Ballard sandwich boards are hazards for blind
Ed. Note: The following letter was sent to the Seattle City Council. A copy of it was sent to the Ballard News-Tribune.
I was walking in Ballard recently and noticed a blind woman with a cane trying to negotiate Market Street in front of Tulley's. I offered to help her, but maybe others don't.
Because of the proliferating number of sandwich boards advertising businesses and the increase in the number of fenced-in areas used by restaurants and bars, this woman was having a difficult time. She nearly went off the curb twice and bumped into a number of the signs and then the refuse can.
There is no way a blind person can memorize the territory now, even in a familiar landscape. The signs move around and there are more of them every day. I have personally been inconvenienced by them and have moved some of them closer to the buildings. I have gone in to ask proprietors to keep their signs closer to the buildings they occupy, but they seem not to care.
I think it is time to charge a fee for the use of the public right of way and to limit the number of signs on the sidewalks. Merchants could take turns by day of the week.
I walk a lot and use these Ballard streets frequently. If it bothers me, how much more must it bother a sightless person?