The new SLO Airport terminal opened without a functioning elevator. I made inquiries regarding access for mobility-limited travelers. The responses distilled to “it’s not our fault” and “we meet the standards.”
Several ideas were presented that would ease access for all travelers. The response was “good points we hadn’t thought about,” in spite of other Letters to the Editor addressing these points.
The airport situation mimics one where handicap parking spaces were added in a structure downtown, but in the corner farthest from the elevator. One busy area of town is unserved by handicap parking.
Apparently, as long as the letter of the Americans with Disabilities Act is met, no one needs to be concerned about our residents/visitors who have mobility issues. More than 10 percent of our population is over 65, more than 5 percent over 75. Energy is devoted to bike lanes/expedited bike travel, but very little thought about the other end of the spectrum.
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I offer the following challenge to the mayor, SLO City Council, county Board of Supervisors and airport management: Do one week in SLO unaccompanied in a wheelchair! Use only handicap parking, make one trip to the airport lugging a suitcase, and report back!
Carol Dover and M.A. Spence, San Luis Obispo