I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I mentioned a few posts ago that I was "working with" my city's Public Works Director to make changes in the sidewalk corridor between my home and the street where I pick up the bus. After taking a walk together, along with my white cane to point out the difficulties for someone with limited vision, he got the point and also got the improvements approved by the City Council. He informed me the improvements would be done by Fall.

Last week, a neighbor informed me while walking her dog, that she came upon a worker tearing up the offending sidewalk blocks. Could the city really be listening to the public? Were they really going to help me out? So soon???

Three days ago, another neighbor came by to tell me the workers were tearing out the corner curbs in order to replace them with ADA mandated ramp curbs and metal "bubble plates" to indicate a curb for the disabled.

One friend refers to the sidewalk now as the Gail Handler Memorial Sidewalk. I requested we not call it that because I'd have to be dead for it to be a memorial, but I'm okay with it being an honorary sidewalk! Well, maybe just a small corner plaque that says dedicated to a determined woman (with a loud and persistent voice!)

No seriously, I am thrilled, I am elated about the timeliness of these improvements and all the kudos go to the Public Works Director for his willingness to listen to my concerns and then follow through. And of course, kudos to the city councilman who connected me to the PW Director. 

So, now I know one persistent individual can fight city hall and get them to listen. I hope this will also work on the rapid transit leadership in Atlanta. You see, although I'll have a fabulous and safe sidewalk to travel on up to the bus stop, MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit something-or-other), in their need to cut their budget, has decided to shorten or eliminate some of the bus routes.... mine is planned to be totally cut.  [Gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair goes here. Okay, maybe a little cursing too.]

Tomorrow's agenda includes a letter writing campaign to the MARTA leadership on the need to maintain the 132/150 bus route. Let's see how persuasive I can be. 


  1. WOW! Way to go Gail! Let us know how the fight for a better maintained bus route goes!

  2. The Gail Handler Sidewalk for Girls with Gumption has a nice ring to it! ;o)

  3. It is so awesome that You made a difference! You give them hell about that bus route. ;)

  4. Janet, Lisa, Laura:
    Thanks for the encouragement! Persistence pays!

  5. Vicky: I absolutely love the "girl with gumption tag! Working on making it a badge to share:-)

  6. Hope things work out in your favor Gail! One person CAN make a difference!