Salt Lake City Enhances Accessibility with Permanent Mid-Block Ramp at Washington Square

By Hannah Nelson | April 4, 2024
Temporary ramp on 500 S in SLC.
Temporary Ramp at Washington Square

In response to recent events in Downtown Salt Lake, a permanent mid-block ramp has been installed at 500 S in Washington Square, City Hall Campus. The project addresses the need for improved accessibility, particularly during major events in Downtown Salt Lake. 

Ashley Lichtle, the Salt Lake City Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, said in an interview that Washington Square holds "some of the largest events that happen in the city," including the Utah Arts Festival, the Pride Festival, and the Living Traditions Festival. Salt Lake City’s blocks are “some of the biggest in the country,” Lichtle said. In past years, the only ramps on this block were located at the corners. With 500 S being so large and only having ramps at the corners, it was difficult for people needing ramps to access City Hall and events at Washington Square when parking on 500 S.

In 2023, the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) contributed temporary ramps to be placed mid-block during the Utah Pride Festival and the Utah Arts Festival.  

The provision of these temporary ramps ensured easier access for festival attendees. Seeing the use of the UATP ramps, the City recognized the demand for a permanent ramp, which was installed this past September, as well as new accessible parking spaces adjoining the ramp.

This collaborative effort between the City and the UATP illustrates the power of community partnerships in promoting inclusivity and accessibility. By responding to the immediate needs observed during major events and subsequently implementing permanent solutions, Salt Lake City continues its commitment to fostering a more inclusive environment for all its residents and visitors.
Permanent ramp next to accessible parking facing a park.

In addition to the ramp installation, the ADA Coordinator and Salt Lake City’s Accessibility and Disability Commission have achieved many other notable milestones in recent months. These include passing an ordinance mandating closed captioning at places of public accommodation and providing accessibility training to the Salt Lake City Police Department and Public Library staff.   

For those interested in attending, the Salt Lake City Accessibility and Disability Commission Meetings are open to the public and are scheduled on the fourth Thursday of every month from 3-4:30 pm. More information on the Commission and its meetings can be found at the Accessibility and Disability Commission website.

For aid in attaining assistive technology, Utah residents can contact the UATP at their toll-free number, 1-800-524-5152.

Image (right): Permanent ramp next to accessible parking space at Washington Square.

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