Study gives Albuquerque top marks for wheelchair accessibility

Posted at: 10/24/2012 1:40 PM
Updated at: 10/24/2012 2:59 PM
By: Tracy Dingmann, KOB.com

A new study by Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation ranks Albuquerque the second-best city in the country when it comes to livability for people using wheelchairs.

According to a news release, the foundation looked at 100 of some of the largest cities in the United States and ranked them based on criteria that provides a snapshot of not just accessibility, but livability for people using wheelchairs, according to a news release.

The foundation is named for the late actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed in a riding accident, as well as his wife Dana, who died of cancer.

Criteria the foundation considered included: Climate; air quality; number of physicians, rehab specialists and rehab centers; accessible fitness and recreation facilities and paratransit systems; numbers of physically disabled people and whether those people have been able to get employment; age of the city; and spending and eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

Based on those factors, Albuquerque ranks second in a list that includes:

1. Seattle, Wash. 2. Albuquerque, N.M. 3. Reno, Nev. 4. Denver, Colo. 5. Portland, Ore. 6. Chicago, Ill. 7. Birmingham, Ala. 8. Winston-Salem, N.C. 9. Orlando, Fla. 10. Lubbock, Texas.

The study says cities listed in the ranking are "on the right track" to being hospitable to people using wheelchairs.

Click here to see the entire list.

In July, an investigation by KOB's 4 on Your Side reporter Chris Ramirez found that gaps in sidewalks along Coors Blvd and other Westside roads make access to bus stops nearly impossible for some riders.

At the time, city councilor Dan Lewis told KOB that he would work with the city and the state to get the gaps filled.