Pothole-riddled alleyway forces woman in wheelchair to alter life

Posted at 12:03 AM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 06:39:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond woman who uses a wheelchair alley outside of her home is so riddled with potholes she's forced to drive her car onto her lawn to get out.

Walking down the alley you have to be extremely careful, so it next to impossible for someone confined to wheelchair.

"We're all really fed up with up with the situation of this alleyway," says Shanika Hill.

For the last ten years, Hill has lived in Richmond's east end off Williamsburg Road. Since the front of home is not wheelchair accessible she relies on using the alley behind her house.

But there is one problem: Well actually more than one: 32 potholes.

Shanika Hill

Shanika Hill

The conditions are so bad that hill can't park her vehicle in her detached garage because of the uneven road. Now she's has turned her backyard into a makeshift driveway next to her door ramp.

Hill says she's contacted the city ten times about her dilemma this year alone, but hasn't made any progress.

“I've sent them pictures. I've sent them emails. Pictures attached to emails so they can see it, but the pictures don't it justice," said Hill. "You have to come out here and be able to assess for yourself."

Her neighbors tell CBS 6 the last time the city came and laid gravel on the alleyway was two years ago, but the improved conditions didn't last very long.

"If they continue to put the sand down, and gravel... as soon as it rains and snows it just going to continue to wash out," says Estelle Grant, a 29 year resident of the neighborhood.


"If we could just get the city to pave it, put some black tar or something to make it better than what it is...  instead of wasting money every two years coming out doing the same thing that's not working,” said Vincent Green, who lives on the block.

Because of that, Hill fears the worst in the case of an emergency.

"I would be trapped on my property. This is the furthest I could get off the property," said Hill.

CBS 6 reached out to the city and they say due to budget reasons, alleyways are not a priority but they will get those on their list when they have the staff available.

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