Getting around local crosswalks, intersections and sidewalks in downtown Maple Ridge can be very difficult for people with limited mobility and dependent on assistance devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. (Black Press Media files)

Getting around local crosswalks, intersections and sidewalks in downtown Maple Ridge can be very difficult for people with limited mobility and dependent on assistance devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. (Black Press Media files)

LETTER: Dangerous getting around Maple Ridge in wheelchair, scooter

Taking crosswalk argument a step further, how about making downtown accessible for all

Dear Editor,

[RE: LETTER: Walking lights should be automatic at major intersections, Nov. 22, The News online]

Regarding Noreen Cross letter about crosswalk light changes, I had a recent accident and had to use a manual wheelchair.

To push the walk button, I had to go down into the slight incline to reach the button.

These inclines are at most intersections. Hazards. Why are there many textures at these places?

Yellow bumps and tiled walkway are hard to wheel over, causing fatigue and pain and falls.

Many times I rolled into traffic, then I had to wheel backwards to get out of the way.

I had a 20-year-old wheelchair (as I do not qualify for any funds/medical aids).

Then when I graduated to a walker (again, an old one), I had to go into the incline and let one hand off my walker handle to push the walk button. Yikes.

Also the sidewalks (Dewdney Trunk Road from 222nd to 224th Streets) are horrible for mobility aids.

I had to manoeuvre around tree trunks coming through the sidewalk, hydro poles, city garbage cans, benches and business sandwich boards.

Two times I rolled into the businesses to let them know their signs were in the middle of the sidewalk – nothing changed. And these businesses do not have a handicap button to open the door. So I rolled up, using one hand to hold my wheelchair, the other to open the door, trying to roll into the store.

What’s next?

Please businesses from 222nd to 224th Streets, snow removal has not been happening for the two years I have tried to walk to, past, or into your store. I left messages and still none have cleared the walkways.

Maybe the accessibility committee can put this challenge on a future agenda?

Kimberly Hayek, Maple Ridge



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