Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Some of you recall that a few weeks back I wrote an op-ed (with lots of photos) "Walk This Way. If You Can," about my experience walking to work, a 4.2-mile hike along Providence and Queens Roads and Morehead Street. I mentioned several spots where unkempt sidewalks would pose obstacles to anyone in a wheelchair (or on roller skates, or trying to walk two abreast, for that matter). The one that brought the most comment from readers was my mention of several sections of the sidewalk along Runnymede, between Sharon Road and Colony Road. I pass there regularly in the car and walk there occasionally, and the sidewalk has been covered in leaves, mud and crud for at least a decade.
Finally! All but a small section has been cleared. (see photo at right).
I don't know if it was publicity or whether the city's transportation department contacted the property owners, but several Saturdays ago I spotted a guy with a big broom sweeping off the muck. And the scraggly holly bushes planted at the edge of the sidewalk (their prickly leaves making for a tight squeeze past the hollies) have been cut down.
I had called 311 to report a couple of spots on Providence Road where, in one case, ivy and in another case, azaleas, had grown over the sidewalk leaving only a narrow passage. The city DOT is on the case. The ivy's been cut back. The azaleas remain in need of severe pruning.
For the record, I have nothing against hollies and azaleas. I have planted, fertilized and otherwise tended both in our own yard, and they are valuable living things. Just not planted next to a too-narrow sidewalk.