Please be advised that the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG Long Island are currently installing 80- to 85-foot utility poles throughout our neighborhoods of Port Washington, Manhasset and Great Neck. These large poles are being placed in the middle of sidewalks on some of the busiest streets in our towns and make it nearly impossible for our handicapped neighbors to access the sidewalks located on the path of the poles.
The American with Disabilities Act requires that sidewalks provide at least 36 inches of unobstructed clearance so that those with disabilities may maneuver their wheelchairs without having to enter the street.
In the case of the PSEGLI Reliability Project, each pole measures 18 inches in diameter. In certain areas, the clearance space between a pole and a natural or man made boundary is 24 inches or less, forcing anyone in a wheelchair to enter onto the very busy and well-traveled roads, Port Washington Boulevard in Port Washington and Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. There is also a mound of dirt surrounding each pole, which creates a hazardous condition for anyone attempting to safely pass.
Further compounding the issue is that these poles are placed contemporaneously with the route of our public buses. In order to access certain bus stops along this route, a wheelchair-bound person would be forced to enter into the busy road to reach the bus stop or find another bus stop which is easier to access.
It is my understanding from several people that there have been ADA-related complaints from the old poles, and rightfully so. This problem is now exaggerated with the additional inches in circumference caused by these larger poles.
In addition, throughout the course of this project, PSEGLI has routinely left behind hazardous conditions that will not only impact our neighbors that rely on wheelchairs but all other persons utilizing the sidewalks.
We look forward to a resolution of this matter as quickly as possible.
—Christine M. Hogan Keep the North Shore Beautiful