Skate Park Closed – Not Handicapped Accessible
A Boston areas skate park has been ordered closed down because it does not comply with government handicap access laws.
The Uncle Bud Skate Park in downtown Marshfield is all it was designed to be – an outdoor community center for all ages with the skate park, a swing set, play area, picnic tables, checker and chess board, staging and seating. But designers left out a critical component: handicapped accessibility. And if town meeting fails to approve money to provide that accessibility, a state board will order the park closed.
The state Architectural Access Board, which held a hearing on the issue yesterday, has cited the town for several violations of state handicapped access regulations at the park. Yesterday the board voted to continue the matter to Sept. 30 to give Marshfield time to correct the problems. But the board’s vote included a provision to order the park closed immediately after the April 25 town meeting if voters rejected a request for $75,000 to make the improvements.
“I find this very disconcerting,” said board member Myra Berloff, director of the state Office on Disability. Ã¢€˜Ã¢€˜(The park) seems to be a lovely place. It’s a place where the community gathers. I understand that these are errors, but I am inclined to say that until it is open to everyone, it is open to no one.”
Marshfield Public Works Superintendent R. Jeb DeLoach said the town has responded to some of the access citations. He said the town removed a portable toilet that was not handicapped accessible. The town also removed an inaccessible bench. The board has also cited the park because only one of three entrances is accessible and handicapped parking spaces are too few and too far from the accessible entrance. Also, there is inadequate handicapped seating in the park’s amphitheater, which seats nearly 400 people for concerts and movie screenings. The park has several picnic tables that are inaccessible.