Disabled Left Out Of Charlottetown’s Canada Day

There are only 5 parking spots reserved for people with disabilities which is totally inadequate

By Stephen Pate – There are 800 to 1,000 parking spots at the Charlottetown Event Centre where Celebration Zone 2014 is putting on the free Canada Day concerts and fireworks.

Only 5 of them are reserved for people with disabilities. Organizers expect 15,000 will be on the site during the evening show and fireworks.

The free concerts include Barenaked Ladies, George Canyon, David Myles, Roch Voisine, Tegan and Sara, Classified and Drum. The fireworks begin about 10 PM .

You might think that is enough but it isn’t. There are 23,000 people living on Prince Edward Island with disabilities. About 10,000 Islander have a disability parking permit on PEI, which is about 10% of the vehicles registered.

Charlottetown Event Centre map – only 5 disabled parking spaces of 1,000 spaces.

By that count, 100 disability parking spaces should be reserved for the Canada Day free concerts at the Charlottetown Event Centre.

But there are only 5 spaces.

The accessible parking for people with disabilities is totally inadequate for the need and for Islanders and visitors with disabilities.

There is a Charlottetown City By-Law that designates how many disabled parking spots a lot should have. The Charlottetown Event Centre should have at least 20- 30 disabled parking spaces according to the law.

4.43 STANDARDS FOR MOBILITY DISABLED PARKING SPACES
Reserved Parking Spaces for those who are mobility disabled Shall be provided as an addition to the required spaces in conformity with the following schedule:  All other Uses 3 reserved Parking Spaces for the mobility of the disabled per 26-100 Parking Spaces required and over 100 parking spaces required on a site, 2% of  all parking shall be for the disabled. CITY OF CHARLOTTETOWN ZONING AND DEVELOPMENT BY-LAW.

The City of Charlottetown has not been vigilant in enforcing its By-Laws on disabled parking. For instance, the disabled parking at UPEI is well outside the law for distance from the parking lots to the buildings.

Atlantic SuperStore, Wal-Mart, and Target have more disabled parking than any parking lot controlled by the City of Charlottetown.  Large corporations are following either the American’s With Disabilities Act, National Building Code or their own standards.

Pat and The Elephant

Celebration Zone 2014 has provided free transportation with Pat & The Elephant to the Canada Day festivities.  You have to call 902 894 3339 and arrange a pick up.

However, there are only 2 wheelchair buses on call for Canada Day, plus one accessible taxi.  They will only be able to transport a tiny fraction of the possible number of mobility impaired people attending.

Pat and The Elephant will be running a shuttle service between Peake’s Quay all day on Canada Day.

With $29 million spent on this summers Celebration Zone 2014 surely the planners could have done better. “PEI 2014 Inc is working closely with the PEI Council of People with Disabilities and Access Advisor to ensure we are operating within their guidelines,” said Penny Walsh-McGuire,  Executive Director of PEI 2014 Inc, the event organizers.

Something slipped through the cracks on this one.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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