City residents asked for input on access barriers

Leaders of the city of Huntington are seeking input from members of the community about barriers within the city that prevent residents from making full use of opportunities within the city.

A public meeting to receive that input will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at 6 p.m. in the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

The meeting will open with an explanation of a federally mandated evaluation measuring the compliance of all city-owned facilities and programs with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

While the city's ADA compliance will be discussed at the start of the meeting, Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters says the document is just a starting point.

"There's a huge education component to this," he says.

Many barriers to accessibility are as simple as uneven sidewalks, Fetters says. He wants to revive a program in which the city and residents share the cost of sidewalk repairs 50-50. To keep the sidewalks in good shape, he wants to educate people about proper tree planting to prevent sidewalk damage and convince people not to park on sidewalks, which not only blocks access but contributes to the deterioration of the walk.

Sidewalks are just one example of barriers to accessibility, Fetters says.

"This really is the meeting to get that input," Fetters says, so that livability, accessibility and quality of life in the city can be improved.