Sidewalks endangering elderly Bella Vista residents

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Some residents of the state’s largest senior citizen complex say they are taking their life in their hands.

Debra, Bill, Patty and Ken are among the hundreds of residents at New Haven’s ‘Bella Vista’ that use electric wheel chairs to do some of their errands. But it has become a treacherous task because the sidewalks between ‘Bella Vista’ and the drug store and the bank are in such disrepair.

“Up and down, they have cracks so big you have to go around them because they’re all out of whack,” said Bill Harey.

“The sidewalks all the way down here from Eastern Street up to Bella Vista are disgusting,” adds Debra Bianco.

Many times they ride in the street just to avoid the bumpy parts of the sidewalk. But that’s not the worst of it there’s one section of Route 80, Foxon Boulevard, where there’s no sidewalk at all forcing them into the busy roadway.

As he rode in the gutter on the busy road Ken Basley said, “they don’t even slow down for us sometimes right now. I’m scared in my pants to even be out here right now because I can’t get on the sidewalk here and this is what I have to go through and other people in chairs and walkers got to go through when they come up here to use the ATM machine. It’s not right.”

“It’s just got to be fixed, we’re lifelong residents. We’re asking for help, it’s time we got it,” added Patty DePalma.

The Mayor says her hands are tied because the Board of Alderman took sidewalks away from the control of the mayor’s office.

“They elected, before I was elected to have a process that they basically undertake to assure that sidewalks are not political,” says Mayor Toni Harp (D-New Haven)

But in this case it’s not been political it’s just not been done. Debra and the other ‘Bella Vista’ residents say they’ve been talking about this for years but no one seems to be listening.

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