Donna Siler loves the newly-opened Yakima Avenue overpass. But there’s one major problem: If she’s traveling from the north, she feels she imperils her life every time she crosses it.
Siler, a 58-year-old Tacoma resident, uses an electric wheelchair to get around after suffering a stroke last October. There aren’t any sidewalk ramps at the corner of South 28th Street and Yakima Avenue. That means if she wants to use the bridge, she has to use the traffic lane.
I’m waiting to hear from the city on this, but Siler said she talked to someone last week.
"They told me it might be a couple of years," she said. "If I keep going across that bridge in my electric wheelchair for a couple of years, the odds are that I’ll get hit."
The sidewalks on the bridge wrap down to South Tacoma Way, but Siler says there are no ramps there either. Her chair can’t just pop up on the 10-inch curb.
She crosses the overpass several times a week now but said she’ll want to go across it every day during the summer. She lives near the corner of South 25th and South G streets but purchases groceries at Safeway, buys medicine at Lincoln Pharmacy and eats at the burger shacks that line South 38th Street.
"I love this bridge. It’s beautiful," Siler said. "But they just need to fix the problems."