PHOTOS: Manhattan Beach Just Got A Little More Accessible, Thanks To A Mat
By Monica Bushman
Published Feb 18, 2021 12:05 PM
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.
As we know, the beach is a big part of life for Southern Californians, but getting to the ocean can be hard for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or other mobility devices.
Some good news: as of yesterday, beach access just got a little bit easier.
On Wednesday, officials installed a new nylon mesh mat across the sand in El Porto. The mat extends the concrete "Pathway to the Sea" walkway by 60 feet and then runs parallel to the ocean for another 100 feet.
Carol Baker with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors says the mat also benefits other beachgoers, like families with strollers or anyone trying to lug a giant ice cooler across the sand (we've all been there):
"It was just a pleasant surprise that by trying to create more access for one group, we're actually benefiting many other beachgoers."
The new access mat is located off of 42nd street in Manhattan Beach.
The concrete pathway to the sea there opened in 2014. It was a project championed by Manhattan Beach resident Evelyn Freyto make the beach more accessible for seniors and people with disabilities.
For some background on Manhattan Beach — the beach itself is owned by L.A. County. But the Department of Beaches and Harbors is responsible for maintaining and operating the beach on behalf of the county; they were the ones who rolled out and staked down the mat Wednesday morning.