and feet of photographer on hammock, sunny Maine seascape in the background.


** Under the ADA, buildings built after January 26, 1993 were required to be accessible.  42 U.S.C. § 12183(a).  Those built before that date and not altered since must remove barriers — by, for example, ramping entrances that are only accessible by steps — where it is “readily achievable” to do so.  42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv).

*** I might have used a different word if not for the cross-posting, but I’m trying to keep it clean on CREECblog.

Photo Essay

I know you’ve all been on the edges of your seats to see my photo essay, the final assignment for Digital Photography 201 at Illuminate Workshops.  The wait is over!  Of course, just in time for the final class, I had all sorts of legal adventures — trial prep! settlement! appeal! — and a major head cold.  So I didn’t actually attend the final class.  Or the make-up final class.  Or the make-up of the make-up of the final class.  What can I say – lawyers suck at non-law things.

The assignment read:

Decide on a subject whose story needs to be told.  … A story that is close and personal to you.

Shoot everything you can about your subject.

Make us see the subject from your perspective.

We were to edit down the photos first to 30, then to 12, print them on 11×14 paper, and present them at the last class.  But I missed the last class (twice) and I’m not good at following instructions anyway, so my photo essay has 20 photos, and is blogged, not printed.  It also reflects the fact that I ran out of time — even with an effective two-month extension — and had a cold.  Did I mention the cold?  So some of the photos reflect long walks around Denver thinking about my subject, while others reflect a bit of casting about my office last night for meaningful props.  But I think they show both my subject and some of the composition and developing skills we’re learning at (did I mention?) Illuminate Workshops.*

And the outtake … because nothing happens here without full canine supervision:


* How’s that for apple-polishing?  And I’m not even getting a grade!

OMG OMG I can make panoramic photos!

I know, I know:  2009 called … to congratulate me on discovering its Photoshop technology.  I just learned that Photoshop Elements will take a series of photos and create a panorama.  I started with . . . ok ok I have to fess up to something first.  We are supposed to prepare a photo essay for the class I’m taking and because I have no imagination, my essay is on . . . ramps.  I know, right?   Get over it.

My original concept was to photograph small, out of the way, unlikely ramps, like these two in rural Maine somewhere north of Portland.

I was clearly in need of some coaching in the technical and compositional departments, but you get the idea.  My concept was on some level to be able to say to large international chains that remain out of compliance in 2012, “you see!  Ralph’s Home Sales of Somewhere Off Rte 1 in Maine, managed to install a ramp; so can you!”

Since I don’t have the time to go anywhere out of the way, I’m left trying to tell a story through photographs of various ramps around Denver.  During the class session in which we critiqued one another’s first few essay photos, my classmates had lots of helpful advice like, “your theme could be dogs!” and “you could sit at a coffee shop for a day and photograph the people who patronize it.”  But I’m stubborn and don’t have time to sit at a coffee shop all day, so ramps it is.  And dammit, I think it’s kind of cool.  And!  It turns out that panoramic photography is sort of an interesting way to show how a ramp relates to the accessibility of the building it serves:

This was my first attempt at panoramic stitching.  (That term gives me the mild creeps, with a sort of Frankenstein vibe.)  It was so much fun, I spent today trying to dream up fun ways to use the technology.  Turns out graffiti walls make cool panoramic shots.

So does the dragon on Su Teatro’s building.  I was too close and trying to do too much, but it’s sort of cool.  I think I need to go back in the morning when there are no cars and photograph it from the middle of the street.

Here are three more ramp panos.  The first — on 17th at Curtis — is more an illustration of how several levels can come together in an almost imperceptible way.

The ramp below is on University Blvd just north of Asbury, and what I liked the most isn’t really visible from the pano:  The fact that the ramp starts low on the right, rises to the entrance and then the red wall keeps rising at the same angle — decoratively only, I believe — continuing the slash of red color from one side of the building to the other.

Finally, this is the west entrance to the DU aw school which is not visually very compelling, but lends itself nicely to panoramic treatment.

Since I was already wandering around the DU campus with a camera, I had to take the following photograph that to me poses a deep and unfathomable question: did anyone anywhere on the design team have an 8th Grader?  Access to an 8th Grader?  A friend’s 8th Grader to whom he or she could have shown this design?  Does anyone even think like an 8th Grader?  In other words, DOES ANYONE ELSE SNICKER WHEN THEY SEE BENCHES MADE OF LIPS?

Or is it just me?