A well-known ferris wheel in Davenport, Iowa is getting quite a change. The ferris wheel, tied to the Quad Cities and the minor league baseball River Bandits was not running during the team’s opening game this year, as it usually is.
This year, the ferris wheel was being modified to meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Last November, the Davenport Civil Rights Commission acted on behalf of several complaints from the public.
Being such a landmark of the area, people of all backgrounds and lifestyles obviously want to experience it. According to the Civil Right Commission director, there have been at least three individuals in wheelchairs that have been turned away from the ferris wheel because it is not wheelchair accessible.
These actions are being made based on the fact that it is a requirement of Federal law that all amusement park rides must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. In fact, ferris wheels need to have at least one wheelchair accessible gondola, and the one at Modern Woodmen Park does not.
The ferris wheel, located at the River Bandits’ ball park, also known as Modern Woodmen Park, has no assisted transfer from the platform onto any of the gondolas.
At the moment, fans of the River Bandits won’t see the re-opening of the Ferris wheel until sometime in May. This has been something of a big deal to the area, as there was much excitement when the ferris wheel opened in May of last year. Once it opened, the River bandits saw their highest attendance numbers in their 55 years as a team.
A manager from the ferris wheel’s owner and manufacturer, Chase Rides, has verified that one of the gondolas is indeed being modified to accommodate the spaces and needs of a wheelchair. Nobody has confirmed the date of the re-opening.