Universal Access for all Bend Citizens – CC

Hello and welcome to CityEdition the city of Bend’s video news magazine. I’m Justin Finestone. It’s called universal access and it’s one of the main goals of the city’s accessibility program and while you might see lots of curb ramps construction going on around the city it’s much more than that. (construction sounds) Universal access is an approach to design to be inclusive for all people in the environment. Everything from our homes to where we are today with sidewalks and curbramps and getting in and out of buildings so that’s it’s just inclusive and seamless. Today we’re standing in front of a construction site of the new intermodal center which is our new transit intermodal center and it is going to be the service center, the pulse, if you will, of interfacing all the different modes of transportation we have, all the way from taxis to our fixed route bus system. Universal access is very important to this family transportation center first of all it’s just good design and the right thing to do but it fits and interfaces with the transportation plan. The city of Bend has really prioritized infrastructure policies and the importance of curb ramps is one of those The benefits of these projects happen to be universal access throughout the community and jobs for our local economy. putting private companies back to work. The city of Bend accessibility committee was formed in April of this year COBAAC is a group of 9 members put together by the city to provide guidance to in relation to accessibility issues to city council and city manager. The purpose of COBAAC is to prioritize the important projects throughout the city and to really explain that to council for an understanding of how to move forward. Of the 9 members of COBAAC there’s a wide range of folks from some people in the engineering and architecture field over half of the members are people with disabilities representing this vital topic. COBAAC has decided on three specific tasks and first one is to help develop a sidewalk program within the city the second one is to work on business educational outreach the third on is to promote universal design in affordable housing and incorporate those elements in future projects. We have home loan modification loan program for families with people with disabilities to work with disabilities as well as our senior population to be able enhance quality of life in their homes. Looking back over the construction season, we’ve provided jobs for local contractors and accomplished more steps toward universal access for the residents of Bend. COBAAC is very pleased to see the improvements and dedication of the city has been working on to complete all the improvements that have happened The end of this year we will have improved over 500 curb ramps by the end of this year.

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