Rolling Without Limits

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Why Every L.A. Resident Who Depends on a Wheelchair Should Have a Camera
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Why Every L.A. Resident Who Depends on a Wheelchair Should Have a Camera

If you live in the City of the Angels, and you rely on a wheelchair to get from place to place, then you might want to get your hands on a camera. Steve Lopez, a man who writes a column for the Los Angeles Times has agreed to publish any photographs of sidewalks that are in need of repair. He made his offer after meeting with a woman named Deborah Murphy.

Ms. Murphy is the executive director of Los Angeles Walks and the chair of the L.A. Pedestrian Advocacy Committee. The men and women at City Hall have forced her to take-on a special mission. She is seeking to make changes in the plans that are now underway for a $3-billion street and repair measure.

As currently written, that measure states that the allotted money will be used only for repairing streets. Not a single cent has been set-aside for fixing the sidewalks. Yet there is no shortage of bad sidewalks in Los Angeles.

Now L.A. may be called the City of the Angels, but that does not mean that all of its residents can use wings to get around in that urbanized area. In fact, Ms. Murphy has stated that at some point every resident of Los Angeles, even those with the most expensive cars, becomes a pedestrian, if only for a brief period of time.

If you have been on a bus in the city that is associated with Hollywood stars, then you know that the bus drivers go out-of –their way to accommodate any wheelchair-bound riders. Still, their willingness to be so caring will prove of little value, if those who are rolling on wheels cannot maneuver across the pavements, in order to get to a bus stop. That is why the advocacy effort launched by Deborah Murphy and now backed-up by Steve Lopez is so very important. Their efforts have a greater chance for causing the desired change, if each wheelchair user in Los Angles can get hold of a camera and then use it to snap a shot of a damaged sidewalk.


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

Leave a Comment

  1. MelissaCC
    I hope the negative publicity leads to actual change.
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    1. Sue Chehrenegar
      I will be watching for a change as I walk over the sidewalks of Los Angeles
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  2. Newly Nerfed
    Steve Lopez is a friend to the disabled community only when it suits him. His LAT series about medical marijuana was an embarrassing slap in the face to legitimate users. That said, I definitely approve of this initiative. Los Angeles sidewalks are awful for pedestrians, a danger to cane users, and a potential trip to the orthopedic surgeon for wheelchair users! I very much hope this can lead to some fixes. I live in O.C. now, but I'd be more than happy to take some pictures around my old neighborhood when I'm in L.A.
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    1. Sue Chehrenegar
      The LA sidewalks are a problem for those who walk as well. One time I tripped on a raised sidewalk, while running for a bus.
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