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Delta coming up with accessibility plan

A draft plan has been discussed this year by the city’s Mobility and Accessibility Committee
The Delta plan is to focus on actions that address the principles in the Accessible British Columbia Act. Sandor Gyarmati/Delta Optimist

The City of Delta is formulating a new accessibility plan.

A requirement by the Accessible British Columbia Act, which became law in June 2021, local governments are required to have an accessibility committee, accessibility plan as well as a public feedback tool in place by Sept. 1, 2023.

The city, which has been undertaking a number of measures, already has a Mobility and Accessibility Committee, which first met in 2021.

The advisory committee reviewed a draft city plan a few weeks ago.

According to the report, the plan focuses on action that address the principles in the Accessible British Columbia Act of inclusion, adaptability, diversity, collaboration, self-determination and universal design. The actions are organized in key focus areas informed by research and input from Delta’s committee.

Among the principals addressing the built environment to prevent and remove barriers including transportation infrastructure, public facilities and public spaces.

The built environment also includes developments and designs where the committee has already provided input.

The plan also has actions in the areas of governance and services, leadership and collaboration, as well as diversity and inclusion.

The City of Delta’s Accessibility Plan is to be reviewed and updated at least once every three years in accordance with the Accessibility Act.

The city’s latest Social Action Plan, recently approved by council, 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.

Meanwhile, one of the key strategies outlined in the city’s new Housing Action Plan is increasing the number of accessible units in Delta.

At a committee meeting last year, Engineering Director Steven Lan said that, following conversations with community members who face accessibility challenges, the city was looking to make accessibility improvements to specific sites around Delta, including in the Ladner Trunk Road. He noted that some changes have already been implemented, such as increased crossing time for pedestrians at intersections.

The committee was also informed Delta staff were looking at improving accessibility in parks and trails.

During discussion this year on the city’s Senior’s Bus Service, a committee member put forward the idea of extending the service to persons with disabilities without an age requirement, as well as extending the hours of service. The committee was advised that staff would review the idea.