Can Albanians with disabilities get around the city? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Can Albanians with disabilities get around the city?

Audrey Alfieri has been working for nearly two decades to make the city more accessible Audrey Alfieri has been working for nearly two decades to make the city more accessible
Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says the city is working to fix areas that could pose a risk Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says the city is working to fix areas that could pose a risk
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

One woman told city commissioners the city isn't doing enough to deal with downtown crosswalks and sidewalks are safety hazards to disabled residents.

Audrey Alfieri has been working for nearly two decades to make the city more accessible for handicapped citizens. She says recent hit and runs and disregard for disabled residents at crosswalks and building entry ramps are evidence the city needs to improve conditions for those who have trouble getting around.

The crosswalks at South Monroe Street and Broad Avenue is one of several downtown that people with disabilities say puts them at risk. "We have a good have a good bit of people crossing the cross walks. Our life is in jeopardy when they cross the crosswalks. And we need people to realize that crosswalks are there for a reason," said Alfieri.

Alfieri says some of the ramps around town are very deep like this one, and can actually cause wheel chairs to bottom out and even tip over when disabled people are trying to cross the road. She says she's been working with the city for the last eighteen years to fix problems around town.

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says the city is working to fix areas that could pose a risk. "Public works, and the city manager have all said that there are things that we need to look at, that we will look at, and that we will find the funding to do those things that are absolutely necessary. Especially those things that cause hazard, you know, could be dangerous. Any of those kinds of issues."

Mayor Hubbard says the city supports maintenance and repairs, but is restricted by agreements with the sate DOT before any work can be done. "You know, these are challenging times for us, and challenging issues for us. And of course, you have to have funds in order to do a number of these things. And the cost on them have gone up, but we're working on them," said Hubbard.

Alfieri says safety problems extend beyond sidewalk and ramp conditions. "Basically downtown we have a lot of people running red lights. And they don't think about that there's somebody that needs to cross the street, even walking. And we've got to do something to educate the people," Alfieri said.

She says a lot of people with disabilities live downtown, making it crucial for motorists there to pay attention. And she says a installing more signs and ticketing violators would be steps in the right direction. Alfeiri says many people park on ramps near buildings or on crosswalks and block the pathways.

She says police response is slow, and says officers usually show up after the violator has already left. Alfieri gave commissioners a list of areas of concern. Commissioners say they'll have city workers inspect each area and come back with recommendations.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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