Sidewalks in Fresno – serious perils for pedestrians

Accessible Public Rights-of-Way (Fresno, CA)
An obstacle such as a utility pole or fire hydrant placed in the middle of the sidewalk leaving no room for wheelchair users, is considered a peril for pedestrians.   This can also lead to serious injury to persons who are blind or partially sighted.

As you can see by the photographs below, this is a big problem here in Fresno, CA.  What makes this even worse is the fact that there are no records for who or why these poles were relocated, let alone, in such a manner.  Because as this is carried out, records / “historic” aerial views, etc. are altered to match the revisions, as though things have always been this way.  
Palm Ave., in-between Olive and the next main street, McKinley Ave. (4 blks.)

McKinley Ave., in-between Fruit and Palm:  Notice the poles are not even aligned – going from sidewalk to mow strip – connected to masts that did not exist prior to all the homes being rebuilt without permits / inspections, streets widened, property lines shifted down.

This is being done as streets are widened, sidewalks cut back as the city’s underground infrastructures are being replaced / relocated. 

Wilbert Swieso is one of the ringleaders who conspires with Public Works in this operation – not only in the underground lines (which he and his accomplices claim is behind the 60-yr water scam), I personally saw his accomplices altering / reconnecting the utility pole in the alley behind my home – to line up with the structures that had been altered, property lines changed, etc.  After trying to swindle me of $2,000 to reconnect the wires/cables that *mysteriously* fell to the ground, he and his group (inc his pal, retired PG&E employee) panicked when I mentioned PG&E – they reconnected all of it, which then resulted in an additional $900+/- to my bill that month.  P.G.&E. records were then altered to match the revisions – I was ordered to pay or lose service.

(I then discovered the cause behind the decades of excessive electric bills.  The lines were cross-connected to the pole across the street.  Upon reporting it to PG&E, the lines were removed, then PG&E informed me without evidence – no help.  I went to the office in person to discuss the issue – the lines were connected to my neighbor.  She looked up the address on the computer – her mouth dropped as she looked at me and said, “I am so sorry.  But since the utilities are being stolen from YOU and not US, we cannot help you.”  She further told me these people were protected under “Disclosure Laws!”  My bill immediately reduced from $350+/- per month to less than 1/4 that amount. )

See this link for more unauthorized relocating / reconnecting of utility poles throughout Fresno. Click ===>  Fresno: Felony Altering of Utility Poles

Sidewalks should be safe and accessible.  In one state, where a similar problem took place with fire hydrants, the sidewalks were extended out into the street.  Unfortunately, bicyclists using the bicycle lane now have to contend with an abrupt narrowing of the bike lane next to every obstruction in the sidewalk.

Some of Fresno’s pedestrian pathways are largely out of compliance with the federal law aimed at ending discrimination against people with disabilities, endangering vulnerable residents and leaving the city open to lawsuits.

Narrow, buckled sidewalks that are blocked by utility poles and fire hydrants are compliance issues with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  For more information, click here ===>
Utility poles are not the only things that have been relocated.  Remember when the lines from utility poles were attached directly to the walls of connecting structures?  Now look at all the additional masts everywhere.  Because structures are no longer standing as they were when originally built.  It appears that at least 1 structure from each side of every block has been removed as others shifted down in a “ripple effect” which allowed for the street widening also being denied.  Front lawns cut back with back yard extended to compensate – hence, the narrow alleys, where more relocation of utility poles have taken place.  Can you imagine the large garbage bins and city trucks still driving through alleys at this point?  It would be impossible.

Imagine no record for any of this.  A very slow, cautious and calculating 50+/- yr cover-up entailing massive building, safety, heath, environmental code violations.  With disclosure laws kicked aside, structures throughout Fresno continue being sold as “original” to unsuspecting buyers.  This is why there are no older records of Fresno.


For information pertaining to help, filing complaints or lawsuits ===>

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As secret replacement of the city water system continues, citywide compliance issues pertaining to overhead and underground utilities are not being dealt with – endangering every resident in the city.
Wheelchair users, blind, etc. are being discriminated against.


===> Fresno Pedestrians in Peril: “Sidewalks Must Be Accessible, Says 9th Circuit”






Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm  Comments (13)  
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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. very nicely done marla

  2. Thanks, Scotty. I appreciate your note.
    (And by the way – love your photography!)

  3. Elias Gutierrez, a 60-year-old activist for this very topic, was killed when he was struck by a car as he was traveling in his power wheelchair next to the curb on Palm Avenue near Cornell.

    CLICK HERE ===> Mean Streets (Sept. 2001)

    CLICK HERE ===> Disabled activist killed on Fresno street

    “An amazing number of wheelchair pedestrians told the meeting that they, too had been involved in accidents, or nearly missed being hit. Over and over we heard, ‘We need sidewalks! We need ramps! We need time to get across streets!'”

  4. “For a mere 130 feet of frontage between two subdivisions, eastbound Nees narrows from two lanes to one. The sidewalk, curb and parking lane vanish.
    Utility poles stand where pavement should be. A thick wood barrier, painted white with bright red reflectors, alerts drivers to the obstruction.”


    CLICK HERE ===> Feeble developer fees create jumbled roads (Sept 18, 2005)

  5. Various articles/lawsuits – click below:

    Sept. 10, 2008 Julia Epstein (San Francisco)
    Federal Lawsuit Charges Burger King with Violations of Disability Law


    Jul 1, 2008 Annie Gentile (Sacramento)
    Disabled residents sue over sidewalks

    May 7, 2008 Vic Lee (Berkeley)

    Disabled Residents Sue Caltrans

    July 24, 2007 Lisa Pampuch (Gilroy)

    Gilroy’s Buckling Sidewalks an ADA Lawsuit Waiting to Happen


    Disability Rights California
    567 W Shaw Ave
    Fresno, CA 93704

    (559) 476-2000

  7. Great job on this website Marla! One day, your story will be told & those guilty of MURDER among other crimes involved here will be held accountable. I support you in your efforts for the TRUTH…something our government and society knows little about.
    This is Kevin Curtis and I approve this message.

  8. Marla I returned to this page to show my wife what you have posted… While I think some stuff you put out there is a little hard to believe, this on the other hand is very well done and we both agree that the whole thing stinks…

    I thought it was federal law to have handicap access to public walkways and Easy curbs for safety of wheelchair bound handicaps… I am handicap, not in a wheel chair now but maybe I will soon… So I appreciate your looking out for us….

  9. Hi, Scotty – YES, it is Federal Law! Didn’t you click on Part II of this blog – check it out!! The City has opened themselves up for massive lawsuits with these violations. They refuse to acknowledge me about this. And that, if you have not noticed by now, only results in me screaming LOUDER! {{ smile }}
    After seeing more wheel chair users in the street, I contacted some outside agencies. After 1 responded, I wrote another blog. Click here ===> Urgent for Fresno’s Disabled / Wheel Chair Users
    Scotty, I have an agency interested in looking into this – they requested I provide them with names, dates and locations. I need help in spreading this news so I can provide them with this information.
    You don’t need to thank me for anything Scotty. Although I admit that my initial motive was using this evidence as proof behind the water-line issue I have been carrying on about, I am enraged to see this kind of callous abuse toward disabled people. Turning my back on something like this is not something I can / will do – I want to help.

  10. Thank you, Kevin. Your support means a lot to me.

  11. Great site…..checkout what PG&E and the telecommunications corporations are up to at this website and its links.

  12. Last comment in ref. to

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