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Columbia not walker-friendly; for visually impaired it is downright dangerous

Writer has almost been hit on many occasions. And for many, there is no alternative to walking. Having to use taxis to get get around is expensive, too much so for fixed income. Walking in writer's Bomar Heights is particularly dangerous because of speeding drivers, lack of sidewalks. Cites impossible crossing at Tutt, Curry/Bomar Heights and Jamestown Street, near Sonic; and difficulties with crossing at Jamestown ST and Hurt/Tractor Supply Entrance.

By Reece Antone

I am a resident of Adair county, I have been here just over a year.I am visually impaired and have MS. I have found it very very hard to navigate Columbia without aid of other people. It is almost impossible to walk alone down the city streets, I have been almost hit on numerous occasions.

The corner of Bomar Heights and Jamestown is incredibly dangerous.

There is no passable crosswalk for someone that can not see well. the signal does not indicate by sound that it has changed and if there are any cars at the repair shop parked near the sensor the cross light will NOT change.

At the intersection located near IGA and Tractor Supply the cross walk is again not accessible on the only side that the cross walk is operational. This too is a very dangerous place to cross because of the many drivers expecting the pedestrian to get out of the way.

You have to cross at Bomar Heights to the far side of Jamestown and the other side of the street is not at all accessible of some one walking without obstruction until the cross at Tractor Supply. Once again the signal is not indicated by sound.

If i need to get to the county services office this too is another extremely dangerous journey, the walk way without indication switches to the IGA side of the street there is NO safe way to get to the human services office other than by driven transportation.

I understand that this is a small town, but the town is not at all pedestrian friendly and even worse, for any one with a disability visually or physically.

I know this seems petty but it is something many people take for granted.

And when people in the community use Bomar Heights as the short cut around town, it is too dangerous for me and my family to walk because of the high rate of speed they travel and inconsideration people have for pedestrians.

I understand.You may say, "Why not get a ride?" We have no family in this town and to take a taxi just to town and back home is $5.00 each way with a $1.00 per stop. To go to Walmart is $8.00 one way.

On a fixed income, doing this just to get a gallon of milk this is not a financial smart move.

I would like just one person to try to walk from the Post office down Bomar Heights to Jamestown Street, then to the aid office; and do this with a pair of very snugged glasses, not even blindfolded, just impaired.

It is a feat not many would ever do again without reaching out to someone to say this is a very dangerous community to those that do not and can not drive its streets.

I thank You for taking the time to read this and i applaud you if it motivates you to investigate.Thank you, --Reece Antone

This story was posted on 2011-09-06 18:25:54
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