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Accessibility Improvements at Riverview Park Make the Space More Welcoming

Posted: Updated:
Ciara Campbell on the new path Ciara Campbell on the new path
Brian Wheeler Brian Wheeler
Ciara Campbell Ciara Campbell
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Riverview Park in Charlottesville added a new trial that will make the area more accessible to visitors with disabilities. The project began in April. Due to the summer’s rainy weather, the trail was not completed until last week.

The idea for the trail began when Ciara Campbell, a disability advocate, expressed concern about the accessibility of Riverview Park. 
     
She reached out to the Independent Resource Center which helps people with disabilities live independently. 

"It's starts at the parking area and goes all the way down to the river and connects up to the other trail system. This was an enhancement safety project that Ms. Campbell brought to our attention," Brian Wheeler, Director of Communications for the City of Charlottesville. 

Ciara Campbell loved going to the park but noticed it was difficult to move around the area in her wheelchair. "I come down to the river a lot either to go running with my brother or to hang out with my friends or take my dog for a run and before I had to walk through the parking lot, a lot, obviously but it's usually pretty crowded on the weekends so it can be. It's not always the easiest thing to do." 

Campbell was happy to see the city take another step towards improving the conditions for people with disabilities. "I've been working on the Charlottesville ADA Advisory Committee for a while so making accessibility improvements is not really something new to me but it's always nice to see something get done and see it be successful." 

In addition to being a welcomed improvement, the construction of the trail was an affordable project. 

"A trail like that which is a simple asphalt strip can be done within our existing budget and really flex the priority the city has to help people with disabilities but also pedestrians and bicyclists to get around safely," said Wheeler.

The accessibility improvements will allow more people to come together at Riverview Park for years to come.