Turning The Tables

Westport’s Parks and Recreation Department and Commission have done an admirable job improving South Beach.

The alcohol-allowed-but-no-glass-please section of Compo Beach was always a favorite spot for cookouts, picnics, sunset-watching and walking.

This summer, the extension of the walking path from the cannons made it much safer. The addition of new barbecue grills eased the crunch for choice spots. The rollout of a Mobi-Mat enabled folks with mobility issues, strollers, even heavy ice chests to reach the water’s edge.

Parks & Rec has done even more at South Beach. But many beachgoers may not be aware of exactly what it all entails.

Picnickers love the new round tables, placed close to the parking area:

They look great, they’re comfortable, and they’ve got a nice, modern design.

That design is not by chance. Here’s a view from the other side. That open area is specially created, for people using wheelchairs.

(Photos/Bruce McFadden)

Note the new nearby grill. It’s adjustable — and handicap accessible too.

The concrete pad in the foreground makes for easier access for wheelchairs, and others with limited mobility.

Many people with disabilities use the new tables and grills. I’ve also seen them occupied by groups in which no one has a disability.

That’s not their fault. They probably have no idea what the new equipment is designed for.

And there may be more of these tables and grills than there are people who’d like to use them.

Perhaps there could be signs on the tables and grills: “Designed for use by our neighbors with disabilities.”

I’m sure they’d still be used by non-disabled folks. But maybe they’d be the last ones occupied — not the first — on those days when everyone (including those with wheelchairs) wants to enjoy our wonderful, beaautiful beach.

2 responses to “Turning The Tables

  1. Caryl Beatus

    DOES THE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLES accommodate beach umbrellas?

  2. Bart Shuldman

    Dan-the new areas are wonderful and clearly helpful to those that cannot walk down the beach. The whole area with the walk ways and bathrooms is sooo much better.

    However, the existing BBQ’s are in horrible condition. Many are not usable as the bottom trays are either gone or so rusted with holes impossible to use. With so many bad ones, I fear many will use the new grills that will take away from those that actually need to use them.

    Maybe a quick fix can be made to the existing grills by adding a metal tray to the bottom so they become useable once again. Just a suggestion but people in Parks and Rec need to know about the existing grills.