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City looks into mobility complaint made by downtown resident

The city says it is looking into a complaint made by an Ottawa woman that the grooved sidewalks at the corner of Rideau and Nelson limit her mobility.

The 69-year-old woman said her walker gets caught in the grooves near the crosswalk - which are there to help guide people with limited visibility.

Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury tells CFRA the sidewalks were built to the standards set by the city at the time.

"They've been used in our projects for the past years and it happens that since last year, you know that Rideau is in its second year of construction, the standard has changed," said Fleury. "Now it's more of a 'twizzie,' which is more of a grid-kind of surface that is less groovy and less problematic for people in wheelchairs or with walkers."

"Accessibility features are always important," he added. "They're very valuable, but sometimes when we put one in place it has an impact on another user, so we're very careful with it. We're analyzing the situation at Nelson and Rideau as she'd asked us to."

Fleury said the woman had not yet spoken with the city's accessibility department and he was prepared to meet with her.

Fleury said they would likely leave the sidewalk as is, unless they find that the contractor did not build it to the proper specifications.

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