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Pittsburgh Aims to Become America's Most Accessible City
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Pittsburgh Aims to Become America's Most Accessible City

Unlike Denver and Chicago, Pittsburgh is not ranked highly among the top accessible cities across the country. A likely reason might be the city's topology and the age of its structures—which are both charm and bane.

On July 10th, City Councilwoman Deb Gross proposed a bill changes in the city's construction standard for it to require accessible entrances when organizations seek licenses for renovation or construction.

On July 17, Mayor Bill Peduto proposed the allocation of $100,000 for a city program that will enable organizations to make their entrance more accessible.

In June, the (ADA) America with Disabilities Act Symposium brought together individuals with disabilities for four days in Pittsburgh where they discussed ways to make Pittsburgh more accessible. Accessibility in Pittsburgh has gained more ground since the introduction of ADA in 1990, with the establishment of several control systems and many movement signs at crossing points through the aid of various assistive technology.

This year, the city established 91 ADA-accessible swings for children with disabilities in all its playgrounds.

Pittsburgh is widely known for its two major accessible services: PNC Park, a standout amongst other accessible ballparks in the country, and the Port Authority travel framework, which has been offering door-to-door, shared-ride travel since 1979.

Mayor Peduto is 100% ready to ensure that there are enough accessible sidewalks across Pittsburgh. And on July 24th, the mayor asked the city council to consider a bill that will make the Department of Labor and Industry impose this standard in the state Uniform Construction Code.

Regardless of its dynamic plan for inclusivity, disability advocates say a culture of accessibility has not really gained ground in Pittsburgh.

"Pittsburgh needs to improve its hotels, hospitals, and sports centers' accessibility to become one of the country's most disability-friendly communities. I want Pittsburgh to be known for its high disability friendly design across the country," Mayor Peduto said.

Image credit: Photo by Author

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  1. speed
    Wow, of a truth, pitsburgh is becoming more accessible
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  2. chronarchs
    Recently made a trip to Pittsburgh with my wife who is wheelchair bound. The airport was super helpful. The options to travel into town were the SuperShuttle or the Direct Bus. We opted for the SuperShuttle and had no trouble boarding and securing my wife in the van provided. We also found a cab company downtown that had 14 accessible cabs that could be called during the day. Most of the downtown hotels were accommodating and getting around Market Square and downtown Pittsburgh was very simple in a chair. All of the restaurants we used had lifts and accessible ramps. Much better than NYC or our hometown of Denver.
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