Letter: Help disabled by clearing sidewalks

To the editor:                         

With snow and ice all around us, I am a person (with a disability) who uses a manual wheelchair as her main source of mobility in her home and around the city of Pittsfield. Even with the snow, there are still people in manual and power wheelchairs who need to go to work or shopping, get to their doctors' offices, visit family members or return home. Thus, safety is a key concern, as is maneuvering down clean sidewalks and up and down clean curb cuts/ramps. Therefore, I would like to ask all homeowners, apartment owners, and business owners to remember to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes, apartments and businesses, clear of snow this year,

There are lift-equipped vans that need to drop their lifts and their clients in front of these homes, apartments and businesses, so please remember to clear a wide enough pathway (36 inches) from the sidewalk to the street. This would allow these lifts to be deployed correctly and used most effectively.

It would also be greatly appreciated if an extra effort could be made to keep the curb cuts/ramps clear. This goes out especially to the state and city plow personnel who (unintentionally, I am sure) tend to block the curb cuts/ramps with mounds of snow each year.

It is hard enough to get around the city, in a manual or power wheelchair, without snow. It is even harder with snow. I know the members of the community of Pittsfield have a heart and want to extend it to others. This is one way everyone can do it. The persons with disabilities and the elderly of this community wish to thank you for the effort we know you will make.

June Hailer,


The writer is chairwoman of the Pittsfield Commission on Disabilities.



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