Local

New ramp means Romare Bearden Park is open for all

A young girl runs along the wheelchair-accessible ramp at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte.
A young girl runs along the wheelchair-accessible ramp at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

Mecklenburg County has built a new ramp down to Romare Bearden Park’s west side to satisfy a complaint that it wasn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

The entryway leads to the park’s popular fountain area. In the original design, two short sets of stairs led from the sidewalk into the park. That drew a civil rights complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act last fall, that the park wasn’t equally accessible to people using wheelchairs.

To avoid a lawsuit in the meantime, the county decided to block off both stairwells with benches, baffling park-goers. County commissioner Bill James called it “a legalistic bone-headed move.”

It took eight weeks to build the new ramp as a long-term fix. The project cost $23,500. The county said this week that the park is now ADA compliant and the original complaint has been satisfied.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn

  Comments