Benches block entrances to Romare Bearden Park after complaint about accessibility

Mecklenburg County has blocked two entrances to uptown’s Romare Bearden Park because of a complaint that the park isn’t properly accessible to people with disabilities.

Benches now block two stairways into the park from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The pathways lead to a signature lighted water fountain near the center of the park.

Someone complained to the county that the stairs meant disabled people couldn’t access that area of the park the same way as the general public, public information officer Leo Caplanides said.

The benches were placed to block the stairs as a “temporary measure,” he said. You can now get to the fountain from the front entrance to the park off Church Street. People have also taken to skirting around the barriers.

Park designers are evaluating a long-term fix.