Handicapped Want Lake Cd'A More Accessible - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Handicapped Want Lake Cd'A More Accessible

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Wheelchairs are accessible in many places throughout the city parks of Coeur d'Alene. One place they are not accessible is into the water from the beach.

Harry Grider looks forward to coming to the lake every summer

"I enjoy our beach," said Harry Grider. "It's beautiful."

That is where he spends most of his summer relaxing.

"Oh I'd say four times a week," said Grider.

But a prosthetic leg makes it difficult for him to get into the water.

"I can't enjoy the beach like everybody else. I have to pop off my foot before I hit the sand, and then go down to the beach," said Grider.

It's an inconvenience he wishes he could avoid.

"It's very embarrassing. You have to flop like a seal on one leg down to the water, and then pretty much you crawl into the water," said Grider.

Grider says the city should be responsible for making the water wheelchair accessible to the beach.

"If it's a public access it should be public for everyone not just those that can walk to it," said Grider.

But the city of Coeur d'Alene says that's not part of their immediate plans. Parks Director Doug Eastwood says the city has worked hard at making the city parks wheelchair accessible including putting ramps down at the boating docks. He also said he isn't aware of any other beaches around the country that have wheelchair ramps that directly lead into the water, so it's not out of the ordinary.

Grider says the lack of plans by the city to install a ramp is disappointing, but will just have to continue to make due with what is provided for him.

"Here comes another summer coming up, and I'm going to have to use the steps instead of our beach," said Grider.

The Parks Department says most of the complaints they receive about wheelchair access is leading to other natural setting within the parks like Tubbs Hill, which they say they are working on trying to make more accessible.

 

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