October 29th, 2020

Mobility/Accessibility Master Plan approved


By Shurtz, Delon on July 15, 2020.

Council has adopted a long-term strategy to plan for accessibility within the community. Herald file photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

City councillors have adopted a long-term strategy they believe will guide them as they plan a community that is accessible for all people, but particularly for those with physical, sensory and cognitive challenges.

Councillors unanimously approved the Mobility/Accessibility Master Plan during a regular council meeting Monday.

The master plan, which was previously presented at the June 22 Community Issues Committee meeting, will be the go-to document as the City works to create a community in which everyone, regardless of age or ability, can participate and feel included. It also provides guidance when it comes to optimizing infrastructure that allows for equal access to programs and services for all people.

“I fully support this,” Coun. Jeff Carlson said Monday when he and other councillors accepted the plan and agreed to adopt it as their guiding document as they plan for the growth of the city.

The plan is the result of two years of work and community engagement on how to create better access to City-run facilities and services for its residents. When it was presented to council in June, Chris Witkowski, the plan’s project leader, told council the City needs to expand its efforts evenly throughout all its departments rather than just on a “business-unit-by-business-unit basis.” He added that while the City has come a long way in the past five years when it comes to improving accessibility, there is still a backlog of deficient infrastructure.

Councillors eagerly accepted the master plan and approved the document with little discussion other than to express approval. Mayor Chris Spearman pointed out the master plan is part of the City’s goal to be inclusive and improve the lives of its citizens.

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