While the City of Parksville has addresses accessibility issues within the city, a member of Accessible Oceanside Association says having a day to assess the accessibility is a good reminder.
Accessible Oceanside Association, city staff, members of the public and members of Universal Access Qualicum Beach conducted a wheel/walk about in Parksville Tuesday (June 26) to tour the new Jensen greenway project as well at the Corfield Street upgrades for those with accessibility issues.
Sandra Hobson, Accessible Oceanside Association chair, said the society is very fortunate in Parksville to have the support of the city when it comes to universal access, but having these wheel/walk about events is a good way to remind people of the work still needed.
“People who don’t have disabilities yet, are sometimes not alert to some of the subtle things,” Hobson said. “They might get that a flight of stairs is difficult for a person who uses a mobility device, but subtle things like curb let down; where it’s located, how steep it is, how rough it is. Those are subtle things that people may not understand until they experience it.”
With the wheel/walk about, Hobson said, the goal is to get city council and staff from the engineering, planning and maintenance departments as well as the public out onto the streets “to come out experience what it’s like for just a few minutes to use a mobility device… and then they become more sensitized to the issues.”
Hobson said they were calling Tuesday’s (June 26) event an access success celebration because the association has seen very good uptake in the community. She said members of AOA were asked to check out different curb let downs in the Temple Street upgrades.
“When we picked the one that worked better for us with mobility devices, that has become the new city standard for curb let downs in the City of Parksville.”
As the city begins to build more inclusively, Hobson said, there are still areas in the municipality that need to be retrofitted.