How accessible is the Short North for the disabled?

Here is a subject addressed by The Short North Gazette that is easy to overlook for most of us:

Navigating the Urban Landscape
How accessible is the Short North for the disabled?

By Tracy Zollinger Turner
July/August 2015 Issue of Short North Gazette

Uneven sidewalks like this in front of the Greystone building can be a dead end for wheelchairs.
Carol Sagara has traveled the Short North in a wheelchair for the past decade, ever since the pain of spinal arthritis and osteoarthritis in every joint in her body began to hinder her ability to walk.

A master seamstress, she sewed the tops of convertibles for Crown Auto Top, and later tuxedos downtown. She and her husband, who was in the Air Force, raised three children in Columbus. She’s lived on her own ever since he passed away in the late 1980s.

Now 77 years old, she loves her neighborhood, loves her view of the buildings and treetops from her apartment on the ninth floor of Bollinger Tower where she has lived for 21 years. She loves the building and even keeps a framed picture of it on her wall that was taken by a fellow resident. During Gallery Hop, she sometimes goes down to the High Street courtyard to listen to a singer she likes with her neighbors. She frets when bigger events prevent her nurse, who visits her daily, from being able to get through the traffic or find parking, but says she figures it’s all good for the city’s life and economy.

“I have more trouble with the sidewalks than anybody that lives here in the Short North,” says Sagara. “People are always kind and willing to help me out when I need something. You can’t get a better location than this. Broad and High Street are only six blocks away.”

Sagara can easily list a number of places on High Street where she must divert her wheelchair into the street or onto the grass due to uneven or buckling sidewalks, as well as places where the surface is broken up enough that she knows from experience that it could ruin her tires and cause several hundred dollars for repairs that she does not have.

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