ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After taking a walk in their neighborhood near 98th street and Dennis Chavez Blvd. Joshua Poulsen and his daughter, who’s in a wheelchair, came across a pole right in the middle of a wheelchair ramp.
“We tried to walk this way and we ran into this pole and this fence and it makes it impossible to get into the community here. I don’t know what the point of this is, a pole or a ramp if you’re not going to be able to use it all for accessibility,” Poulsen said.
In order to get through the barriers, Poulsen says he had no choice but to take his daughter’s wheelchair apart to get to the ramp by Farinosa Avenue and Rio Maule Drive. “The only way to get it by was pretty much had to lift it up and try to take it off the wheel and slide it by,” Poulsen said. Even after removing the wheels, Poulsen says he still struggled getting his daughter through the barriers. “A little bit difficult but when you take off the wheels you can’t get it by kind of but it was a lot of finagling to try to do something that should be simple instead of trying to make a wheelchair fit when it doesn’t.”
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As to why these barriers were put in the first place? Neighbors say people were using the path as a shortcut on their off-road vehicles and damaging property. “Four wheel vehicles do go through here, dirt bikes, four wheelers and stuff like that so I know that was one of the main reasons I know that there were rocks in the roads and stuff like that,” said neighborhood resident, John Trujillo.
Residents say the pole was put in about a year ago. Poulsen and other neighbors hope the local homeowners association can find a better solution. “I have mixed emotions about this of course the handicapped should be able to come up a ramp, but if they out it here that may be one reason to deter the guys on quad and girls on quad runners,” said neighborhood resident Ricky Mondragon.
The Homeowners Association in the Desert Sands neighborhood put in the pole. We reached out for comments, but have not heard back. The city’s department of Municipal Development says it was made aware of the issue yesterday, and they are working with the HOA to fix the problem.