GREENDALE (WITI) -- The battle has been raging for a few months. Just where should the bus stop for Southridge Mall be located? After she says she's been "stonewalled" on the issue by Southridge Mall management, Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik says she wants the bus stop moved closer to the main entrance at Southridge (and other malls) -- or else, she believes the mall should be slapped with a disorderly conduct citation.
The Southridge Mall bus stop is about a 1,000-foot trek from the mall's entrance.
There is a ride service available for people with disabilities that pulls up much closer -- but not everyone qualifies for it.
"There's a lot of individuals with disabilities that use wheelchairs that are really strong that don't meet the eligibility criteria for Transit Plus. There are others who may have a heart condition or are users of canes that don't meet the eligibility of Transit Plus -- so they need to utilize the bus and that's a thousand feet getting into a mall. It's quite restrictive," Tim Ochnikowski, the acting director of the Office for Persons with Disabilities said.
The battle has been raging since the bus stop was moved this past November -- with advocates for the elderly and those with disabilities saying it is too far from the mall's entrance.
Now, Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik has introduced an ordinance that would create a consequence for "failure to provide full bus access."
The ordinance would require shopping malls to provide full bus access to their main entrance. Otherwise, they would be slapped with a disorderly conduct citation.
In a press release issued to FOX6 News, Jursik says “This ordinance would not only affect Southridge, but any other shopping center that engages in such outrageous discrimination against the elderly and disabled."
Jursik says large delivery trucks are able to pull up to the mall's entrance, so why not buses?
"We're arguing if you're going to do that, then how can you not let a bus of about the same size and weight unload the human passengers that are going to go in and buy that merchandise?" Jursik said.
Mary Mokwa, Area General Manager for Simon Property Group, owner of Southridge Mall, issued the following statement in response to the potential legislation being suggested by Jursik:
“We appreciate the continuing interest in helping Southridge remain a strong and vibrant part of the Milwaukee County economy. We would respectfully suggest that the County Board focus its attention on helping to create jobs and maintain a strong economy rather than offering policies that conflict with the actions of other local authorities and could not be legally enforced.
Southridge remains committed to providing safe and convenient access to bus service, and we are open to considering alternative ideas that address the real issue, which is combating the unsafe conditions created by having at least 150 buses drive through the parking lots on a daily basis."
Jursik hopes to have this ordinance approved in May.