“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothings going to get better. It’s not” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
I am so pissed off today it’s best I let the optics speak to my point otherwise my mouth will get me in trouble (yes the wisdom of age, knowing when to be silent). As many of you know my position on access has created a bit of a differing of opinion between the City of Nanaimo and myself. With that said I do believe in the process. When I look back at my fifty years of fighting for all things access, what’s three years of disagreement with Nanaimo. However this latest has just turned up my heat and welded the tea whistle shut.
A little over a year ago (June 2016) I was asked if I would do a bit of a wheel through one of Nanaimo’s larger parks and look at it from an access perspective. I agreed because I would rather be part of the solution than the problem. For those interested in seeing them, they are all on my YouTube channel under Colliery Dam Park. In the process I came under attack by a handful of locals who don’t believe “nature parks” should have to be made accessible so I eventually stepped out of the process. I have a certain “life balance” and it’s working for me so no need in letting a few social media trollers upset the apple cart.
The very first issue to be pointed out was lack of disabled parking. I thought that would be an easy fix considering the parking lot was already paved. A year later (a couple of days ago) I was receive a picture saying there was now a disabled parking logo in place and asking me what I thought. I told the person I would take a drive up there and check it out. Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day and a little wheel through the forest would have been nice. I arrived to find a corner spot with the parking logo. In reality they had painted the logo on a regular spot and call it the “wheelchair corner”. Nice bright logo and not one apparent thought to dimensions.
It was pretty apparent from fifteen feet away this was no where near code (3700 mm or 12.14″ using inches). It is not near wide enough and I have a small car. Someone pulling up with a van is hooped. Anyway I thought “well I do have a small car, let’s see how well this works”.
A half shot glass of common sense should have told the person that having raised concrete next to your door makes it much harder to transfer to a wheelchair. Just painting the logo there doesn’t men it is an “accessible spot”. Just because you saw some new piece of nice graffiti somewhere does not mean Picasso was just in town.
I am seeing an increase in signage expressing “disability friendly” but once you look at it (not always but it is a growing trend) the signage is there but not the standards. I find this extremely upsetting because the messaging to the general public is these things are being taken care of. Access is more than logos… COLOUR ME PISSED OFF