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Cobblestone streets in Brooklyn may be removed to help wheelchair users

DUMBO, Brooklyn — Cobblestone streets in Brooklyn are a beautiful and iconic part of some neighborhoods, but they may be on the way out because some say they violate the American Disabilities Act.

The streets are rooted in history, but some day they're outdated and present a hardship to people who use wheelchairs. Dustin Nelson, president and founder of United for Equal Access New York, has a hard time getting around.

"It's really frustrating as a wheelchair user," he said, explaining that the cobblestones can break chairs or puncture tires.

Removing them is not a done deal. The challenge now is to try and find a way to preserve the historical value and be compliant with federal rules by making the cobblestone streets assessable  to all. Nelson says this speaks to a greater issue.

"New York City is definitely lagging behind when it comes to accessibility in all aspects," he said. "I'm just really tired of living my life like this as a New Yorker where I have to pick and choose where I go or stay away from a certain neighborhoods because of situations like this."