Group lobbies DRPA to get wheelchair ramp for Ben Franklin walkway moving

A group that represents people with disabilities in Philadelphia is calling on the Delaware River Port Authority not to put off building a ramp to the Ben Franklin Bridge any longer. 

Money was supposed to be budgeted this year for the initial stages of design and construction of a ramp accessing the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway from Camden.  Those funds were eliminated when all projects not directly involving public safety were delayed.

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Nancy Salandra is Director of Independent Living at the advocacy group Liberty Resources.

“We believe whenever it’s possible that anything should be made accessible, because it isn’t always just for disabled people,” said Salandra.

In fact many bicycle groups are outraged over the decision to suspend the project.  Salandra says making the bridge accessible could open new doors for people.

“People in wheelchairs travel all over the place just like anyone else who could walk so they could go over the bridge to go over to Jersey, it could be easier than the transportation they would have to take or the lack of accessible transportation sometimes,” said Salandra.

A spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority says the project could still make it into the 2012 capital budget which is being considered this week.

This note of disclosure, WHYY has received grants from the Delaware River Port Authority.

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