I stumbled across New West city Councilor Jaimie McEvoy on Saturday conducting the 2009 wheelability assessment uptown with a group of volunteer citizens.
On a perfect September day, the group was busy on 7th street creating an inventory of inaccessible curbs, dangerous sidewalk cracks and non-compliant porticos. A downtown assessment is also planned. A survey is available here. The city is looking for feedback from citizens. “(The) project will benefit users of mobility aids such as scooters, walkers, walking sticks and wheelchairs and the results will be used to develop route maps and to inform City maintenance and design decisions related to ‘wheelability.’
This reminds me of the days when my sister Jocelyn was on the New West Special Services and Access Committee from 1993-97 dealing with audible crossing signals, recommending awards for accessible buildings, curb cuts for wheelchairs and strollers and ensuring transit busses could (and would) pick up disabled clients. I am interested in the findings of the project, particularly downtown. As an example, there is currently no safe way to access the Quay market via a wheelchair (as open rail crossings pose a hazard to wheelchairs).
Keep posted to TTTF for more on this issue.