Curb Your Enthusiasm: Lutheran Seniors Address Curb Height

A tall curb may not seem like a big deal to many, but for the elderly and those who need assistance while navigating the streets, it can be a hazardous obstacle.

Cheryl Howard, service coordinator for Lutheran Senior Housing, along with several residents from Covenant Manor, spoke before the Public Safety Committee on Monday to address the issue of curb height.

“Many of our residents are in need of not just walkers and wheelchairs, but also canes and other assistance devices,” said Howard. “The curb in front of our building is 9 inches tall, whereas the one in front of City Hall is only 6. In addition to it being difficult for people to get in and out of their family or friends’ cars when they pull up to the curb, it’s also a bus stop for the CARTS service.”

The sidewalk is handicapped-accessible via the curb cut at the corner of Third and Cherry streets, but according to Howard, if the CARTS bus were to stop at the corner where the cut is located, Cherry Street would be blocked off from traffic.

“Also, it’s a distance to walk from our building to the corner, especially in inclement weather,” Howard noted. “We’d like to request that if any money were to become available, we would like a curb cut in front of (Covenant Manor).”

Millennia Housing Development Ltd., a company based out of Cleveland, Ohio, currently owns the property. Councilman Stephen Szwejbka, I-Ward 1, suggested that the building manager at Covenant Manor should contact Millennia Housing Development in order to begin the process of having a curb cut constructed.

“(Millennia Housing Development) needs to officially request a cut through the Department of Public Works with an approved contractor, as with any type of sidewalk work in the city, and then pay for it,” said Mayor Sam Teresi. “The matter will then be brought before the Public Safety Committee for review. The ball has long been in their court, and we’ve communicated to the prior management and ownership of Covenant Manor, but they apparently felt at the time that it wasn’t a priority need. We’d be happy to bring the notion back before the current owners, though. They have to follow the same procedure that anybody in the city has to follow to be accommodated.”

According to Jeff Lehman, the cost for the project would be roughly $1,500 to $2,000, and would result in the replacement of three sidewalk blocks.

“The ball is in their court,” said Teresi. “If they have a desire to do this, we’re ready, willing and able to work with them.”