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Richmond woman in wheelchair says sidewalk near home is safety hazard

RICHMOND, Va. -- Natalie Simmons loves to go to the store and out to church, but over the years her health troubles slowed her down a bit. Now the 96-year-old woman relies on a walker and this wheelchair to get most places she needs to go.

She said her frustration grows each day trying to navigate the bumpy sidewalk in front of her Fendall Avenue home, which she called a safety hazard.

“Yeah, it's bumpy, and somebody fell on the sidewalk trying to get me in the car,” she said, “not recently, but it did happen.”

Miss Simmons said she contacted the city in the past requesting that the sidewalk be repaired, but to no avail.

She said that in 2012 she got her hopes up when someone from the city came out to inspect the damage.

She said her frustration grows each day trying to navigate the bumpy sidewalk in front of her Fendall Avenue home, which she called a safety hazard.

“They didn't ring the doorbell, though,” she said. “I saw them from my window.”

She said they measured something and wrote down the measurements.

Simmons said a big problem is that because she doesn`t have a handicap sign in front of her house, people park there all the time and she`s forced to try to get onto the sidewalk in other places, where the sidewalk is clearly uneven and difficult to navigate.

She asked the CBS 6 Problem Solvers to connect her with someone from the city`s Public Works Department that could explain the process to get the sidewalks on her block done.

“I need some help now.”

DPW Spokesperson Sharon North said they checked into her situation and didn't have a record of her calls to request sidewalk repairs. They did see other unrelated requests. She said they will send out a crew to inspect the sidewalk and see what repairs need to be made to address any hazards.