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      Lack of sidewalks raises concerns for visually impaired residents

      Visually impaired residents expressed their concerns over the lack of sidewalks on busy roads during a meeting with Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard on Tuesday.

      "We would love to have sidewalks in the city, that way we could connect through the city safely instead of walking on the side of the street with our cane travel. Sidewalks would be very helpful, said Blanche Griffin.

      Take Dawson Road for example: residents say as they're forced to walk on the road, only inches separates them from the constant stream of cars and any bump, crack or misstep can instantly turn dangerous, even deadly.

      After a visually impaired couple was hit last month while on the street, those at the meeting say they're trying to raise awareness on the issue and also reach the residents who are behind the wheel.

      "When you see the black and white cane with a person, that is a blind or legally blind person and they may not be able to see you," said Antonio Williams.

      Mayor Hubbard says she plans to come back for another meeting with City Manager James Taylor who can better explain what kind of SPLOST funds are available for a potential sidewalk project. Although no immediate answers were given, those present say it's a step in the right direction.

      "We're out here, it's a lot of physically challenged people here in the community and if we just work together I think we can get a lot of things accomplished," said Griffin.

      Williams agreed, saying this is a solid start to making a difference.

      "They can't make a difference if they're not aware, aware of the situation and the concerns."

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