Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To the Vancouver Library! Skytrain adventures ahead! Whee!

Tonight I'm heading out there for a MEETUP meeting with a small collection of random writer-ey people. Looks like a healthy mix of novelists, short-story.. ists, and poets. It dawned on me a while ago that I should be more connected to the local writing pulse... or something.

So now I look forward to a roughly 2 hour trip by bus and by skytrain from here. Which brings up the questions of wheelchair accessibility. My route leads me out of Granville station to the street.

Half a decade or so ago, my wife and I were nastily surprised to find out (while in a hurry, of course) that there was no elevator at that station. Most skytrain stations are set up quite nicely for wheelchair access, so we were frantically looking around the underground section, poking doors, looking for the lift. Time ticking away, we stopped someone to ask. We got a couple "I dunno" responses until we came across someone who knew, and had no good news on the topic.

So, back on the train we go, to the next station, then dash to our appointment. I hadn't forgotten the experience, but when the automated yet oft-dubious trip-planner for the bus routed me through Granville, (with the accessibility option turned on) I figured that my memory must have been of another station.

But today, I was rambling about my trvael plans, and my wife says "Granville? They don't have an elevator I think....!"


"I don't think so, remember that, voop-" and she made a hand gesture that made me think she was hailing a cab for Hitler or something. After a little prodding, I figured out she was talking about the steep, steep escalator at the station. With a standard escalator, I can drive myself into it, hang onto the railings, and I can get up pretty easily, (even if the people behind me are concerned about getting crushed) but this one was step enough that I wasn't going to chance it, even with my wife there to assist.

Mind you, this was a 'long time' ago, in terms of where my skill level was... I'll have to have a peek today and see if it looks less daunting now. Still, I don't want to be betting on it.

So I called the transit line to confirm my fears, that the oh-so-clever trip-planner had aimed me at a dead end. The fellow I eventually got on the phone, (who sounded like he'd just finished making sweet sweet love to his morning coffee) told me an elevator had been installed there roughly a year ago. I can't imagine where... it's a darn cramped station. But I'll take ole coffee mater's word for it.

Wish me luck, for I face transit!

Later in the month, I'll be going to similar meetup, but it's a 10-minite bus ride away, on familiar territory.

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