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When we seniors walk north on Park Boulevard (toward Sprouts), sidewalks are badly in disrepair. I was only here recently when I tripped and fell on a broken-up sidewalk (two-inch protuberance in several spots). This particular piece of sidewalk was directly in front of several cottages. What made it so interesting was that there were four big burly men in front of those cottages, talking. I hit the ground and bruised my knee. At first, I couldn’t get up and, as I was looking in their direction to ask for help, at the same time, they all turned their backs to me. I struggled to get to my feet and, by the time I did, they all went into one of the cottages — they were gone.

I returned home, limping and bruised — I never made it to Sprouts. For the next week, I doctored myself. I painfully removed the gravel which had embedded under the skin and used peroxide and alcohol (yes, it burns) to clean and sterilize. After several weeks, I was fine with it.

My reason for telling you this story is simple. Homeowners don’t want to spend the money to upgrade, and they certainly don’t want to be sued. So they look the other way and disappear. I couldn’t find the name of the agency which fixes sidewalks so I couldn’t report it. Later, I discovered that several of my neighbors have fallen in the same spot. It’s the ugliest stretch of sidewalk and very dangerous.

It’s now been almost four years since I’ve been here and, yes, the broken-up sidewalk remains in that state. I know that when I was a homeowner, we owned up to our responsibilities, paid for insurance and maintained the grounds for others’ welfare. What happened to our social interaction that this situation is accepted as a “norm?” It’s a disgrace that flies in the face of lack of responsibility. Many seniors are worse off than I am. For one of them, this is a potential lethal situation.

Connie Lambert lives in Hillcrest.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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