Larry Plachno Publisher - Writer - Book Author - Transportation Historian 9704 West Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064

Phone: (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Representative Lane Evans 1535 47th Avenue, No. 5 Moline, Illinois 61265 Dear Representative Evans, I am writing to request information on when implementation procedures will be issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for handicapped Americans other than wheelchair users. It is my understanding that the basic intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act was to end discrimination and to provide both access and mobility that had been denied to Americans with physical handicaps. However, all of the implementation guidelines I have seen to date appear to be directed solely towards Americans in wheelchairs. This may well be the discrimination the ADA was expected to eliminate since it ignores other Americans who are denied both access and mobility because of other physical handicaps. In particular, I refer to those Americans who have been denied both access and mobility because of a physical handicap that requires frequent access to restroom facilities. Many Americans suffer from a physical disability that requires frequent access to restroom facilities. These physical disabilities include ulcers, a nervous stomach, enlarged prostate, plus various other kidney, bladder and internal disorders. In addition, most Americans will temporarily have a similar need from time to time because of flu, diarrhea or a stressful situation. Some of the major problem areas are as follows: 1. Public Buildings and Shopping While most major public buildings, shopping centers and larger department stores provide public toilets, there are other areas that do not, or have inadequate signage pointing to such facilities. In particular, supermarkets are notoriously bad about providing public toilets. One of the worst situations is a tourist or shopping area consisting primarily of smaller shops, stores or restaurants which feel that each is too small to provide public restroom facilities. For example, it is very difficult to find public restrooms in San Francisco's Chinatown and in the French Quarter in New Orleans. The Date: 09/10/93 Page: 1

downtown area in smaller communities frequently provides similar problems. 2. Public Transportation and Interstate Highways Most rail transportation and interstate buses are equipped with adequate restroom facilities. Commercial aviation is borderline at best. Most airports provide adequate restroom facilities. However, once on board the aircraft, passengers are excluded from the restrooms for prolonged periods during takeoff and landing. In addition, there are many smaller commercial airplanes with no restrooms at all.One of the major problems in regard to access and mobility is city transit since most city buses and rapid transit cars do not have restroom facilities. While interstate buses and railroad trains have provided restroom facilities for years, the city transit people have discriminated against people who require these facilities. 01-02691 ​Larry Plachno 9704 West Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064 Date: 09/10/93 Page: 2 Like many people with a similar disability, I have long since given up counting the number of times I have been unable to use public municipal transportation because of the lack of restroom facilities. It should be mentioned that providing restroom facilities at rapid transit stations does not solve the problem. I once had a serious problem on the rapid transit in Miami when I was unable to locate a transit employee with a key to unlock the facilities at a station. People with this type of disability find it difficult to use our federal interstate highway system because of inadequate restroom facilities. The single biggest problem area I have found is a section of interstate highway that I use regularly. I enter Interstate 39 just east of Mendota, Illinois at U.S. 34. From here I drive south to Bloomington, Illinois And then east on Interstate 74 to the Indiana state line. There is no rest area located south and east-bound on this route - a driving distance of over three hours. West and northbound on this route there is one rest area just west of Danville, which still leaves a driving distance of approximately three hours without a rest area. The next worst area I am aware of is on Interstate 30 on the east side of Dallas, Texas. Any route through Dallas (such as from or to Fort Worth or

San Antonio) involving this segment of Interstate 30 may stretch out to two hours of driving without a rest area. And, the situation gets worse if you are caught in rush hour traffic getting through Dallas. A similar situation to Dallas exists on interstate routes through many major cities because rest areas are almost never located within major cities or on city bypass routes. One location that comes particularly to mind is Interstate 75 through Atlanta since rest areas in both directions are located quite some distance from the city. The similarity in access and mobility between the wheelchair handicapped and those who require restroom facilities should be obvious. The wheelchair people have a physical handicap that requires ramps, lifts, and elevators for access and mobility. The restroom people have a physical handicap that requires toilet facilities for access and mobility. 3. Vehicle Discrimination One of the major problems with this type of handicap is vehicle discrimination. Because my occupation requires extensive travel, I have taken to using a converted motorcoach. In addition to having its own toilet, it also provides me with hot liquids and a shower. It effectively serves the same purpose as a wheelchair does to a nonambulatory person. But, like a wheelchair, it encounters problems in access and mobility. Noteworthy is the fact that Illinois and Ohio allow automobiles to travel at 65 miles per hour on the interstates but Illinois restricts RV's to 55 miles per hour and Ohio restricts non-commercial buses to 55 miles per hour. Clearly a discrimination against private vehicles equipped with toilets. In many places, our converted coaches and RV's have parking problems. Where wheelchairs have problems because buildings are designed for the ambulatory, we have problems because parking lots are designed for automobiles. We need larger parking spaces plus curves and turns designed for larger vehicles that have a larger turning radius. Unlike the wheelchair people, we do not require premium space in the front and will settle for space along the far edges of the parking lot. Although I have not had a serious problem, there are complaints about weight restrictions and residential parking restrictions that permit automobiles but discriminate against RVs and converted coaches.

There are times when I feel that we need special license plates, just like the wheelchair people. Admittedly, it might be a little tacky to use a toilet symbol in place of the wheelchair symbol on the license 01-02692 ​Larry Plachno 9704 West Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064 Date: 09/10/93 Page: 3 plate, but I presume that another appropriate symbol or letter could be found. Incidentally, I might mention that there are some organizations and companies that have already made some effort to improve this situation. For example, the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain has several locations with specific parking allocated to RV's and similar larger vehicles. Most of the Flying J service stations have special fueling islands for RV-type vehicles and even offer dump stations for our toilets. Going back to my original request, I am very much afraid that we have been left out of the ADA. I would appreciate information on time schedules for implementation procedures for handicapped Americans other than wheelchair users. Thank you. Yours sincerely,

Larry Plachno 01-02693