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Maderan comments on wheelchair safety

Picture this: Saturday night, 7:50 p.m., very dark and busy intersection of Granada and Riverview Drive, where the cars are stacked up waiting to return to or depart from their homes in northwest Madera and/or commute with the businesses by the (Madera District) Fairgrounds.

Lighting is not all that great, but headlight glare is. A man with black hair (and black beard?) in an all black wheelchair, wearing all black clothing, crosses DIAGONALLY from the northeast corner to the southwest corner, then proceeds unscathed southbound on the sidewalk, apparently unaware of his circumstance.

That is hard to see (I didn’t see him right away) and vulnerable to drivers who are less attentive — those with a little too much wine with their dinner, or those with glare blindness from the cars at the intersections coupled with their aging eyes, or those miscreants who insist on distracting themselves, just for a moment, with a very important message of who is dating whom on their cell phones.

And I’m not sure, but it looked to me like one car hit its brakes right after having stopped and then proceeding across that space. I was busy just holding to the stop sign until this person made it safely to the other side.

And, I am ashamed to say, uttering some unkind words about how unclever that person must be.

For the love of all that is good, whoever you were — wear something light! Or put a flag on your chair! Or get an old fishing pole and mount an old white t-shirt on it! And cross properly! If this is somebody with limited awareness of his situation, I am hoping that his loved one(s) will read this and make some adjustments for him.

Thank you, Mr. Editor, for publishing this.

— John C. Clark,


Handicap parking abuse still goes on It was stated by a DMV representative that not all handicaps are visible.

This may be true.

However, when a handicap vehicle is a “Jacked up” 4WD pickup and the driver hops up on the tire to wash his windshield, it does make one wonder.

When handicap vehicles are pickups, in the contractor loading zone at a major improvement center, it does make one wonder.

Perhaps handicap plates should be reviewed on a five-year interval. I have seen Handicap pickups on construction job sites! How does that work?

As for signs in the medians and along sidewalks, I understand not one is “Code allowed.” Political signs are the worst. Tax time brings many signs out. Mostly on Howard Road. None of these are “pulled.”

Electric signs by schools are a distraction. Even though they are on the school property, they cycle messages that can’t be read unless you are stopped.

The governor wants more bike lanes. We have some, but bicyclists use the sidewalks and don’t stop for stop signs. Many nightriders are not lighted and appear out of nowhere. Code Enforcement needs to work on that better.

Even cross-country runners on Granada are running in the street during the winter. It’s dark at 5:30. And they have no reflectors or lights.

I know most don’t care what I think, but I am thinking it. Hope everyone gets home safely.

— Bill Hoffrage,



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