Disabled seniors struggle with steep Pearl City sidewalk - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Disabled seniors struggle with steep Pearl City sidewalk

Don Gonzaga has to hang on to the railing to get down the steep walkway Don Gonzaga has to hang on to the railing to get down the steep walkway
Jane Page Jane Page
PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jane Page has lived at the Hale Mohalu II senior housing project for the last nine months. She said leaving her property is like climbing a mountain.

"For me to face it, then and there. Yeah. It's really spooky," she said.

The driveway and adjoining sidewalk connect her apartment building to Kamehameha Highway. Her only way to get to the highway in her wheelchair is in reverse, using very small steps. The uphill trek is an agonizingly slow struggle.

"And I'm constantly turning this way and this way to make sure I'm in the side area, the sidewalk," she said.

At times the steep angle has forced Page to put on the brakes, call it quits, and ask for help.

"And I said, 'Help me! Help me!' Because I couldn't go any further," she said.

There are others who dread using the sidewalk, which is the only way from Hale Mohalu II to the highway, bus stops and stores. Don Gonzaga said he fights to hang on to his walker and the railing.

"If you're not hanging onto the pipe, you'll probably roll down the hill," he said.

Page can use her walker on the sidewalk, but is afraid she'll fall. And going down the slope in her wheelchair is one scary ride.

"I feel that the wheelchair is pulling me down," she said. "I'm afraid if something happens I'll be head first."

Other residents have also complained about the steepness of the sidewalk, and asked management if it can be changed.

"Is there another way to make it level?" Gonzaga said.

Hale Mohalu II has been taking in tenants for about a year. The company that manages the building referred questions about the driveway and sidewalk to the coalition that owns the property.

"I want the sidewalk to be corrected as soon as possible so I can make my way up," Page said.

In her case, going up is easier said than done.


Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly