C'ville City Leaders Working to Make Vietnam Memorial More Accessible
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville is home to the country's first Vietnam War memorial but some are saying it's too difficult to get to.
Charlottesville City leaders are responding to that feedback and trying to find ways to make it more accessible. It's quite the hike to get to Dogwood Vietnam Memorial.
“It's a challenging site. I mean on one side is the railroad, on another side is the bypass, on another side is the parkway,” said Charlottesville City spokesman, Brian Wheeler. “This is a very important memorial. It's the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the United States.”
The city is working to upgrade signage leading to the memorial and providing more information about parking on its website.
“We think we can do more with the way finding signage so those are the simple things that we can do to make it more visibly accessible to folks," stated Wheeler.
The closest parking is at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad Station. That makes it difficult for veterans themselves to visit the site.
“It's a tough location, we're glad it's more prominent, more visible, getting more recognition and respect, but we do recognize it also is a difficult place to get to,” said Wheeler.
Despite accessibility challenges, city leaders said they're excited people are taking an interest in the memorial.
“We're proud to have that, we definitely honor the service of those veterans who lost their lives and their family members who still want to go with friends and family to go visit that sacred site,” noted Wheeler.
City leaders are discussing a number of different options to improve the memorial's accessibility. One of those proposed options involves having an on-call shuttle service where visitors would have to make a reservation.