The City of Long Beach unveiled new AccessMats at Granada Beach which will enable people who use wheelchairs and walkers to go onto the sand.
“I feel so included I can be out here amongst other people that are here to enjoy the beach and that is so awesome, instead of seeing it way over there and seeing people enjoying the beach and not being able to,” said Councilmember Mary Zendejas. “And that’s what excites me the most, that I’ll be able to share this with so many of my residents.”
The long blue mats are made of a flexible material that provides a surface that walker and wheelchair users can maneuver their devices across.
The unveiling of the new mats included a ribbon cutting ceremony presided by Mayor Robert Garcia, and an inaugural procession down the mat led by Zendejas.
Claudia Santana, who uses a walker, described the mats as “really good,” as she walked along the blue path, taking in the sunshine and coastal breeze.
Jennifer Kumiyama, disability community and policy liaison for Zenedeja’s office, said she’d like to see more accessibility mats at more of the city’s beaches.
“I think these AccessMats will provide people with disabilities access to not just the ocean but the healing properties of the ocean,” Kumiyama said. “It’s just an equitable access to the enjoyable parts of life. People who live in this city for decades haven’t had access to the beach. So this is a really big win and a great day for people with disabilities in our city.”
The accessibility mats can be found at Granada Beach, Mother’s Beach and Alamitos Beach.