Sidewalks Become Battlegrounds

•In Columbia, Mo., the City Council last week passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for motorists to harass disabled people in the public rights of way. Mayor Darwin Hindman said the language for wheelchairs and walkers was added to an existing law for bicyclists to protect "more vulnerable classes" of pedestrians.

"As with most cities, we have a certain number of deteriorated sidewalks that are not suitable for wheelchairs," Hindman said.

Jackson Councilman Kenneth Stokes said the ultimate solution is for the city to fix the sidewalks. In the meantime, Stokes sponsored a measure that passed this month requiring wheelchairs to have reflectors or a blinking light if disabled residents intend to use them in the street after dark.

Joyner reports for TheClarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

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