Deputy St. Paul Mayor Jaime Tincher promised immediate improvements to accessibility after I talked to her last week for my story about my wheelchair and I being trapped in St. Paul City Hall. On Tuesday, workers installed two handicapped accessible parking spaces not far from the building's 4th Street doors. Tincher said more changes are coming.

Like what?

Tincher said the city's new Accessibility Coordinator Mark Zoller and other staff members recently walked through skyways to see how people get to the St. Paul City Hall-Ramsey County Courthouse. Clearly marking the easiest routes are likely next on the to-do list, she said.

Currently, visitors who want to stay indoors have to go down from the skyway in the Lowry Building, find a corridor that connects to the City Hall Annex, find their way to the Annex lobby and then take the elevators there back to the skyway level and cross into the courthouse. None of the route is marked.

"They also had some ideas on how we can do some design things so it's not quite a maze," Tincher said. "That makes it a little easier if you're thinking about traveling that route with mobility challenges. And we're going to keep working on it."

How soon?

Tincher would not venture a guess. "I have learned that things that seem simple can have some complexity," she said.

Before making the new disability parking spots, officials had to make sure there was a nearby curb cut for visitors in wheelchairs to get onto the sidewalk, as well as heating coils in the sidewalk to prevent ice buildup.

Surely I'm not the first one to bring up the question of accessibility?

Tincher said it's a typical reaction from a bureaucracy. "Sometimes there are delays because of the magnitude of everything you want. I think sometimes in the moment, there's a tendency to [want to] figure out how to fix the whole thing before we start," she said. "As opposed to, 'OK, but what can we do right now?' Even if we need to change it up because we have bigger plans later?"

As an example, she said no one thought to put a button to open a women's restroom door until after a staff member using a wheelchair asked for one. A lack of accessible buttons there and elsewhere means not only doors are hard to open. It means people decide to stay away, she said.

"How many people came to a council meeting or to visit the mayor, and they didn't have that?" Tincher said. "But we need to do it. There's an independence factor. We want people to visit the mayor. We want them to come to City Hall. If we take away that independence factor, that impacts how people are showing up."

Of course, putting in two accessible parking spots alone doesn't mean parking was available. One of the spots was occupied by a car without disabled parking plates or a visible permit.

"It's new," Tincher said. "We still have to do some coordination with parking enforcement."