City street repair and the disabled

November 11, 2011

I understand and accept the importance of improving our roads, but is Baltimore also thinking about its pedestrians and the dangerous conditions that are created when sidewalks are obstructed by heavy machinery and fencing?

I can figure out a strategic way to navigate around these impediments, but what about considering the rights and challenges of those who are disabled and in wheelchairs? At the intersection of Franklin and Charles streets downtown, I witnessed this dilemma first hand as an elderly man in a wheelchair struggled to find a place to cross, going up and down the sidewalk looking for a down ramp that was normally there. I was concerned for his safety as swiftly-moving vehicles raced toward the green light. How would he manage, I wondered?

Why doesn't the city take the needs of citizens into consideration in these instances? It is appalling. There should be a city requirement for temporary ramps for the disabled or a law that prohibits blocking these during construction. This site is very close to a senior center a block north on Charles and many of those folks are in wheelchairs too. Surely, they could take the community needs into consideration before starting these projects. Or is that too much to ask?

Brittany Anuszkiewicz, Baltimore

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