Changes made to make Birmingham more handicap-accessible

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The city of Birmingham is taking two steps Thursday in making the city more accessible to all residents. They are opening up a new entrance to city hall and announcing the arrival of new paratransit buses. Both will help make life easier for people in Birmingham living with disabilities.  

The ribbon cutting at city hall ushered in a new universally accessible entry way that is in compliance with the American's with Disabilities Act. There are no stairs to access the doorway and there is a push button opener for the doors.

Fifteen years ago the city was cited for not being accessible to all of its citizens. At that time, it was estimated that it would take up to $60 million to get the city up to the ADA standards. The remodeled city hall is one of the last phases of the project and disabled citizens say it is one of the most important.

"If it wasn't accessible, we couldn't get in and how are we going to tell the people of the city about anything else in the city if we can't get in our own city?" said Xaveria Anderson.

"It's no easy task for a city to come up with that kind of money," stated Mayor Bell on the new addition. "So we had to do it over a period of time and this last phase here is one that took some money, but we're proud of the fact that we're now in compliance with people getting in and out of city hall."

The city also announced the arrival of new paratransit buses today.  The buses are for riders who cannot get on or off other BJCTA buses because of a disability.

Thirty new buses will roll out as possible. These are to replace old buses that were breaking down constantly.

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