Man in wheelchair takes video of dangerous trek into Southridge

GREENDALE (WITI) -- Some Milwaukee residents and city leaders are fed up with the inconvenience at Southridge Mall. Since the property owners decided to move the bus stop from the front of the mall to the perimeter road, it has been problematic for the elderly and disabled.

John Haupt is wheelchair bound, and is also a member of the Commission for the Disabled. He recently captured video of his trek to the mall. The snow and the bitter cold this winter have made Haupt's journey difficult -- and that is compounded by the fact that buses now drop off mall-goers a good distance from the mall's entrance.

"My left thumb was white and frostbit for a few days," Haupt says.

The video shows it is difficult for Haupt to navigate his way to the mall, and as a member of the Commission for the Disabled, he is trying to generate awareness.

"A person who is blind, a person who is using double crutches -- there`s all kinds of problems. Someone said a person who has a respiratory ailment -- that is very difficult," Haupt said.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik rode the bus to Southridge Mall, and after making a similar journey, she is now leading a coalition of other supervisors, community leaders and businesses in a boycott.

"I myself will not shop at Southridge. I`ve called on others to let Simon (the company that owns Southridge) know that if they continue in this way that we can respond with our feet by not going into Southridge. They are putting bus users in more danger," Jursik said.

Jursik says she is leading the push to "tell Simon Properties that this will not stand. This is not the way Milwaukee County treats our elderly and disabled."

The response could come in legal form as well.

"We are asking corporation counsel to explore whether this violates ADA -- Americans with Disabilities Act or any other legal route we can take," Jursik said.

Those in opposition say they hope education will lead to change.

"We are hoping that Simon Properties takes a second look at the decision that they relocate the bus stop," Haupt said.

Jursik is in the process of planning a second bus event to Southridge Mall in Greendale. She says the village received money and tax breaks to help improve the mall and these actions are wrong, and the citizens are outraged.