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December 12, 2008

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jn

"Not all my clients agree, but I really do believe that if you want to be in business, you need to be prepared to make your business available to all."

Agreed. But the ADA, purely by accident (mainly through the requirements for elevators, as well as 1:12 ramps), has encouraged the construction of single-story, single-purpose, sprawl-ridden commercial developments to the exclusion of more sensible types of buildings. If a large, fixed percentage of your building envelope has to contain elevators and staircases, then the rational developer will either make the building only have one story (cheaper) or build it much larger (to make up for the expense of the second story).

So you end up with either strip malls or the Mills Mall. In either case, requiring that businesses accommodate the disabled (a good thing) leads inexorably to urban design and planning choices that do not accommodate people without cars, or transit-oriented communities in general (a bad thing). But since this is a "law" and YouTube videos blog, and not an urban planning blog, I suppose that's not necessarily under your purview :D

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