Councillor: Proposed bus shelters not accessible enough

Committee suggested 10 improvements to make existing and any future bus shelters more attractive and accessible

The city is planning to install more bus shelters in strategically placed locations around town but one councillor is concerned the city is missing the mark.

Coun. Larry Samson said the shelters need to be more accessible to those with physical disabilities.

“Some of the shelters we currently have are, shall we say, it’s a tight squeeze if you try to put a wheelchair and other users (inside) the shelter,” Samson said. “So even before ordering new shelters I would like to see some of these concerns addressed.”

The concerns were presented to city council at its Oct. 21 meeting through a letter from the Campbell River Access Awareness Committee.

The committee suggested 10 improvements to make existing and any future bus shelters more attractive and accessible.

Those suggestions included: removing weeds, grass and trees, improving lighting, widening of sidewalks in front of bus shelters, placing tactile strips in front of shelters like they are at the Community Centre, putting garbage cans in front of all shelters, and building shelters to hold at least two wheelchairs.

The city is planning to install six new bus shelters and Samson said at last week’s council meeting that he wants to ensure city staff don’t go ahead with purchasing the shelters before those concerns are taken into consideration.

Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, said he couldn’t say for sure when the benches and shelters would be coming because it depends on the supply.

“We’ll ensure their concerns are addressed prior to installing additional shelters,” Neufeld said.

Coun. Andy Adams asked for a report from city staff outlining the Access Awareness Committee’s concerns and possible solutions. He acknowledged that the committee’s September meeting minutes show there are other issues in addition to the bus shelters that should also be addressed.

“There’s reference made to a request for benches at the top of Hidden Harbour hill, the top of Rockland and also Alder hill,” Adams said. “There’s comments regarding the Legacy Landmark program at Foreshore Park, curb cutting at TD Bank, (and) bus shelters…so I think it’s appropriate that we find out where these things are at.”

Council agreed and approved the request for a staff report.