I warn you in advance, in this month’s article I am going to get on my soapbox for a minute. I will climb down, I promise – but I need to get this out in the hopes that it will be heard.
I recently went on a site visit downtown. As I drove down Jefferson Blvd., it became apparent that if I was a wheelchair user or someone with a visual impairment, walking down the sidewalk would be treacherous. I counted 6 scooters parked in the middle of the sidewalk in a 4-5 block area. And because it raised my blood pressure, I proceeded to drive up and down several downtown streets. I am sorry to report that at that time of day (around 2:45pm), I saw 14 scooters parked blocking sidewalks.
I immediately thought of my friends who use wheelchairs and how those scooters would significantly impact their ability to access all of the wonderful amenities in downtown Fort Wayne. Not only would they be impacted, but so would every mom pushing a stroller, every elderly (or not elderly) person using a walker, and every person who has any type of mobility issue.
What is the solution beyond the resurgence of common courtesy? How can we impress upon whoever is leaving the scooters around how important it is to park abandoned scooters away from needed access areas?
For now, let’s address this as a community problem. Next time I see a scooter parked in the middle of a sidewalk, I will move it to the side or off the sidewalk. I hope my next soapbox is on how proud I am of the community for clearing off the sidewalks for all to use.