Wheelchair ramp removed in favour of more parking spots?

At a Surrey strip mall, fresh pain marks new 20-minute parking spots that have replaced an accessibility ramp.

Vivian Yu, who visits the strip mall on 100 Avenue and 152 Street every few weeks, sounded alarms after she noticed the ramp was gone.

“Ramps are for everybody, it’s not just for someone who uses a wheelchair. So it’s a bit disappointing that they don’t see that as an issue,”Yu said.

“I find it kind of frustrating and it just seems a bit backward from the social norm these days to try to make it inclusive and accommodating for everybody.”

She is now forced to enter at the far end of the parking lot behind dozens of cars, leaving her feeling unsafe.

“Generally when you are using a wheelchair, you’re pretty short and as a result, often you’re not eye level to the driver of any kind of vehicle, even the small sedans, so it’s a bit sketchy.”

Guilford Towngate Investment, the strip mall’s property manager, didn’t respond to requests for comments but has been talking with the city.

A city employee sent Yu an email explaining the property manager’s primary concern is “getting more parking spots in the facility.”

In a statement to CTV News, Nadia Chan, acting building division manager of planning and development, explained any removal of an accessibility ramp must be submitted to the division.

Chan did not say whether an application was submitted for the case but did say, “The ramp will not be allowed to be removed if accessibility requests have not been met.”

The city will now review the property to determine if it is in compliance with its permits and the B.C. building code.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Breanna Karstens-Smith

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