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Group Representing The Disabled Files Lawsuit Over Union Station

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DENVER (CBS4) – A group that represents the disabled has filed a lawsuit against the City of Denver and the Regional Transportation District over accessibility at the renovated Union Station.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger recently accompanied a member of the group through the new facility.

Jaime Lewis tours Union Station with CBS4's Rick Sallinger (credit: CBS)

Jaime Lewis tours Union Station with CBS4’s Rick Sallinger (credit: CBS)

From the air it is a glittering multi-million dollar improvement to Denver’s lower downtown, but from Jaime Lewis’ point of view, it could be better. Right in the middle of the great hall are two steps that lead to a game and lounge area.

“We’ve got a ramp we can add to the stairs if you want to get up there,” an employee told Lewis.

The ramp was brought out and unfolded so Lewis could access the area. He tested out the shuffleboard game then expressed his feelings that have become the central point of the lawsuit.

“I am disappointed because this is a major construction effort, millions of dollars put into this, and for a piece of it not to be accessible to the disabled community is very, very disappointing,” Lewis said.

A hotel spokesperson told CBS4 it has made efforts to accommodate the disabled.

To get to the buses and trains travelers have to go outside. There, an elevator takes them to the basement, but Lewis found the doors to the buses to be a bit difficult for someone in a wheelchair to handle. RTD is looking into that issue.

“We are taking a look at possibility of adding some type of opener that might work,” Scott Reed with RTD said.

Jaime Lewis tours Union Station (credit: CBS)

Jaime Lewis tours Union Station (credit: CBS)

A long concourse leads to the area where the light rail trains are located.

“It’s kind of more like an airport — first time it’s pretty complicated for people,” Lewis said.

Lewis wonders why there aren’t moving walkways.

“We took a look at the possibility of adding moving sidewalks in the bus concourse and the physical space just really would not permit us to do that,” Reed said.

Upstairs there are ramps for the disabled to board the trains, but some of the disabled feel at least some of Union Station has left them behind.

RTD says it has a lease that requires the Union Station Alliance to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and no rules have been broken. It says it’s disappointed with the lawsuit but will work to make Union Station accessible to all.

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