Upton may end up paying $350,000 for two parking spots at Kiwanis

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I have to admit I have been failing in my Upton Daily reporting duties. I won’t bore you with the details but summer blew in a series of unfortunate events which managed to knock off my press hat.

This story has been in my radar for quite some time and I’m glad I finally have a moment to write a post.

The Kiwanis upper parking lot for the soccer field is, to put it bluntly, a hot mess for Upton.

Upton made history when they opened the only parking lot in the state designated for people with mobility impairment. The problem with this very special lot, it’s made of gravel and has no designated handicap parking spaces. It’s all about the honor system, seriously.

The lot was pitched to voters as a way to provide parking for residents who found it difficult to walk the steep hill to access the soccer field. The lot was approved by the Planning Board who assured voters the project would comply with the Americans Disabilities Act (ADA).

The price tag for the gravel lot with a fancy name, $186,500.

Unfortunately, the lot did not meet ADA requirements and was closed shortly after it was opened. The lot was opened for the fall 2016 season and closed in November 2016.

It will cost the town at least $50,000 more to make the new lot and path usable, and close to $300,000 to bring the entire recreation area into compliance.

The development of the Upper Lot has opened a proverbial can of worms. A complaint was brought by an Upton resident who noted several issues with the uneven gravel lot and the steep path to the field. Since then, the ADA has found several issues with the entire Kiwanis Beach Recreation Area.

Voters will likely be asked for funds to bring the Kiwanis Recreation area into compliance at the November meeting.

About Jennifer Doyle

Comments

  1. WOW!! Now I’m selfish, a sexist and an ableist all because I thank those who tried to make the upper field at Kiwanis more accessible. I never disagreed that there should have been better planning, I never disagreed that it was difficult for those with more serious disabilities to access the upper field. I never disagreed that the access to the field should have been ADA compliant. I don’t think I offended any women since no mention of gender will be found in my comments. “Part time Bagger” , just a guess, refers only to the to absence of a real name which would give credibility to Ptbaggers comments. I don’t hate you Ptbagger, I’m sure your the sweetest little guy that ever was. This will be my last response since the reason you and Matt, thanks for using your name Matt, seem to be attacking me is way over my head and any further discussion is a waste of space. Good luck with your crusade.

  2. Just to let ya all know, I filed an AAB complaint regarding 3 violations at Kiwanis Beach and I am not a female. The town received the 1st Notice last week. If the initial complaint wasn’t filed by the other complainant I would have filed it….when a public facility such as Kiwanis Beach exist then at a minimum the ADA Title II applies but in the case of Kiwanis Beach there was new work performed and the MA AAB 521CMR had jurisdiction and more applicable and stringent. Everyone has the right to utilize and enjoy Kiwanis Beach and each area of it, its the Civil Rights that we must fight for because if we turn our back for a minute the Ableist will try to deny us that right!

  3. Stan Coffin says:

    That’s great, Matt Connell…blame it on sexism. It was a woman who complained….she’s made no secret about it……and I state that I hope she’s happy that our taxes will go up……but that’s…..Sexist??? Typical liberal………what’s next? A cry of racism?? You should run for office.

    • Just to let ya all know, I filed an AAB complaint regarding 3 violations at Kiwanis Beach and I am not a female. The town received the 1st Notice last week. If the initial complaint wasn’t filed by the other complainant I would have filed it….when a public facility such as Kiwanis Beach exist then at a minimum the ADA Title II applies but in the case of Kiwanis Beach there was new work performed and the MA AAB 521CMR had jurisdiction and more applicable and stringent. Everyone has the right to utilize and enjoy Kiwanis Beach and each area of it, its the Civil Rights that we must fight for because if we turn our back for a more nuts the Ableist will try to deny us that right!

  4. matt connell says:

    the incompetence and arrogance of the parking lot planners deserves a spotlight. they are only being hoisted by their own petard. attempting to deflect attention back to the critics is wrong. [and worse- Mr Kirby/ Mr. Coffin, I think your posts are sexist. shame on you]

  5. Dear Part time bagger, whoever you are, The American Disabilities Act is a wonderful thing and I support it completely. I just happen to be one of those selfish people mentioned on the sign at the entrance of the upper lot, a mobility impaired person, who enjoyed watching my grandchildren play on a field that I, and others, am unable to access via the existing path from the lower parking lot. I appreciate the efforts of those who tried to make access to the upper field more user friendly. If this makes me a bad guy or an “ableist” then so be it. At least I do it under my real name.

    • Jim, your not getting it as you let it fly fast over your head. Its not just about you, but you as a member of the human race are included. Its about putting in an “Accessible Route” that’s inclusive of everyone. What was completed is dangerous and must be closed off from public use as its not Accessible for everyone…..so please look beyond your needs. The Ableist viewed life without those with disabilities in it for many decades prior to the signing of the ADA July 26, 1990. That culture continues to rear its ugly face and this has been another moment of that mantra. The interesting thing is, the Town of Upton disregarded the MA AAB in this incident. The MA AAB has been in effect since the early 60s and Massachusetts has been way ahead of the learning curve and is more stringent than the ADA. Your characterization of my screen name brings up memories from the days when I was verbally attacked by haters who also labeled me as “part time bagger”. It truly goes to show that hatred & ignorance are just under the surface in so many communities and it will not take much to bring it boiling to the top!

  6. Stan Coffin says:

    This is an absolute JOKE. Good job, whoever the hag is on the street that blew the whistle. Perhaps she won’t mind the property tax increase that is on the way..

  7. As I said, it is unfortunate that ADA guidelines were not given the consideration they deserved before construction began. Lighten up a little.I quoted an old saying because I believe that the town planners were merely trying to make the upper field available to more residents, hence the good deed reference. The initial blowback, however,was from nearby residents who did not want their serenity interrupted by motorists visiting the upper field via their street, not ADA guidelines or a concern for anyone else. the ADA guidelines just happen to fit their needs at the time. It’s a shame that these concerned and very knowledgeable citizens, who seem to have a lot of time on their hands, do not volunteer a portion of that time for local boards/committees who could use their help.
    Can anyone guess who the first ones to protest the expenditure of $300,000 in taxpayer money for the ADA compliant parking lot and access will be?
    Bye the way, I use my real name not some phony user id.

    • But that “good deed” did not include those who are disabled and the Town of Upton should understand Inclusive Design after a phenomenal renovation project completed at the Upton Town Hall 😏

    • Well, it has to be done correctly this time so my guess is a landscape architect will be involved in the plans to correct it

  8. “No good deed goes unpunished”. Truer words were never spoken than in the case of the Kiwanis Beach Upper Parking Lot. The intent was to give folks an easier path to the upper fields than was available via the very steep path which ran from the original beach parking lot. A path that many, including myself, found extremely difficult to climb for a variety of “Old man ailments”. The real problem came when the “Upton resident” complained that traffic on her, oops, I mean “their” quaint little road would be a nuisance.
    I am totally sympathetic to the ADA and their concerns regarding the upper parking lot and it’s unfortunate that better planning, and adherence to ADA compliance wasn’t used before the final construction. However, if the roadway had somehow been possible from the lower area these “Upton residents” could have cared less about ADA regulations regarding access etc.
    So, I guess I would just like to say thanks to those who tried to make viewing our kids sporting events possible, or at least a little easier, for us old farts. Sorry it didn’t work out.

    • Why do you characterize it as “punished” Jim. The “good deed” was so poorly planned and state and federal laws were ignored by the people who run the Town of Upton. If those with disabilities were included in the planning from the start of the upper parking lot project, then the inclusive intent of the Town of Upton Planners would have never been questioned. I thank the resident for making full notice of the issues, now the town must move forward with full inclusive planning that is inviting of everyone, a win win result

      • ConcernedResident says:

        Well said PT.

        Now, after reading the result of the project in this article and that in the Telegram, I would put more emphasis on the fact that the town did not properly complete the project, funded by taxpayers and the state, than on the resident who came forward and brought not only traffic related concerns but also those related to ADA compliance. In fact, had they not – people would still be utilizing a gravel path and parking lot which could ultimately result in injury should one’s mobility become compromised by the materials. This applies to both those who are currently disabled in some way and those who are not. If it isn’t safe – it isn’t safe for anyone. Now, just because the project is on hold doesn’t mean it won’t happen and those who wish to view the upper-field games with ease won’t have access, what it means is you will have to pay more with the hopes that it’s done right the second time and you’ll have to wait.

    • By the way Jim, those with disabilities do not need or want your sympathetic views of the ADA. We are not looking towards Ableist like yourself for sympathy, we are demanding unfettered Access & Opportunity in which Ableism is the standard drum beat sounded along typical paths built in the fashion like the current path built from the new parking lot at Kiwanis rec field. Please take a long studied look at the renovation of Upton Town a hall and understand with a more intent detailed plan anything is possible

  9. Marilyn Holman TCP says:

    Thank you Jen … I had no idea … this is despicable. As a handicapped person myself, what good does a gravel lot do if you are walking with a cane or walker, and if there is still a hill it will be unmanageable

    What were they thinking?

    M

    Marilyn Holman

    508-529-7791

    Manager/Owner

    Town Crier Publications

    From: UPTON DAILY Reply-To: UPTON DAILY Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 10:50 PM To: Marilyn Holman Subject: [New post] Upton may end up paying

    50,000 for two parking spots at Kiwanis

    Jennifer Doyle posted: ” I have to admit I have been failing in my Upton Daily reporting duties. I won’t bore you with the details but summer blew in a series of unfortunate events which managed to knock off my press hat. This story has been in my radar for quite some time and”

  10. Who is the “ADA” Jennifer Doyle! The ADA isn’t some mysterious group of people with rulers & pencils.

  11. Cheryl Kilcoyne says:

    The town did the same thing with the elementary school, remember.. that’s why they have that crazy walk way from 140 to the school.. bad architects, lowest bid!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • That ramp from 140 to the school is a perfect Accessible Route, not &crazy” in the least. Its inclusiveness and ensures disabled pedestrians have a safe path of travel to/from the school

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