Blind man falls into ditch at ART construction site

ART construction

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A blind Albuquerque man said the city is not doing enough to keep people safe during the Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction. He said he fell into a hole just walking along Central.

Joseph Dickmeyer is no stranger to the intersection of Central and Washington. He’s been hanging out in Nob Hill for more than a decade, but he said with the recent ART construction it’s been more difficult to cross.

“There was no caution tape, no netting, no barricades, just a few little measly little cones that does nothing for me,” he said.

That attention to detail is important to him because he’s blind. He said that detail was something he needed two weeks ago.

“I fell in, and how I landed I sprained my back, because I had like an 80 pound pack on,” he said.

Dickmeyer said at the time of his fall, the ditch was about two feet deep. A driver came to his rescue and helped him out. Even though the ditch isn’t as deep today, he said just having cones isn’t enough.

“Find a way to better secure a perimeter around when they’re doing construction so that this doesn’t happen in the future for not only myself, but other blind visually impaired people of Albuquerque,” said Dickmeyer.

He’s been trying to get a hold of the city for a few weeks now.

“Every time I try to make contact, it seems like they just can’t be bothered with my petty little problems,” he said.

In a statement to KRQE News 13, an ART spokesperson Joanie Griffin said they are aware of Dickmeyer’s accident and have contacted the New Mexico Commission for the Blind to develop a plan of access for the visually impaired.

Dickmeyer said he doesn’t plan on suing, he just wants his daily routine to be safe.

“I’m not going to allow just because of this negligence to stop me from trying to make a better life for myself,” he said.

Once the ART project is complete, the spokesperson said there will be improved lighting in the area to help people with low vision.

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