letter to the editor

Shutting Down Main Street

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  So, about the Town, similar to when they replaced the handicapped parking meter with a two hour meter, and the able-bodied meters were three hour meters…they’re talking about closing down Main St., Railroad Ave. and I believe Spring St. to put out more outdoor tables, leaving the pedestrians to use the road for walking. 

Has one single person who works for the Village/Town/City/State thought, for one second, about anything besides dollar signs and short-sighted greed when it comes to this whole shutting down Main St. for four nights a week from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. gimmick?

  Warwick is one of the least accessible places to be handicapped because, as evidenced by the amount or lack thereof, of handicapped parking on the street itself. It seems to never really be much about us and by us, I mean both the handicapped and the less affluent members of the community.

  After having to fight for the handicapped metered spaces to be kept open when they do sidewalk sales…oh wait, it wasn’t like it was hard for them to do, because there are only two spaces between Maple Ave. and Oakland Ave. and yet, once again here we are.

  I have spent the last 19 years of my life crippled to a small extent, and one year crippled to a larger degree and I continue seeing the neurotypical and able-bodied townsfolk ignore and overlook those who have walking issues, all the way up to those who flat out need wheelchair accessible places and things…or to put it in another way: just ignore everyone who lives on Main St.

  The short distances I can walk (on my good days) do not, say, I dunno, equal the distance I will need to go to get to either the parking lot on South St. or CVS. Am I to be trapped in my home like a prisoner? Punished for the shortcomings of my severely damaged and constantly, never-endingly painful, spinal damage so some restaurant can sell someone an overpriced hamburger and alcoholic beverage combo? 

  Is my family to only be allowed to go food shopping Monday through Wednesday? Because, if so, my father, who works at the hospital keeping the shelves supplied with life-saving materials, who works until 4 p.m. will not be able to bring said food home. Is he also not a “Heroic Hospital Worker?” Where is the consideration for him? My mother has a neurodegenerative condition on top of her severe spinal issues. She can walk even shorter distances than I can. So where, I ask again, is the consideration for her? Where is the consideration for my neighbors who have children?

  I humbly question, how Warwick can disappoint its citizens so severely yet again. I realize that those of us who don’t live in million-dollar homes, those who look different, those who aren’t physically perfect, being treated like second, third, and fourth-class citizens compared to others is just the way it has always been. It’s the 21st century and lots of people still live in the apartments on Main St. (my family has lived here for 75years), just like they have in the 19th and 20th centuries. And I cannot, for the life of me, fathom how anyone can think shutting down Main St. four days a week in the name of greed and that almighty dollar, in the face of human suffering and simplicity, is a good idea.

  Where is the compassion? Where is the love? Where are the “Good People” to stand up and speak out for me; my family; my neighbors; people who drive handicapped vans; or for people who plainly live a less than middle-class lifestyle. Where are the voices speaking on our behalf? Or are they drowned out by the voices of George, Abe, Andrew, and Benjamin?


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