Planning for visitability
I’m sending this out to just about everyone who has expressed to me even the slightest interest in making Shepherdstown a more comfortable and mobility friendly community. It’s been almost a month since Visitable Shepherdstown’s well-attended and enthusiastic community meeting at the train station.
One lesson from that was “be careful what you wish for.” Just kidding. We were thrilled by the level of support and the excellent ideas generated at the meeting, but also left with some anxiety about moving forward responsibly. It’s not easy to ask local businesses and organizations, not to mention local government, to invest in our goal, no matter how fervently we believe in it.
We’ve come up with what we think is a reasonable plan for the immediate future. To date, we have been researching ramps from several manufacturers, the expense and possible funding sources. We have identified four highly visible demonstration sites for immediate improvement. We have begun a survey of public restrooms. We are exploring the practicality and cost of a door opener for the post office. We are developing a brochure that will provide information about mobility access in town and describe a vision of a visitable Shepherdstown to distribute at the Visitor Center. We are looking for volunteers to survey curb cuts in the most traveled areas of town. We need a logo and design for a plaque or decal that can identify supporting merchants. We will need a small outreach committee as soon as these improvements are in place.
Send an email to LTWhome@aol.com if you can take on one of these tasks. I will also be sending individual emails to the folks who signed up or offered to help at the meeting. Feel free to let me know if you’d prefer not to receive updates from time to time. Last but not least, if there is a specific mobility issue in town that you wish to call to our attention, please don’t hesitate to let us know about it.
We are looking ahead to significant progress by the Back Alley Tour and even more positive change by Street Fest. Come join us!