Saturday, November 6, 2010

Walking in Area Parking Lots is No Walk in the Park for People with Walking Issues

I had my first morning out since Tuesday morning, when I sprained my ankle.  Now crutch free (but still wearing my air cast) I set forth on my quest.

One thing I've suddenly been paying attention to is the quality of the area parking lots.  Or, should I say, abundance of crumbly asphalt and potholes in said parking lots.   There are a lot of elderly in this area and I think of my mother in  law, who uses a cane, having to negotiate some of these lots if she lived here (which she doesn't) to do her daily shopping.

My first parking lot experience was in downtown Johnson City, at Health Beat foods.  A wonderful locally-run health food store that is a staple of downtown Johnson City, I could only wish that whoever maintains their parking lots could fill in the potholes, some of which (only slight exaggeration) could probably swallow a baby whole.  Well....only exaggerating slightly.  I can only hope that whoever owns that lot never has to don a cast or use crutches to get around.  Luckily my spouse drove me, so he let me out in front of the store.  But I had to walk through that lot to get back to our car.

I find it hard to believe this business was certified "Elder Friendly" (a local certification) with the condition of the lot.  Anyone needing to use a cane or a walker would find it hard walking in that lot.Especially if they were also visually impaired.  Makes my ankle ache just thinking about it.

Yup, really makes people want to shop in downtown Johnson City.  Just think, in a couple of weeks there will probably be ice and snow on the ground to add to the general condition of that lot.   I don't like to get snarky, but I am far from the only one of your shoppers having a disability:  and mine is temporary.  Many folks' disabilities aren't temporary.  They deserve better.

(However, with that said:  thank you, Michelle Moelder, for "hanging in there" in downtown Johnson City all these years, and for running a very nice health food store.)

Then, there was Price Chopper, a supermarket in Binghamton.  A shout-out to Price Chopper, who built their first two Binghamton area stores on the sites of former Endicott-Johnson factories, thus getting rid of eyesores and benefiting our community.  But no shout out for the current quality of the parking lot.  Price Chopper is doing new construction in this shopping plaza and I hope this will include a re-do of the parking lot.

I could give out several more "dishonorable mentions" but I think you all get the general point.

Just because this is a "burnt out industrial town" doesn't mean landlords can't have a little pride in their properties, for the sake of the elderly and disabled.

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