Does Richmond deserve a reputation of being the most accessible city in Canada?

almost 6 years ago
CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded

Richmond has earned a great reputation for its physical accessibility for people with disabilities.  Is it deserved?  What could be improved to make our City more accessible to those who live, work and play here?

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  • Grasshopper over 9 years ago
    Richmond is geographically flat, and the City also pays attention to physical accessibility for people with disabilities. I commend the City for doing that. Saying this, there is always room for improvement. I suggest that we need to hear from people with disabilities themselves to understand what barriers they see in moving around town, accessing services and living in Richmond. The other important factor is that the general public sees the needs and accepts as a civic responsibility to provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations to make the city accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
  • CaringResident over 9 years ago
    Let’s first explore the definition, the context, and the scope of “accessibility”. The term “accessibility” is used in different contexts. In the city/urban-planning context, however, the term is used to mean the ease with which a person can reach from one location or facility to another. Examples include from one floor to another floor of a building, from one block to another block of a neighbourhood, from home to school, to a shopping mall, and so on. All these relate to physical accessibility, although it may well be extended to cover non-physical ones too (e.g., access to a job and to information). In the following, I limit my discussion to physical accessibility. Moreover, the term is often used to focus on people with disabilities. The focus may also be extended to include other groups of peoples and even equipment/machines. In the context of Social Planning Strategy, I believe the term accessibility should be applied more broadly to include various “groups of people”, with first priority to people with disabilities; because, simply, if the city is accessible to the later group, it will most probably be accessible to many other groups of people as well. The term should also cover various contexts, such as housing, transportation (internal and external), and public facilities (e.g., streets, parks, and buildings). We are very much privileged to be living in such a geographically flat land. We have been given the opportunity to enjoy our life and the nature with least costs (e.g., no need for lots of cuts-and-fills). This means that nature has accommodated accessibility to the most, so let’s follow the nature and improve upon it. To name a few, let’s not limit: · The access of a baby in a stroller or a person with disability to sidewalks with ups-and-downs, to buildings and floors with stairs, and to parks with unsuitable materials/objects and design; · The access of a runner to sidewalks with ups-and-downs; · The access of a bike-person to streets and public transits; and · The access of a person from one part of the city to another part with limited public transit (as observed after Canada Line’s operation). Let’s not make the people to use an unsafe alternate path; e.g., · To use the street instead of sidewalks or vise versa (creating safety issues); · To choose private cars, instead of public transportation (creating health, environmental, and economic issues); or · To choose not to move at all (creating health, depression, and mental issues). Finally, let’s measure how we well are following the order of Richmond’s mother nature. Let’s device “performance measures” with which we could determine how well we have done, and how well we will have been doing.
  • citizen30 over 9 years ago
    As a person with a disability I find Richmond mostly accessible but as others have noted there is always room for improvement. The recent agreement by Richmond to install verbal messaging is an example of the city listening to its citizens with disabilities, but why does it take a complaint to the Human Rights to get attention and action? So now how about an accessible parking bylaw with some teeth! And what can we as PWD s living in Richond do when we see a facility constructed accessible but changed with or without city approval that decreases accessibility? Lets make sure that all future planning (and development) incorporates provisions that truly continue to make Richmond accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities in all aspects of our community.
  • kosmicforces over 9 years ago
    I will choose to focus on physical accessibility in terms of mobility. Richmond is a city designed for car use. It may be the most accessible in Canada but there are a lot of other cities in the world that we could learn and borrow from. -Markets and malls are all conceptualized around the use of a car. -Often pedastrian walks are missing from one side of the road or completely missing from bridges. -Cyclists lanes are missing from most roads and where they are shared are usually not honored by drivers -Translink services are downright pathetic: -Most bus-stops don't have rain cover and those that do were designed with clearly aesthetics in mind instead of practical use and protection from the elements. -Fares are ridiculously expensive. It is cheaper to use my car then to take Transit (factor in your commute time and how much that would cost in terms of lost wages.) One would think that an organization unable to rain in its costs would make cuts in salaries, cut operational or administrative spending while trying to maintain efficiency. Not Translink though, they can demand our municipalities to raise our taxes while overpaying bus-drivers and executives. -Buses run infrequently at best, and in a vast section of the city not at all. -Buses come by, either early or too late and rarely on time unless you are at the beginning or the end of the route -Early on Translink tried to prohibit fully use of Canada line due to the fact that the line was getting mobbed from Brickhouse all the way to Waterfront leaving people stranded further down the line. I don't know if this absurd practice is still in effect. It would have made more sense to calculate daily use based on the number of bus lines re-rooted to the station and down the line, estimated daily use of people switching over to skytrain from other means of transportation and population increase in the areas surrounding the line before determining the capacity of trains and size of stations needed; but so typical to BC, Translink followed the built it now figure it out later approach. Slightly counterproductive if I may say. Personally I gave up and went back to driving though if distance allows it I would gladly switch to a bicycle provided I am not at risk of becoming roadkill What should be done in my view: - Public bicycle stations - allowing citizens to borrow a bicycle and cycle from one part of the city to another as we see in so many European cities and Montreal. The Dutch brought some over for the Olympics but of course the idea died there. - Distinct bicycle lanes in every major street - This can be done without effecting traffic simply prohibiting parking on all major streets and turn the allocated extra space in a bicycle lane. -Secure bicycle parking spots across the city and especially around public markets and public buildings - a concept that is prevalent across Japan. -CCTV cameras can be placed just as an extra deterrent tool and the RCMP can be asked to finally do something about bicycle theft. It is after all a billion dollar crime problem just in BC. - When redesigning markets force architects to place an emphasis on pedestrians without seeking to punish car drivers - just in case that is the only idea adopted -Create more public parking buildings to ease out the vast amounts of space taken by cars but also try to keep the cost of parking at a reasonable rate. We are not all rich and making parking as prohibitive as Vancouver could easily push people to drive to other cities. - Demand Translink to shape up its services and not expect more money. It can either clean house of privatize-currently it is private only in paper but not in form. Having politicians as directors and demanding and acquiring public money through taxes is not a sign of a private corporation. - Adopt a city plan vision that physically links the spread out markets and malls and increases the pockets of green- Walking is not a sinful act, it does have some health benefits. Placing shuttle buses or trolleys and creating pedestrain only city sections helps. -Lastly put and end to dead end subdivisions that extend up to the length of a Richmond mega block. Having to go all around instead of cutting across isn't pedestrian or cyclist friendly. Ironically however a huge portion of public transit and road distribution is tied up to Translink and our respective and equally backward thinking provincial governments. Making both parties follow suite will be half the fight.