PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has announced an ambitious effort to make Oregon’s parks more accessible to visitors with disabilities.
The department outlined a finalized plan to make state parks more accessible by removing barriers that have made enjoying a park difficult or impossible for many visitors, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Signs will be improved, ramps will be installed and bathroom stalls will be widened as part of a years-long effort, the department said.
The department said it identified 4,872 barriers at 273 facilities. Officials found barriers to access at nearly every part of the park experience.
Three issues – doors, parking lots and restrooms – make up 52% of all barriers, the department said.
Each barrier was ranked, with the easiest fixes expected to start in July and be completed within five years, the parks department said. Bigger projects that require more planning and funding will take up to 25 years to complete.
The long-term plan, called the ADA Transition Plan, shares its goal with the Americans with Disabilities Act that it’s named for: to ensure equal participation in public life for all Americans with disabilities.
Disability Rights Oregon praised the plan, saying it was pleased that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is taking action.