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More concerns over sidewalks with no handicapped access

1 month 1 week 2 days ago February 16, 2017 Feb 16, 2017 Thursday, February 16 2017 February 16, 2017 5:59 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Following a 2 On Your Side report Wednesday, more residents came forward and say they are all trying to accomplish the same thing.

Residents living downtown Baton Rouge are calling attention to the intersection near a retirement home. They say the crossings at North Street and North 7th Street are unfriendly to people with mobility problems.

Phil Templet is totally blind. He's been a Spanish Town resident for 10 years and uses a white cane when he walks around downtown.

"Being able to get to point A to point B by myself is very important," said Templet.

After Wednesday's 2 On Your Side report, he contacted WBRZ about the intersection he's been fighting to fix for a couple years. 

"It is not handicap accessible in anyway shape or form," he said.

The intersection has curbed corners. It's missing a traffic light and the crosswalks are severely faded. Templet says a traffic light is needed, along with audible crossing signals. He says he's called the city's 311 call center multiple times about making that intersection more accessible but he's still waiting for an answer.

Templet says he's been told traffic engineers will be out to take a look at the issues but then the item dies.

A petition has been signed by nearly 100 residents of the Catholic Presbyterian Apartments at the corner of North Street and North 7th Street. The petition requests handicap pedestrian crosswalk access and protection. It was handed over to the Metro Council and former Mayor-President Kip Holden last March. No action was taken.

"They should not be hostages in their own apartment complex," said Templet.

With accessible sidewalks, Templet and others using mobility aide would be able to safely get off the sidewalk, onto the street and cross with ease.

The area is in Metro Council member Tara Wicker's district. Wicker tells WBRZ she is aware of this intersection and the problems it poses. She says last she heard it was on a city list to be worked on, but it hasn't happened yet.

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