ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – You may remember him as the Albuquerque teen who got to meet NBA Superstar Lebron James — and it may sound like an odd request, but this time he’s asking the city for a sidewalk.
Doctors diagnosed Kyle Osborne, 20, with Myxopapillary Ependymoma, nearly two years ago. Struggling to find a way to treat the rare form of cancer, they didn’t give him long to live. He’s also been bound to a wheelchair.
It was a Twitter campaign that got Kyle to Cleveland, and although he won’t have to leave Albuquerque on his current crusade, he is asking the city why he’s forced to ride his wheelchair in the middle of the road when he takes his daily stroll to the store.
Everyday, Kyle takes a nearly half-mile trip to the Walgreens on Universe just north of Paseo Del Norte.
“Depends how long I spend in Walgreens,” Kyle laughed. “But it usually takes an hour-and-a-half.”
For Kyle, the trip is a workout.
“It feels good to just get out of the house,” he said.
It’s also the cause of some wear-and-tear to his wheelchair.
“We go through a pair of gloves about once a month and a new pair of wheels about once a year,” Kyle’s father said.
Last week, Kyle wrote a letter to the City of Albuquerque with a request.
“A sidewalk,” Kyle said. “So that it’s a lot safer for me to go to Walgreens.”
Kyle rides on the sidewalk for the most trip, until a 1,000-foot stretch along Universe, as he approaches the Paseo Del Norte intersection, where he’s then forced to ride on the road.
“We never want our citizens with disabilities to endanger themselves by putting themselves in the roadway,” said Mark Motsko, Communication Director for the city’s Municipal Development.
“There’s a sidewalk there but none right here and it doesn’t make any sense,” Kyle said. “I just realized that it’s not really that safe for me to be riding in the road with the cars right there.”
KRQE News 13 took Kyle’s concerns to the city. According to a Bernalillo County website, the land west of the stretch belongs to Presbyterian Healthcare Services, meaning it’s in charge of putting in a sidewalk when the area gets developed.
The city said it could be some time before that happens, so until then, engineers have developed a plan B.
“We’re going to see if there is enough right-of-way, where the city owns the property away from the street, where we can put in an asphalt trail,” Motsko said.
The trial will be between 4-6 feet of asphalt with what’s called a pin curb, that helps separate traffic from people using the trial. That is, until something more permanent comes along.
“We did the other thing and met Lebron so we can get the city to put a sidewalk,” Kyle said.
Motsko said if the city doesn’t have enough right-of-way to build the trail, it will work with Presbyterian to get a temporary easement for part of the property. The city said it should have the trail built before the end of the year.