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June 27, 2022
Dear West Hollywood,
It is with bittersweetness that I write to tell you about my experiences using the new Aquatic and Recreation Center now open on a limited basis.
I attended my second water fitness class today. I have paused my post back surgery physical therapy sessions at the Elizabeth Taylor Aquatic Center in Culver City in order to attend these long overdue sessions offered by the city. I realize everything is new and being offered on a limited basis and kinks need to be worked out, but there are a few things I need to bring to your attention so maybe we as a city can do better for our seniors and disabled residents.
Due to my mobility issues, I like attending water fitness classes but getting to these classes seems to be made difficult due to the design of the building and elevators that aren’t meant to be accessed on the first floor where Dial a Ride vans and Uber/Lyft drop-offs take place.
Wednesday of last week when I was dropped off there were some construction crew members who informed me the elevators don’t work on this floor and I was to walk around the side of the building and use the wheelchair ramp to enter off the Park entrance. I said I was not capable of making that walk so one of the workers used his pass key to access the elevator for me.
Today the elevators were again not accessible from the disabled drop off location. But no one was around to help me this time. It took everything I had to make the long walk along the side of the center and around the wheelchair ramp to gain entrance to the building. How bizarre to make disabled and elderly people walk around to another entrance when there are elevators right there but do not work from that level. We can do better.
Another concern I have is the lack of seating in key areas within the center.
First there is no bench to sit and wait for Dial a ride or uber/lyft at the pickup drop off zone. Why?
And in the men’s change room there is one small bench tucked in the corner by the lockers. Where are people supposed to sit and change? How bizarre this was so grossly overlooked in the design. Today I had to sit and change in the handicap shower that has a small bench inside. Again, we can do better.
Why are there no soap dispensers in the showers? Especially in times like these where cleanliness and hygiene are encouraged, the city can’t supply body soap in the shower? Even if I brought my own there’s no where to put it except on the floor. YIKES, no shelf. We can do better.
Another concern I have is that El Tovar Place is not clearly marked for Uber Drivers to find the new building entrance. It took me five minutes over the phone to instruct the Ambiance/Lyft driver where to pick me up. Her complaint being the street is not clearly marked. Today I noticed the street sign on the other side of Robertson under a tree. Even the Dial A Ride van driver couldn’t see it. We can do better.
I absolutely love the class, the instructors are fun and energetic, but it is very difficult to hear what they are saying. I am half deaf with tinnitus in one ear. Why are they not equipped with a headset/microphone and tied into the speaker system? The music is great but completely drowns out the screaming instructor. What an oversight in my opinion.
I look forward to future classes but if I can’t access the building from the drop-off zone, I may have to rethink my plans and go back to Culver City which would be a shame.
I look forward to someone with a reply to respond to these concerns.
West Hollywood Resident of 28 years
I tried to attend Water Fitness class today but was once again greeted with non-working elevators from the Dial a Ride drop off zone at 8750 El Tovar Place. I am not capable of walking around to gain entrance from the Park area. This is unacceptable and I have filed a report with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Record number is: 172668-JJD.
Until I get confirmation from someone at City Hall regarding this, I am forced to cancel my future reservations I have in place for water fitness class. What a complete shame I cannot use the new facility after having waited so long for it to open. Why is there not someone manning that entrance? There is a staff member who sits on the fourth floor outside the changing rooms, maybe another staff member is needed to act as concierge on the first floor.
We can do better by trying harder.
980 Palm Ave.