Hingham’s Downtown “Welcome Mat” just got a little bigger

Left to right: Tom Mayo, Town Administrator; J. R. Frey, Town Engineer; Diane DeNapoli, Commission on Disabilities; Stephanie Gertz, Commission on Disabilities; Lynn Barclay, Executive Director, Hingham Downtown Association; Matt Cahill, Assistant Superintendent, DPW; Art Robert, Assistant Town Administrator/Operations; Picture by Breanna Weiss.

August 1, 2022 By Diane DeNapoli

On July 19th members of the Hingham Commission on Disabilities and town leadership including Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Downtown Association President Lynn Barkley cut a ceremonial ribbon on the downtown’s first fully accessible wheelchair friendly parking spot.

The spot on Main Street is unique in the fact that it will allow individuals who are in wheelchairs to safely exit their vehicles by using either a side ramp or a back loading mechanism. Ideally, this will allow for a much greater accessibility for those with mobility challenges to visit, dine and shop in downtown Hingham.

Diane DeNapoli, Vice Chair of the Commission on Disabilities, started engaging with the town on possible parking solutions last May based on an inquiry from a town resident who uses a wheelchair. DeNapoli says “This was an interesting learning process and took a good deal of creativity as downtown has some challenging parking problems. I would like to thank everyone who rolled up their sleeves and designed and installed this spot”.

The Commission on Disabilities Chair, Stephanie Gertz, said “Hingham is making meaningful progress working towards actions that build accessibility and openness. This spot is not only a great asset to those of us with mobility differences, but it is a welcome mat saying that ALL are welcome”.

Hingham is currently working with the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) and the Commission on Disabilities to conduct an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Survey and Transition Plan of its facilities and key public intersections in town. In the next few months the public will be asked for input on these sites and services.

“Ideally, this effort will help create a plan of action for the town in respect to both compliance and accessibility in the town. A transition plan will allow the Commission and the town to set priorities and apply for grant money to address some of our challenges” says DeNapoli.

“We’re so pleased that Hingham is making such an effort to be inclusive” said Gertz. The Commission on Disabilities meets monthly and can always be reached at COD@hingham-ma/gov.

2 thoughts on “Hingham’s Downtown “Welcome Mat” just got a little bigger”

  1. Really want to applaud the committee for making disabled people welcome in our community ♿️🦽and promoting access to needed services

    • Kudos to the “town resident who uses a wheelchair” who got the ball rolling by noticing the problem, who decided to do something to solve the problem, and who then worked with the Town to “get it done” in short order. Well done.


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