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Extended patios and accessibility concerns to be discussed at council this week

Last Updated Jun 18, 2021 at 10:32 am MDT

Calgary city council will be considering a motion to change the temporary ramps that redirect foot traffic around extended patios on places like 17 Avenue SW. (PHOTO: Saif Kasiar, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY – Accessibility concerns around the city’s pop-up patios will be discussed at City Hall this week.

City Councillor Druh Farrell says it’s nice to have patios up and running but something must be done about the difficulty of getting around them.

Farrell says the paths around patios for pedestrians and those in wheelchairs are a problem.

“Even just the separation between the ramp and the barricade isn’t broad enough for a turning radius,” Farrell said.

“You’ve got to be able to get off the ramp and then turn your mobility device. People with vision issues are really struggling as well.”

RELATED: Council looking at accessibility concerns around extended patios downtown

Farrell is going to bring the issue to city council Monday. She says she would love to see them become permanent, but for that to happen a solution needs to be found.

“When we do them, let’s do this right,” Farrell said.

“Let’s ensure that everyone can enjoy not just the street—which is a requirement—but also, these are potential customers that aren’t able to access these businesses. We can do better.”

She says council should look to cities around the world that have found a way to make patios safe, accessible, and beautiful at the same time.

“Patios can be beautiful,” Farrell said. “But they shouldn’t look like a construction site, and that is what we have today.”

Farrell says an estimated 200,000 Calgarians have a disability of some sort, so it’s about providing safe and equal access.

–with files from Lisa Grant and Saif Kaisar