First responders at scene of accident involving man in a wheelchair on I-393

Jan 30, 2016 1:59 PM

Concerns raised about unplowed sidewalk after man in wheelchair injured in Concord

CONCORD - Advocates are raising concerns about a unplowed section of sidewalk after a Concord man in a wheelchair was hit by a car and seriously injured on Interstate 393 near North Main Street.

Gene Parker, 52, was on his way to the Friendly Kitchen on South Commercial Street on Thursday evening. He was in the road because the sidewalk on Interstate 393 was covered in snow and ice, according to the Concord Monitor.

City officials say they don't plow the area because it's not a city road, and another route to the local soup kitchen was available and maintained.

“The city makes it a priority to maintain a paved sidewalk to the (soup kitchen),” said City Manager Tom Aspell. That route, however is longer and loops down by Horseshoe Pond before crossing over to South Commercial Street.

State officials confirm the I-393 sidewalk is state-owned, but the Department of Transportation does not plow sidewalks during the winter – not in Concord or anywhere else in the state. Spokesman Bill Boynton said municipalities occasionally maintain the sidewalks themselves, but it’s not typical.

The sidewalk area at issue is along an overpass so snow can't be pushed off the sidewalk but has to be removed by truck.

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