Incorrect construction of wheelchair-accessible ramps on city sidewalks is creating a concern for Beckley officials.
Councilmember Kevin Price stated during the Tuesday, Sept. 28, council meeting that several of the recently installed wheelchair ramps were placed “one or two car lengths beyond the actual crosswalk.”
“You know, somebody using it, they are going to come right out in the middle of traffic instead of in the actual crosswalk,” Price said.
One is located near the church on Prince Street, Price noted. “It’s a good, I would say, 12 or 15 feet back from the actual crosswalk. So, it would be a race for them to hit the crosswalk button and get back and wait for traffic to pass. It would be a game of Frogger for somebody to try to cross the street, much less in a wheelchair.”
He continued that another ramp is located on Fayette Street, and stated that the issue needs to be addressed.
Mayor Rob Rappold responded that the company that installed the wheelchair-accessible ramps is located in Frametown, WV, and most of the work they did was “outstanding.”
Originally, Rappold said that city officials were concerned by original Department of Highways specifications and asked that they work with the contractor to ensure that old segments of concrete were replaced so that the new construction didn’t look like a “patchwork job.”
“We will definitely check on that,” Rappold said.
In other city business,
— Council approved an ordinance to permanently close a public access alley between Ellison Avenue and Seaver Lane for use by the Salvation Army;
— Rappold stated that the city has received a lot of praise for the new Cardinal Rising sculpture in uptown Beckley;
— Councilmember Robert Dunlap announced that the new coffee shop “Coffee on Main” has finally arrived in uptown. It officially opened on Friday, Oct. 1.