Williams Lake should and could become the accessibility capital of B.C. That is one of the recommendations coming out of the city’s accessibility advisory committee first annual report.
“It’s important to build on an accessibility legacy here throughout the Cariboo Region,” committee chair George Atamanenko told the Tribune. “We want to give city council that little bit of a shot.”
Former Williams Lake resident Rick Hansen would be proud if that happened, Atamanenko suggested.
Highlighting some of the aspects of the report, Atamanenko said he would be remiss if he didn’t mention that “we live in a bit of a winter wonderland” that continually needs to be monitored and looked after.
“The first step is for the active removal of snow and ice from curbs near the blue handicap parking spaces as the first priority. It’s a little way to demonstrate that we care and are willing to act on behalf of persons that are handicapped, especially the seniors.”
It’s an ongoing thing, he suggested.
“The priorities are to get into the machine, do the sidewalks, and in the evening get the grader out and try to do the main roads. There is not a priority to get rid of all the crap on the blue stuff,” he added.
Convinced the Williams Lake can be a leader, and continue to remove physical barriers and expand on the leisure activities available for all persons with accessibility issues.
The committee has recently finalized a colourful brochure, titled Accessibility Works.
It’s a follow-up to the city’s official community plan’s actions and guidance to downtown businesses, construction associations and individual persons for upgrading and building new liveable spaces.
An annual awards program has been established to encourage greater awareness and to follow-up on practical accessible new building and upgrades.
“We’ve also supported and pointed out the importance of the audio visual crossing at Seventh Avenue and Oliver Street.”
Atamanenko was to present the annual report to city council Tuesday evening, but a heavy snowfall kept him at home. Instead, Deb Radolla, manager of active living for the city, read his report.
Coun. Laurie Walters thanked the committee for the thorough report and the accomplishments it has made throughout the year.
“I’m looking forward to the committee moving us forward to become a community that is more accessible, given Rick Hansen’s past history with our community,” Walters said.