At yesterday’s Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council meeting there was a discussion of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Toward Universal Mobility study of accessibility gaps in the regional transit network.
The disAbilities Resource Centre in Queenstown, Australia has created a color-coded map detailing the accessibility of the streets and footpaths in the area. The map can act as a guide for new residents and visitors who have walking difficulties or use a wheelchair, mobility scooter or pram. Gently sloped streets are labeled in green, steeper streets are blue, while very steep streets are brown. The map also identifies scenic viewpoints, picnic and rest areas, useful services, accessible parking lots and public toilets, as well as the locations of the 37 businesses that sponsored the map. This project is a great idea that could easily be replicated in other locations to provide useful accessibility information to tourists and residents alike.
A television show in Turkey devoted a recent episode to the issue of accessibility on a citywide scale. “Turkey’s Changemakers” focused on an organization known as “Open Istanbul!” and how they are making efforts to eliminate barriers throughout Turkey’s capital city.
Open Istanbul! is an expedition group that takes volunteers on tours around Istanbul while identifying, through first hand encounters, any element that may present a barrier for persons with disabilities. It provides the volunteers, as well as the viewers, with a visual understanding of the importance of Universal Design.