First step to Main Street fix

View from the Strip
By Casey Lessard

I am delighted to see that – so soon after the beach enhancement project – Lambton Shores has received $2.6 million in economic stimulus funding to rework Grand Bend’s Main Street. The work will involve burying above ground hydro wires, and replacing curbs. Work begins in September and ends next May.
As you may be able to guess, most interesting to me was the note that the sidewalks will be replaced to improve access to stores for people using wheelchairs. Lambton Shores has been actively pursuing this for a long time, but – as reported in this paper last summer – the main street has a long way to go before it is wheelchair accessible. There are large steps into entryways, bumps in the sidewalk, and the curbs are often impossible to navigate.
This project is a long time coming, and hopefully it will be done right the first time. I expect some stores will remain inaccessible, but hopefully they are the minority. The next step is to fix the insides of the stores, where access is limited by inside steps, and by clothing racks and other impediments to access. The municipality can’t do much about those; hopefully the storeowners read our survey last year to see where they need to help.
By the way, to be reminded of the results, see our 2008 Wheelchair Report.