Still Inaccessible

Jul 04, 2018

To the Editor:

I have a friend who is handicapped as a result of a horrific accident several years ago on the Garden State Parkway. She and her husband are residents of Ocean County and lifelong friends of my mine and my husband. We have watched them throughout the recent years since the accident grow increasingly more frustrated at the minimal concessions made not only in parking spots but overall accessibility for individuals in similar situations to enjoy and frequent the beaches on Long Beach Island.

Even the designated handicap-accessible beaches are truly not accessible. The entrances to these beaches are often severely inclined, making navigating practically prohibitive unless the individual has an “army” of able-bodied helpers. The number of parking spaces at these streets is generally limited to one or two at best, and often they are not wide enough to allow for ramps to extend from these vehicles.

The sand on and off these beach accesses is generally soft and deep, rendering the use of even beach buggy-type wheelchairs virtually impossible as they sink into the sand under the weight of the chair plus its occupant. Why can’t these beach accesses have a firmer grounding for easier transportation of conveyances for said individuals and their caregivers?

Town officials need to enlist the help of a truly handicapped individual when creating these areas designed for actual use. What appears to be satisfactory does, in fact, fall frustratingly short in functionality. Getting help from an actual user would certainly be beneficial.

Each of us able-bodied individuals needs to “walk in the shoes” of a handicapped family member or friend for a single day to realize what they go through. Perhaps enjoying an unencumbered day on one of our lovely Jersey beaches might offer them a small respite.

Linda S. Armston

Beach Haven West


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