I encountered a dangerous, dismaying situation while I walked along Aberdeen Avenue last night.
The sidewalks are being repaired along Aberdeen in the vicinity of Kent St. I'm grateful that the city takes the maintenance and repair of sidewalks seriously, but the state they left them in during repairs is unconscionable.
On the north side of Aberdeen, the sidewalks were impassable because they were covered with tarps, presumably because they were recently poured and the concrete was still wet. They were blocked off with pylons so pedestrians wouldn't inadvertently stumble onto them.
On the south side, the sidewalks were removed and excavated, presumably because new concrete will be poured there soon. Where the sidewalk used to be was a sort of berm of gravel bordered by ditches that were approximately two feet deep. Again, the sidewalk was blocked off with pylons, to indicate to pedestrians not to walk there, or perhaps to indicate to drivers not to drive into the makeshift ditch.
Aberdeen Avenue near Kent with sidewalks blocked off.
I was able to traverse the south side excavation, but I'm able-bodied and at the time I didn't have my kids with me. People pushing strollers, people with mobility challenges, the elderly, people driving motorized scooters or wheelchairs would have only one option: step out onto Aberdeen, a busy four-lane road, and walk down the street.
How is this even legal? Indeed, what would the city's legal liability be if someone were struck by a car and seriously injured or killed because someone made the absurd decision that it was okay to remove both sidewalks on Aberdeen from service at the same time? And once that decision is made, how is it possible that no leeway on the roadway is granted to pedestrians in order to safely traverse the dangerous area?
I believe this is negligence of the worst sort: the kind that puts the health and safety of human beings at risk. The risk is especially great for our most vulnerable populations - the elderly, the disabled and young children. It's disgraceful.
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