Stanley Jones and Barbara Barker like driving themselves around town. Like anybody else.
Only problem. They need smooth sidewalks as well as curb cuts with ramps and either crosswalks or underpasses to get where they are going in their wheelchairs.
From their apartments in southwest Colorado Springs, they found it near impossible to reach the retail corridor on 8th Street anchored by Wal-mart.
Jones recently moved to Tucson, but Barker lives in the Regency Tower Apartments , noted on the map by the “RTA” circle.
They are celebrating the city’s construction of a mile of sidewalk extending from Arcturus Drive north to Rio Grande Street. Half the new sidewalk is finished. The city is working to complete the northern half, which leads to a bus stop and underpass allowing folks in wheelchairs safe passage across 8th Street to Wal-mart, the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and downtown. See details in the FlashEarth.com image below.
Some might question the need to celebrate a sidewalk. But it’s a big deal if you aren’t able to walk or drive where you need to go.
Here’s where the old sidewalk ends at a bus stop along the northern part of 8th Street:
Here is a close up of the rugged path. Try wheeling up or down this terrain.
The path parallels an equestrian riding area in Bear Creek Regional Park. Folks in wheelchairs probably feel like they are trying to hurdle obstacles like these wooden structures that horses jump.
Here’s a look at the new sidewalk recently completed by Colorado Springs crews. In a few weeks, similar sidewalk will run the length of the mile from Arcturus to Rio Grande.
Here’s what the city had to say about the sidewalk: