Pat Pound, Executive Director of the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, witnessed a milestone for Citibus on Friday. She honored them with "Access for All" sticker. It may look like a simple decal, but to her it's much more. "It's kind of like a disabled welcome mat. When you see it, you know when you go in a building, you'll be able to find the things you need to move around the building like everybody else," Pound says.
Pat also attended a similar ceremony for Groves library. It's all an indication the city of Lubbock has been working hard to make sure all handicap people have the access they deserve. Anthony Jones, a member of the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, says, "To date, I would be proud to say Lubbock is on the forefront."
Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal says, "I think we're making some progress, but when you're talking about the amount of money it takes to get a city of 200,000 fully handicap accessible, it just takes a while." Mayor McDougal says all new buildings in Lubbock comply with handicap requirements and they're working on going through to re-vamp the city's older buildings.
Thearl Gaddis, who has been in a wheelchair for seven years, says he's pleased with those efforts, but it's some of the city's sidewalks he's unhappy with. "They need to get out and do more ramps, there aren't enough. Wheelchairs, you can't go a lot places because they don't have enough ramps to get on and off they sidewalks."
Thearl also has a challenge for Citibus. Though the buses are handicap accessible, he's questions why they don't run on holidays or weekends. He says, "We'd like to go to church on Sunday and they don't run buses on holidays, you can't go out and eat with your wife or.. we just have to plan on holidays to stay home."
Two other Lubbock facilities have recently become handicap friendly. The Civic Center Auditorium and the Rogers Park swimming pool are now fully accessible. The city has also installed ten audible pedestrian signals for the visually impaired.