Perhaps it had been the mark of things to come, though till it arrived they did not know it (or, as some stated, they’d preferred ignoring the possibility).
There were so many explanations: Bad weather, a change in allocation, inability to keep up with need, aging infrastructure, decline in the number of those who knew how to fix things with handiwork instead of keyboards.
Of course, the sidewalks didn’t crumble overnight. It took years. Yet somehow people had dismissed a steady rise in ankle injuries. They merely shook their heads when accessibility was reduced to the long-legged spry. There was no outcry. After all, most people didn’t ambulate with strollers, walking-sticks or wheelchairs.
In the end it was the roller-bags that tipped the scale. What unconscionable disrepair allowed wheels to break in ways manufacturers won’t cover? People could not be reduced to lifting suitcases when they needed to go somewhere!