The above photos courtesy of Danny Ponomar at

Friday, February 11, 2011

People With Mobility Issues Can Have a Really Hard Time Getting Around Lethbridge

I have seen a couple of situations recently that have saddened me.

The first was the other day near the Enmax center on the road leading to the College. It seemed quite obvious to me that a man in an electric powered wheelchair was having troubles (he was stuck in the snow on the side of the road) and after watching 5-7 vehicles pass him without any regard I stopped in the street and asked him if he was ok. He said he was stuck. I immediately pulled over and it seemed as though another woman had already done the same and was walking towards him.

He said he was trying to get to the bus loop at the College to catch the bus. The woman and I managed to get him unstuck and he kept trying to travel forward but only one of his wheels was getting any traction and he kept sliding into the snowbank. I suggested that he use the sidewalk on the other side of the street because it appeared to be shoveled and was much less dangerous than driving his wheelchair against somewhat heavy oncoming traffic (from people leaving the Hurricanes Game) where cars were swerving to avoid him. He mentioned that the sidewalk was not an option because once he got to the end there was no ramp for him to get off the sidewalk.

I kind of doubt that there would not be a ramp at the end of the sidewalk but I am sure he would know more about that than I would. After he was unstuck there was not much more we could do to help him and he seemed to be continuing on his way. To the five - seven cars (at least that I saw) that drove past this person in front of me you should be ashamed of yourselves for not offering some help. It was clear that he was stuck and all you did was swerve around him in a hurry to get yourselves to where you were going.

On the same night I believe I was driving along Fourth Avenue near 6th Street and noticed a person lying in the crosswalk. It appeared that she had fallen while using her walker to cross the street. I slowed down to see if that was the case or not and it appeared as though a female bus driver and another random citizen were trying to help her back up but it did not seem to be going that well. I parked right away and was going to offer some help but it appeared that they had gotten her back on her feet so I stayed in the car.

Please if any of you ever see someone struggling on the side of the road that clearly has a disability or mobility issue please be more compassionate and offer a hand. I couldn't believe how many people just drove by the guy at the Enmax center, I wonder how many others had that I didn't see.

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