Conroy wants communities more ‘senior-friendly’

State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-105th

State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-105th

State Representative Theresa Conroy hailed House passage this week of legislation that would establish a Livable Communities Initiative to help towns become more “senior-friendly” as the population of the state ages. Conroy is a Democrat representing Seymour, Derby and Beacon Falls.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Conroy, requires the Commission on Aging to establish a Livable Communities Initiative to serve as a forum for best practices and a resource clearinghouse to help municipal and state leaders design communities that allow residents to age in their own homes.

“Connecticut is aging,” said Conroy. “We need to help our cities and towns become more livable for seniors who chose to live at home.  The Livable Communities Initiative will be a one-stop resource for municipalities as they wrestle with complex issues like wellness, housing, transportation and public safety for an aging population.”

According to the Connecticut Commission on Aging Connecticut (CoA) is the seventh oldest state in the nation, with 507,000 residents over the age of 65. The over-65 segment will grow by more than 64% between 2006 and 2030 —  while the population of people 21-64 decreases.

The legislation (HB 6396) awaits action by the State Senate.

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    FYI: Seymour’s law firm has filed a motion to “dismiss” my ADA complaint [CHRO1330326: Luciano v. Seymour]. I propose that the Town should have responded positively ….. by offering to immediately begin patching broken sidewalks and patching curbcuts to make the latter conform as the ADA “gentle slopes” enabling persons with disabilities (PWDs) to access street crossings to and from sidewalks. Regarding the NBC-TV investigative report on Seymour’s ADA compliance, First Selectman Miller was quoted as saying “it takes time.”
    Takes time? Really? ADA was signed into law July 1990. Aren’t 23 years enough time for Mr. Miller and his predecessors (Bob Koskolowski, John O’Toole, Frank Conroy, Scott Koskolowski again, Paul Roy, and now Kurt Miller). Is it true that Public Works has no human resources (employees) on the payroll to start patching as an interim step and show of good faith—not to mention show respect for its PWD citizens living and visiting downtown? Seymour and the other 168 towns, cities, and villages need to develop themselves as Livable Communities – not merely to “facelift” (pretty storefronts, ADA-compliant sidewalks, “quaint” lighting) but also research funding sources to help privately owned establishments with funding and/or loans to provide access to PWDs. We want to do more than “sight-see; we have money to spend — and therefore can contribute to economic development. The Main Street Investment Fund is an insult to PWDs by excluding funding for access costs to privately owned businesses. We have no interest shopping and buying from sidewalks. Towns like Seymour with economically depressed downtowns that fail to consider our buying power do not understand why we shop the malls. We can access everything there!
    Res Ipsa Loquitur! Check out photos on public view showing broken sidewalks; broken curbcuts; curbcuts leading to ordinary curbs; cross walks leading to no curbcut; curbcuts with vertical drop-offs; broken crosswalks; sidewalks that end in dirt; “historic brick” sidewalks leading to nowhere; inaccessible downtown public shops; illegally parked cars obstructing elderly trying to reach a (broken) curbcut; shopkeepers obstructing sidewalks with signage or merchandise; elderly; vehicles (even official town vehicles) illegally parked on or obstructing sidewalks; elderly trying to climb “historic” steps to enter historic shops that inexplicably have no hand rails for grabbing; vehicles; plantings overhanging (encroachment) sidewalks, forcing elderly and PWDs into streets; encroachments the Town ignored for a year after complaint; snow removal Town Ordinance(14-6) violations; and more.

  • Joseph A. Luciano

    Dear Town of Seymour:

    Please view photos showing a vehicle that is parked—not only not within a marked parking spot in the quite substantial parking area—but also on an established pedestrian path, i.e., a sidewalk.

    My hope is that the Town of Seymour and the Seymour PD reach agreement and understanding
    1. that an established pedestrian path is actually a “sidewalk, and
    2. that the Connecticut DMV Driver’s Manual specifies places where parking is prohibited. These are: intersections, crosswalks, within 25 feet of a stop sign, within 25 feet of a pedestrian safety zone, within 10 feet of a fire hydrant, more than one foot from the curb. And ….. sidewalks! (The DMV Driver’s Manual may be based on state statutes related to motor vehicle operator rules.)

    I also hope agreement and understanding is reached before I file ADA complaints against Seymour PD and or the Town of Seymour that include but are not limited to:
    • Derelict of duty, and/or
    • Failure/refusal to enforce DMV/motor vehicle laws

    Please see Letter – Seymour has ‘inconsiderate,’ ‘selfish’ parking policy.

    When vehicles are permitted to park on sidewalks (established pedestrian paths), persons with disabilities using wheelchairs are forced to ride in the streets, which of course is a risky thing to do. Seymour’s downtown sidewalks are in terrible shape (ADA noncompliant) as NBC TV recently documented. Inconsiderate parking—whether illegal or not—is as hazardous as allowing merchants to obstruct “quaint brickwalks” with merchandise.

  • JosephA. Luciano

    Were Seymour a “senior-friendly” community, they’d be able to go inside Tracy’s teahouse for tea and crumpets — and into most other merchant’s shops downtown. They’d even be able to go into the “public” lobby of the post office! It’s 23 years AFTER ADA was enacted, folks!

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