LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What will it take to get sidewalks fixed?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 4:23 p.m. CDT

An open letter to Columbia City Council:

You have been told this a hundred times, or more, by concerned private citizens you serve: You need to repair the sidewalks in this town. What will it take — a lawsuit or a death to get you up off your duffs and get it done?

There are some people who do halfway jobs in this town, and whoever did the sidewalks rate in that category.

I will not sue you; as I do not think suing someone is biblical.  And, while I have had occasion to sue, and the case to sue — at some points, I have chosen a higher ground — always.

On Monday, as I was was walking downtown, from campus to my work as a preschool teacher, I fell on one of your sidewalk "accidents just waiting to happen." I was going my usual walking gait (not sped-up), and I was fully alert and careful in every sense of the word. Because you have jagged cement up in the sidewalks and do not have them smoothly sealed off, my toe connected with the jagged edge, and I fell onto my face.  I tried to catch myself with my hand, and I injured my chin and was in such agony in my knee and leg that I had to leave work and go to the emergency room.

I am in excellent health with no medical problems.  As a result of taking good care of myself, I had no broken bones, but I have torn ligaments.  I cannot begin to describe the agony brought on.  I could not stand on that leg, and I nearly blacked out from the pain, before I was forced to leave work, because of it.

I am losing three days of work, and before I can stand on my leg again for any length of time, I am in a splint and on crutches and still in immense pain.

Consider yourself fortunate that I do not sue, and when someone is injured or killed as a result of your negligence to repair the sidewalks, will you then get them repaired — or will you lose your jobs to represent us? I would say both are possibilities.

Delcia Crockett is a Columbia resident. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Corey Parks July 31, 2012 | 7:05 p.m.

You can sue if you want. It will not be directed at the City. Depending on the location of the sidewalk and what business it is in front of they will be the responsible party. Just as if there is a icy sidewalk in front of your house or you forget to shovel your driveway one day and the sidewalks are clear and someone walks across your driveway you will be the one responsible.

(Report Comment)
Skip Yates August 1, 2012 | 9:52 a.m.

Let us fix all the pot holes in the streets first!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor August 1, 2012 | 10:59 a.m.

Delcia, I am sorry you fell and are suffering. I hope you get well soon!

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin August 1, 2012 | 12:06 p.m.

It's unlikely the city is in any way indemnified if someone gets hurt on a city sidewalk, for whatever reason.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 1, 2012 | 4:33 p.m.

@"Just as if there is a icy sidewalk in front of your house or you forget to shovel your driveway one day and the sidewalks are clear and someone walks across your driveway you will be the one responsible."

Corey, I was downtown. What if a person in a wheelchair were going that way and this part of the sidewalk sticking up in such a hazardous way, flipped the wheelchair and that person then rolled into traffic?

What is a small child, even hold its parent's hand, fell on the piece sticking up, and landed on its head and received a deadly brain injury as a result of the fall.

My bones are solid, and my muscles are fit from exercise on a daily basis. Look waht it did to me.

This is a life-risk and the City needs to listen when someone makes a request of this nature. People have been after City for years about this now.

We should not be at life-risk on our City streets, but safe.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 1, 2012 | 4:35 p.m.

@"Let us fix all the pot holes in the streets first!"

It is not an either/or, when it comes to safety issue. Both of these jobs should be done and done right. These halfway jobs are costing us all in injuries to our bodies, as well as our vehicles.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 1, 2012 | 4:39 p.m.

@"Delcia, I am sorry you fell and are suffering. I hope you get well soon!"

Thank you for your kindness. Appreciated.

The thing I regret most is not being in the classroom with my students. One does not change the routine for preschoolers, and consistency is everything. When something like this happens, it happens the rest of the community, too.

I just wonder why the heck the City Council does not see that it does, too?

They have been told enough times.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 1, 2012 | 4:53 p.m.

#"It's unlikely the city is in any way indemnified if someone gets hurt on a city sidewalk, for whatever reason."

When City has been funded by taxpayers dollars, and does not render to safety of citizens in due process, City can and can expect to be sued - unless the person injured is a biblical-believer and will take on the expenses of the damages caused by City neglect, instead.

I, for one, am tired of the City Council not listening to the safety needs of this town.

Months back, the Cheif of Police gave stats, and stated this town needed 42 additional officers and sub-stations in our communities.

Instead, we only get cameras in Douglass Park. There are shootings all over town, and now some parents won't take their children for free lunches in the park, or to play there, because they do not want their children under a camera.

Don't try to correct me on this, as I am in Douglass Park, on a daily basis, and I see what is going on, and talk to people there. I have seen families, children, and church people there.

If you want to catch the criminals, then find out where they are and take them in. Don't view one section where shooting has taken place, and put all those people under a generic blanket of stigmitism.

If you catch the drug dealers and people who shoot up places, they won't be in any part of town - and if we have community sub-stations and officers in those sub-stations, then we won't have officers show up cold from across town, who do not know the people involved, and when the officers get to know the people in the community in a sub-station, those community people will have a place to go and talk over problems they are having and some of the stalking, rumors, and people who provoke fights will just stop.

We need our sidewalks, streets repaired and we need the community sub-stations and the 42 additional officers.

We need to return Columbia to safe all over town. And, we need it now!

Maybe we just need a new City Council?

(Report Comment)

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