Judy May suffers from severe arthritis, but she still gets around town in Temple thanks to a motorized scooter. As long as there is a slow street or sidewalk available, May can get to the grocery store and her doctors appointments with no problem.
But thanks to some damaged, or missing, sidewalks around town, she’s been forced to drive in busy streets.
A week ago, on Oct. 19, Channel 6 followed May down to H-E-B from her home near Monticello Street in Temple. She was able to get to North 3rd Street with little trouble, but then things changed.
Cracks and bumps were common, but when May got to 811 N. 3rd Street, the sidewalk deteriorated into the grass. At that point, she had to choose to whether to chance getting stuck or drive out in the street and go around. May made it through the grass. But later, at 200 N. 3rd Street, the sidewalk completely disappeared and May had no choice but to jump in with traffic. At 508 West Adams Avenue, she was forced to drive on a main city road once again.
“They need to fix them, or you are going to have a lot of hurt people in this town, and possibly a lot of lawsuits,” May said. “People have to buy their groceries, they don’t have cars or drivers licenses, they are disabled or low income. They half to walk or ride scooters to get food.”
When Channel 6 reached out to the City of Temple a week ago, the city said any complaints should go to the city manager's office. So, on October 25, Channel 6 News sent acting city manager Kayla Landeros pictures and addresses of each of the dangerous areas and set up an interview.
Landeros confirmed the city was aware of at least one of the dangerous areas – specifically the slanted sidewalk at 508 West Adams Avenue. Landeros said the City of Temple was working with TxDOT and the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization to fix the sidewalk at that location.
Landeros also said she wanted to wait for interim city manager Brynn Myers, who is out on maternity leave, to return before making a decision on the other two areas. Landeros did send Channel 6’s documentation of the the problems to the public works department.
Channel 6 News also sent an email documenting the issue to Temple’s Mayor Pro-Tem and District 1 councilman Tim Davis. Davis said he would review the issue but also said he did not know where the city would get funding to fix the issues.