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City officials: Accessibility lacking in parks

Some city parks require accessibility upgrades, with closer inspection anticipated in coming weeks.

City parks require some updates to meet requirements under the Americans with Disability Act, according to information given to the city Accessibility Advisory commission this week.

For example, Youngs Woods on Railway Street requires pathway, bench, mulch and parking signage improvements, said Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator.

Newberry Park needs different kinds of mulch, benches, signs, and updates to intersections to have proper access.

A concrete pad that slopes at the park entrance does not meet accessibility law, Gerardi said.

Veterans Memorial Park on West Fourth Street and Wahoo Drive regularly make required updates and the volunteer veterans on the park commission will be notified of any needs such paths, parking stalls and signage.

Brandon Park’s information center is six inches off the ground and needs to have a ramp access or adjustment to the small building, he said.

Memorial Park has a new inclusive playground but needed some updates to its benches and paths. Original Little League Carl E. Stotz Field may be excluded due to its historic registry, Gerardi said.

Lose Park on Memorial Avenue is undergoing nearly $400,000 of improvements this year.

Eight accessible curb ramps surrounding Lose Park are in design stage, said Jon Sander, city engineer.

Lose Park also is getting an accessible playground and other accoutrements.

The commission wanted the administration to provide data as to the estimated number of annual visitors to city parks.

It was presumed by Gerardi that several thousand people use the parks throughout the four seasons. He said it might take a month before he could accurately collect the visitation numbers. The visitors to Bowman Field would be included with Memorial Park, he said.

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