A South Minneapolis man named Michael Sack is making strides toward sidewalk accessibility.
MPR News first shared Michael’s story. Michael has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair and communication device. He reported an inaccessible sidewalk on the city’s website, but nothing changed for a year. When he directly emailed a city council member, the problem was fixed in three weeks. This inspired him to create the Minneapolis Sidewalk Repair Hunters Facebook group and website, which has reported 48 sidewalk issues in the last year and fixed 29.
Michael has been heavily involved in accessibility advocacy in the city of Minneapolis, serving as a consultant and presenting plans to the city council. His next aim is to create an official board to expand the group’s activism.
According to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), the model of sidewalk design must reflect and accommodate users of all abilities, rather than a “standard” able-bodied individual with good vision and mobility. The USDOT also emphasizes the importance of smooth and even surfaces for pedestrians with mobility issues, wheelchairs, or other assistive devices like canes.
We are impressed with Michael’s dedication and impact, and we are happy to join his efforts to “pave the way” for all kinds of pedestrians!
Cover photo by Nayeli Dalton from Unsplash.