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Wheelchair Access Issues Remain Despite $2M Ramp At Lafayette BART

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BART train, station

A commuter looks on as a BART train pulls into a station in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LAFAYETTE (CBS 5) — The recent construction of a wheelchair ramp at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station cost $2 million, but some parts of the station remain inaccessible.

Six months ago, BART completed a new ramp on the south side of the Lafayette station, which is designed to help wheelchairs and bicycles up the steep slope. But according to Peter Mendoza of the Center for Independent Living, the transit agency left out some important things.

“There’s really nowhere to go once you come down the ramp. Into the parking lot, there’s no where to go, no ramps or curb cuts,” said Mendoza, who has cerebral palsy and rides BART often.

Of the 117 spaces on the south side, none are for handicapped drivers. Currently, all of the disabled parking spaces are on the station’s north lot.

“The ramp was built essentially to connect the south side of the station to a trail that connect to Lafayette City center and near by homes and businesses. Not to the parking lot itself,” said BART spokesperson Jim Allison.

The ramp was completed in April with help from the Federal Transportation Administration on land owned by East Bay Municipal Utility District – meaning that the planning process involved juggling the concerns of multiple agencies.

BART plans to fix the curbs and provide handicapped parking in the area by the end of the year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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