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Improving access for all in our community

By Scott Peters

The act called for businesses and municipalities to make all facilities, goods and services accessible to the disabled.

The city of San Diego has made Americans with Disabilities Act compliance a priority through the renovation of city parks, libraries, community centers and other public buildings. City facilities feature wider doorways, automatic door-opening devices, accessible desks, counters and restrooms and computer software to aid the visually impaired.

The city also enforces accessibility requirements in private buildings through the building permitting process and by providing blue curbs to designate disabled parking in residential and business zones.

Another way the city removes barriers to the disabled is by creating “curb cuts” on city streets. These corner ramps allow those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility to navigate our streets safely and conveniently.

The benefits of these curb cuts extend beyond the disabled community. Families with strollers and small children, dog walkers, joggers and pedestrians have found these ramps to improve the safety and quality of city streets.

Each year, Council District 1 receives a portion of the federal Community Development Block Grant funds the city of San Diego receives to support social service groups and older communities. This year our block grant funds are allocated among 131 projects across San Diego, with the largest grant going to the curb-cut program.

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council partners with the city of San Diego to provide the skilled labor to upgrade sidewalk corners. This year, 10 to 12 new curb ramps will be installed across District 1, with a strong focus on La Jolla and University City.

We recently celebrated the completion of a curb cut project at the corner of Cliffridge Avenue and Scenic Place, which will improve access to the YMCA and Torrey Pines Elementary School.

I have made Americans with Disabilities Act access a priority in my grant allocations this year. In addition to the curb-cut program, I will help the city’s Park and Recreation Department improve access to city parks. Other recipients of District 1 block grant funds include an affordable housing project for members of the deaf community and a local community center where job training for disabled San Diegans is provided.

City Council President Scott Peters represents District 1, which includes La Jolla.