New ramps supported by TransLink funding to improve walking access
STARTING this September, the City of Vancouver will install approximately 140 additional curb ramps throughout Vancouver to improve sidewalk access for people walking to transit.
“Curb ramps make sidewalks accessible for people using strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and other mobility aids,” said Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering Services. “It’s important to us that all residents are able to participate fully in the community regardless of ability. As engineers, building streets and sidewalks to be accessible for everyone is one way that we can facilitate that participation.”
The new ramps will fill gaps in the existing sidewalk network and include locations previously requested by the public. Key locations include walking routes near schools, hospitals, senior and community centres, and are within 400 metres of the Frequent Transit Network.
“For disabled residents of Vancouver, this is welcome news,” said Jacques Courteau, co-chair of the City’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee. “A sidewalk that you cannot access is essentially a sidewalk that does not exist.”
Supported by TransLink’s Walking Infrastructure to Transit funding program, this year’s installations are in addition to the 100-200 curb ramps that are typically installed annually as part of the City’s regular capital program as well as development projects. TransLink’s program helps local governments provide new or enhanced access to transit through a cost-sharing partnership.
“Transit is key to the success and livability of Metro Vancouver, so we want to ensure it’s accessible for everyone,” says Geoff Cross, Vice President of Planning and Policy at TransLink. “We are currently in the midst of a much-needed and unprecedented expansion of the transit system. Partnerships and projects like this one reflect that investments are more effective when we consider the door to door journey, including safe, accessible and convenient sidewalks.”
This year’s additional installations are scheduled to begin construction in September and will be complete by December.
In July, Council approved additional funding for curb ramp installations across Vancouver as part of the City’s 2019-2022 Capital Plan. The City said it will continue to prioritize an increased number of curb ramp installations next year and into the future with funding support where available.
The City prioritizes curb ramp locations in response to requests from the public and in areas with high levels of pedestrian activity, including at or near:
· Arterial and collector streets
· Transit routes
· Community centres
· Commercial areas
For more information or to request a curb ramp, visit vancouver.ca/curbramps.