Unfinished Sidewalk Causing Trouble for Disabled Man

3 years 9 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, March 29 2017 Mar 29, 2017 March 29, 2017 9:07 PM March 29, 2017 in News

ALAMO - A man with a disability wants Alamo’s sidewalks be repaired. He said his daily commute at times can be dangerous.

Richard Lutes had lived in Alamo for more than 30 years. He said he’s learned to live with his disability since 2004.

He uses a motorized chair to get around, but a lack of sidewalks forces him to ride through the grass.

“When it rains I can’t get beyond that, so I go nowhere,” he said.

Lutes said there is a sidewalk across the street, but getting to it isn’t always safe. He added a simple ride to his local post office can be a challenge.

“I have to cross what three, four, five lanes of traffic to get to a sidewalk. I started going across the street and two cars ran the red light and damn near hit me. So that was kind of scary,” he said.

Lutes said many of the existing sidewalks end abruptly.

“On many of these other intersections you have a crosswalk that goes absolutely nowhere. A lot of money spent on it. Nice, pretty but it’s an eight by eight access to nowhere,” he said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Alamo city hall to see what could be done to fix some of the issues.

Alamo city manager Luciano Ozuna Jr said a shift in plans might have caused them.

“Tower Road is made it into a four-lane highway. We also initially tried to make sidewalks on both sides of the road. Unfortunately, because of utility lines that exist underground on that side of the road and budgetary problems, we decided to go on the east side and build a sidewalk on the east side,” he said.

Ozuna said the he will start looking into how the city can better accommodate Lutes and other residents with disabilities.

The city manager said they will have to work with the Texas Department of Transportation and the railroad company to fix the sidewalk issues on certain streets.

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