Saturday, July 13, 2024

Trust the Designer – Cays Park will be Safe and ADA Compliant

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Robin Hagemann

It’s shocking in 2024 that we are debating whether or not the largest park in Coronado should be improved to allow universal access. People with disabilities, small children, and the elderly are not able to use or enjoy the Cays Park today. To state anything different is simply dishonest!

Authors of recent editorials regarding the Cays Park accuse City Leaders of not being fiscally responsible and advocate for “No Change to the Park.” Thank goodness most of our Council Members and our City Manager understand City Planning and the financial implications of non-compliance with the ADA. They are working hard to prevent Coronado from ADA lawsuits such as the 1.3 billion dollar suit against Los Angeles and the 15 million dollar suit against Cedar Rapids.

Council Member Donovan expressed in the last council meeting that “the City should trust the designer.” I whole hearty agree with this statement. Schmidt Design is a leader in the industry. The company knows how to engineer beautiful parks that are safe and ADA compliant.

With city staff, the company conducted a great deal of research to determine how the Cays Park is currently being used. Their data concluded that the park has two dominant users: dogs and club soccer.

Observation and deeper dives into the data indicated that not only did these two users dominate the park, but also the specific ways they used it (e.g. dogs off leash running all through the park and soccer groups occupying majority of space/parking) made the park not usable by people with disabilities, the elderly, young children, and small dog owners.

Simply stated, the Cays Park cannot be considered ADA compliant. The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, city monies that should have been spent over the last 34 years to make it compliant and universally accessible will need to be spent now in order to prevent litigation. On a more human level… shame on those that wouldn’t want to more people with wheel chairs, walkers, and canes to access the park and the amazing ocean view.

Robin Hagemann


Editor’s Note: For more on the history of the Cays Park Master Plan project, public outreach, and past meetings, click here.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

More Local News