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Twin Falls woman seeks better wheelchair accessibility on city streets

Anne Nicholas (Left) and her caretaker Tiona Budden (Right) discussing the current state of Twin Falls roads and sidewalks.
Anne Nicholas (Left) and her caretaker Tiona Budden (Right) discussing the current state of Twin Falls roads and sidewalks.(KMVT)
Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 6:19 PM MDT
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The current state of roads and sidewalks around one Twin Falls resident woman's residence at Laurel Park Apartments prevents her from accessing places like the grocery store, the bank, and her church in her wheelchair.

"It's very hard to get out with my wheelchair and I'm not the only one who has the problem," said Anne Nicholas.

The various declines in the road on the way to her church and the gravel covering the sidewalk prevents her from traveling in her wheelchair.

"When I get on to the gravel, my wheels get stuck or they will go around in circles or I can't maneuver the chair," Nicholas said.

Anne says she's had several accidents where she's fallen out of her chair due to the current state of the roads around her apartment.

"The last time I got tossed on the ground," Nicholas says, "the police were very sweet and I really appreciate them taking the time to come."

Nicholas tells KMVT that there are resources available to her to travel efficiently around Twin Falls, but when you're elderly and need to get to the doctor at the spur of the moment, conditions aren't ideal. Nicholas's caretaker, Tiona Budden, agrees.

"The hardest part is I'm not here everyday," Budden says. "And I can't be here everyday for 24 hours."

Budden has seen with her own eyes the problems people like Nicholas have maneuvering around the area.

"When we try to go out there together, and I see that her wheels are spinning out of control to move forward. It just worries me she can't go anywhere," Budden said.

Both of them understand that construction around the city is required, and that they just hope the city understands some of the problems they are currently facing. When asked by KMVT, the city of Twin Falls, knew exactly the location Nicholas was referring to and said plans are in motion to help alleviate the situation. He said at one of the locations in question there is a low-lying break in the road that the city will be repairing.

"We're aware of their concerns and we can totally understand their concerns about that," said Twin Falls Public Information Officer Joshua Palmer.

He said the city has a plan in place to make sure those areas are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is what the issue pertains to.

"That gravel makes it not ADA accessible," Palmer said. "After speaking with some of the folks who live in that area, we put a plan in place that will start within a month to repair that."

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