Juan Mariscal has a hard time getting around his San Ysidro neighborhood. The sidewalks are crumbling and he’s confined to a manual wheelchair. He can’t afford an electric one that might navigate the bumpy terrain.

The San Diego Reader took a walk with him to examine how crumbling and nonexistent sidewalks in San Ysidro make life for poor residents there a little harder. Mariscal’s become dependent on his wife just to leave the house.

There are many parts of San Diego where sidewalks are a problem, and the article also takes a look at how the city’s budget problems portend poorly for improvements anytime soon.

I wrote a similar story last year from City Heights. A nonprofit recognized the city needed all the help it could get and tried to take on some of the work to make sure safe sidewalks were available at least along the community’s routes to school. The story said:

The 52nd street curve is on one of the main neighborhood routes to Marshall Elementary School. A majority of parents, many of whom lack cars, have no choice but to walk their children to and from school.

That would seem to make the neighborhood a paragon for healthy living. Except that in parts of Chollas Creek, as in much of City Heights, the infrastructure does not support it. So walking’s potential to promote good health is often tempered by the task’s physical risks. …

The lack of sidewalks in Chollas Creek and elsewhere make that daily task at least laborious and at worst downright dangerous as residents walk in the street for blocks at a time.

Please contact Adrian Florido directly at adrian.florido@voiceofsandiego.org or at 619.325.0528 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/adrianflorido.

Adrian Florido

Adrian Florido is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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