Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Supreme Court sides with sidewalk activist

Disabled man wins push to clear way

Bill Tinker likes to ride his scooter around downtown Tilton. The Northfield man has respiratory, circulatory and orthopedic problems that make walking or driving difficult. But he still likes to get out to the post office, the grocery store and other local shops.

Now, he will be able to ride downtown all year long. This week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court settled a longstanding dispute between Tinker and Tilton about whether the town is required to clear snow from its sidewalks to allow him and others with disabilities access. In short, the court said it is.

"Disabled people have been stomped on long enough," Tinker, 63, said yesterday, adding that he "cheered" when he heard about the court's decision.

Molly McPartlin, the lawyer who represented the town, said that Tilton will comply with the court's ruling and "make reasonable efforts with regard to snow removal." She said that the town does not plan to appeal the ruling or ask the court to reconsider.

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