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City of Delta to take another look at park accessibility

Council referred the issue to the advisory committee
The city has been undertaking measures in recent years to improve accessibility including forming the Mobility and Accessibility Committee in 2021. Pixabay

The City of Delta will take a closer look for accessibility barriers at its parks and public facilities.

At the April 8 meeting, council endorsed a request put forward by Coun. Rod Binder for a report back from the Delta Mobility and Accessibility Committee on a review of facilities.

He said his request is a result of attending a recent opening of a new amateur baseball season at a North Delta park, where he and Mayor George Harvie were informed by a couple of residents that the pathway leading to the washroom was nothing more than a dirt path on a steep incline.

“I thought it was a very valid concern and it brought to the attention that there may be other areas of our community that we’re not aware of that need attention to accessibility,” said Binder.

He said the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department is conducting a facilities audit and hopes that review can be linked.

Harvie agreed, saying the washroom building itself has accessibility features, but the pathway leading to it is difficult, adding they need to ensure anyone in a wheelchair can safely access park facilities from parking lots. The pathway was something that had been overlooked, so all parks need a closer look.

It would also be a good idea to have members of the committee attend the various areas for their input before they report back, said Harvie.

City council last year approved a new Accessibility Plan aimed at identifying, removing and preventing barriers.

Endorsed by the Mobility and Accessibility Committee, the plan includes 34 actions that address the six principles in the province’s Accessible British Columbia Act of inclusion, adaptability, diversity, collaboration, self-determination and universal design.

The city’s latest Social Action Plan, also approved by council last year, states Delta should try to enhance physical accessibility through the built environment and support social inclusion through the elimination of barriers for people with different abilities.

In 2021, the Accessible British Columbia Act, became law, requiring local governments to have an accessibility committee, accessibility plan and a public feedback tool in place by Sept. 1, 2023.

The plan must be reviewed and updated at least once every three years.