ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to an audit released on Friday from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, several New York State Parks were found to have inaccessible entrances and restrooms, obstacles on access trails and paths, and limited parking for those with disabilities. Auditors reviewed 40 parks across the state from January 2018 to October 2022, examining over 1,400 amenities such as restrooms, campsites, swimming areas, playgrounds, pavilions, elevators, boat launches, and parking.
The audit found 62% of the parks reviewed could be improved to enhance accessibility, including correcting mislabeled “accessible” signage, fixing rough or uneven access routes, increasing the number of wheelchair-accessible stalls, and more. Auditors say several parks were misrepresented online, with others having incorrect accessibility signage on site.
“New York State strives to promote inclusivity and broad access to all the resources it has to offer, and this includes our state parks and historic sites,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation recognizes the importance of improving accessibility to the New York State parks system, but must do a better job incorporating this goal into its processes for maintaining and operating its sites, and improve its communications with and responsiveness to the public.”
In response to the audit, parks have agreed with the recommendations made, and as a result will conduct a multi-faceted review of its policies, facilities, and programs to improve accessibility.