ADA Accessibility Expanded on Hollywood Beach with Installation of Four New Mobi-Mat Accessways
Beachgoers traveling by wheelchair, using walkers or pushing strollers have greater access to Hollywood Beach with the installation in early November of four additional Mobi-Mats, semi-permanent blue plastic ADA-compliant pathways that help people traverse the sand and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean.
The first of these new mats was installed on Thursday, November 6 at Keating Park located at Magnolia Terrace on Hollywood Beach. A mat at this location was requested by the residents of the Quadomain Condominium complex led by 98 year-old Belle Joseph, who first approached Mayor Bober three years ago to request a Mobi-Mat at Keating Park. Ms. Joseph had started needing a walker and could no longer access the beach near her building. She also worked to encourage other residents with physical limitations or with small children in strollers to support the push for a Mobi-Mat at Keating Park. The Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency undertook the permitting process and finally received all permits to install the mat this fall.
Mayor Bober joined Ms. Joseph to escort her down the mat to the sand. Keating Park also offers ADA-compliant restrooms and is a stop for the City of Hollywood’s ADA-accessible Hollywood Trolley, making a beach excursion more convenient for all visitors, whether they visit on wheels or on foot.
There will be three additional Mob-Mats installed in the coming week at Oregon Street, Harrison Street and Carolina Street near the Hollywood Beach Marriott. This will bring the total number of ADA-compliant beach pathways to eight. In addition to Magnolia Terrace, the Harrison Street and Carolina Street locations are also Hollywood Trolley stops.
The City of Hollywood was a pioneer in the state of Florida in February 2009, installing four 6-foot-wide Mobi-Mats of varying lengths within the city’s Central Business District at Connecticut Street, Johnson Street, New York Street and Tyler Street. The mats have been extremely popular with wheelchair users, parents pushing strollers and barefoot beachgoers seeking relief from the hot sand.
The City of Hollywood was among the first in Florida to obtain authorization from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to install its first four beach accessways. The lightweight Mobi-Mat material was selected for its easy installation, fast removal prior to a storm event, reliable traction and cost-effectiveness.
The mats, which are funded by the City of Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and supplied by Coastal System, require a Coastal Construction Control Line permit and must be determined to pose no threat to sea turtles during the turtle-nesting season.
“I think the Mobi-Mats are a practical and minimally intrusive way to accommodate beach access for all users with a measure that does not impact marine turtle nesting,” said Jorge Camejo, Executive Director of the CRA.
Kimberly Stefanski, Planning and Economic Development Coordinator for the CRA, added, “It’s very exciting that we will soon be doubling the number of Mobi-Mats on Hollywood Beach and expanding the coverage area to accommodate residents and visitors in multiple areas of the city