|Reader: Sidewalk improvements would go a long way|
|Monday, May 21, 2012|
To the Editor:
I have a request to the public at large and to Mayor Philip Craighead and the Lebanon City Council. My request is about the status of the public sidewalk system. This is an area of transportation that has been grossly neglected over the years and even after the American Disability Act lawsuit we have found that it is difficult for the city fathers to address the problems of safe sidewalk surfacing throughout our grand city.
In some areas work has been complied correctly, and the walkways are safe for the traveling public and in other areas the task was completed half-heartedly and it very much shows in the workmanship completed in this particular area.
A first example is that of the bridge at Ole Neighborhood Bar and Grill on West Main Street. That it has taken months to have the bridge cleaned and then have the same so-called project capped so that folks can proceed over the walkways of the bridge seems like a surmountable act for this City to complete in a timely manner.Secondly, but just as important, are the signal light buttons throughout our community that are either installed incorrectly so that a person in a wheelchair cannot use the buttons since they are so far off of the right-of-way, or are misplaced to a point that someone in a wheelchair is unable to operate the call button to get to the curb and safely cross the street before the traffic light changes from green back to red.
The third thing, and a necessary part of the crossings, is that the concrete sidewalk is poured flush with the pavement. A one-fourth-inch lip doesn't mean a great deal to you walking, but that same lip being there when you are blind or in a wheelchair is a very significant difference to the user of the sidewalk.
All we as the traveling public are asking for is that the disabled, blind and non-motorized traffic user has a safe way to travel throughout our community. I guess what I am saying is that we need at the least the same effort put in the sidewalk system as we put into the open roadway traffic as well. I realize also, as I hope you will agree, that the city fathers have sat down and neglected the sidewalk system for many years and we have a great deal of work to accomplish before it will be up to standard in the existing part of town, and we need due diligence in all the newer areas of Lebanon as well.
In my opinion, we have spent hours doing hard work and planning at the city administration building with little actual work out into the field getting the project completed and maintained as needs to be accomplished. All of the non-motorized traffic, including folks using electric wheelchairs, want is a safe area to transport themselves from home to places of business and back home once again in a safe manner.
The only other matter that we would like to be addressed is the installation of access ramps to pre-existing commercial properties so that we the disabled have access to businesses from the public sidewalks during repair and/or replacement of an older business while the building is being reworked. This will be a successful means to allow all of the public to use a place of business as needed by the entire general public at large.
Carey D. Moore