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Poles on Clearwater Beach sidewalks block wheelchairs

Errant poles shock council Jan. 14 story

Not enough room for wheelchairs

What surprises me most about the news stories published about the sidewalk obstructions on south Clearwater Beach is that none address the most obvious: a total disregard for handicapped access.

I thought this topic was addressed a couple of years ago, but apparently not.

Although I personally think that the requirements and execution of handicapped access are sometimes confused and abused, it is very obvious to anyone looking at the situation on Clearwater Beach that the current configuration of the sidewalks with their palm trees and light poles make several sections of them impassable to pushed or motorized wheelchairs.

Aren't there some code requirements regarding this issue?

Furthermore, how difficult can it be, prior to sidewalk construction, to route a couple of electrical cables a few feet over to service light poles?

Also, it is difficult to imagine that there are not some setback requirements that would allow these light poles, palm trees and other obstructions to be placed on portions of business properties along these sidewalks, or that business owners would object to the addition of these amenities to improve their frontage.

Who's "errant" here? Planners, engineers, construction supervisors and inspectors, what were you thinking?

P. Wiersma, Clearwater

Errant poles shock council Jan. 14 story

Common sense was disregarded

Let's see, who's in charge anyway? Did the poles get installed in the wee hours of the morning, when no one was around? Where was the inspector when the final plans were being completed? I do believe even a 10-year-old would know that anyone would rather walk past a pole than around it.

They say it was an extra expense to put the poles outside the walk area of the sidewalk. So what? What will the expense be if someone is hurt and sues the city? Is there only one person in charge on city projects?

Besides, I have never seen anything look as silly as a light pole in the middle of a sidewalk. This is almost dumber than the roundabouts on Cleveland Street.

I guess Clearwater has lots of extra money to redo things when city workers goof up.

Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater

For new police chief, two key advantages | Jan. 13 editorial

Congrats on job well-deserved

Congratulations to Tony Holloway, Clearwater's next police chief. In my opinion, Holloway earned this position. He listened to Chief of Police Sid Klein, whom he served under. Apparently, it became obvious to Klein that Holloway had potential and therefore strongly suggested that he complete his college degrees. And Klein also gave him administrative assignments such as budget preparation so he could develop the kind of skills he would need to be a chief.

With all of that under his belt, in 2007 Holloway took wing from his comfortable nest and took a job in Somerville, Mass., as chief of police — probably to make sure he was up to the task.

It takes a lot of guts to painstakingly complete all of the steps he took. In essence, Klein hand-picked his own replacement and is most likely pleased as punch. Both Klein and Holloway deserve a pat on the back. It was Klein's keen insight and his encouraging Holloway to live up to his full potential that led Holloway to compete for the job of Clearwater police chief. And it was Holloway following through that landed him the job.

Indeed, a job well done and I wish Holloway well.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

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Poles on Clearwater Beach sidewalks block wheelchairs 01/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:39pm]
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