My first visit to the new Portland Career Center location left me concerned about the basic safety of customers visiting the building that houses the newly relocated offices of the state Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor.

Located on Jetport Boulevard in South Portland, just off busy outer Congress Street, the building is directly across from the airport runway. There is no shelter to protect bus travelers from winter weather and to provide a safe place to wait.

Snowbanks prevent any chance to get to the safety of the sidewalk. While there is the opportunity for the bus to loop through the parking lot, depositing passengers at the door, bus travelers are left on this busy road.

My client, who is blind, arrived by bus and was dropped off on the road. Because she has no vision, she had no way to know the route to the building. Fortunately, a fellow passenger walked with her on the shoveled but slippery sidewalk.

My client then faced an additional barrier, since there is no central reception inside the building. She was unable to see the signs directing customers to the Labor Department and the DHHS.

When we completed our appointment, Career Center staff gave two conflicting reports on where to wait for the inbound bus. We gave up and I drove her home.

I am appalled by the lack of concern for the basic safety of the many people who access services in this building. As a friend with blindness says, “If you can’t drive, you don’t count.”

Susan Anderson

Cumberland Foreside