I-TEAM Neighborhood Nuisance: Uneven sidewalk causes accessibility, safety issues
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Multiple people who use wheelchairs say they’ve been thrown to the ground while trying to navigate an uneven stretch of sidewalk near the corner of Ashland and Woodruff Avenue in Toledo.
“City of Toledo, if you’re watching this, please come and fix these sidewalks,” Cecelia Carter, who uses a wheelchair, said. ”It’s so dangerous.”
The section of sidewalk, a bus stop, is part of Carter’s path to the Thomas M. Wernert Center for mental health and recovery. She tries to avoid using the area as much as possible.
“You have no alternative but to ride in the streets with the traffic, or get off far away. You can’t get off at this bus stop. You have to get off at another bus stop and come up,” Carter said.
She knows firsthand how dangerous the area can be.
“I tried to go around the bump, but my wheelchair just spun me around in a circle and I fell out of my chair,” Carter said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do, but some cars -- they saw me. Finally, somebody came and got out and helped me get up. But it was really scary and frightening.”
Carter wasn’t hurt in the fall, but Evamae LaVoy, a board trustee at the center, says others have been.
“Some of the members have been hurt,” LaVoy said. “So, I mean, I just don’t want nobody else to get hurt.”
She says she’s tried calling Engage Toledo.
“They said when they get to my zip code, they’ll check into it. We don’t know when they’re going to check in to this zip code,” LaVoy said.
She reached out to 13 Action News for help.
“It’s time to make a change. It’s time to fix it,” LaVoy urged.
In Toledo, individual businesses and homeowners are responsible for taking care of the sidewalks outside their properties. However, this stretch of sidewalk isn’t hear a business or home.
I-Team reporter Sophie Bates went to the City of Toledo to see who is responsible for the area. A representative says the city is looking into the problem, but have not yet provided information on how they plan to fix it.
In the meantime, Carter, LaVoy and everyone else who uses the sidewalk are still waiting for action.
“You know, this is not acceptable to me, and it shouldn’t be acceptable to the City of Toledo,” LaVoy said. “They need to do better.”
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