What We Are Learning » Has the way people get around changed?

Improved access for all

Street changes at Mascot Avenue (near the Bader Drive end) have created a more user-friendly environment for pedestrians. There are particular benefits for people using mobility devices, prams, and shopping trolleys.

In 2014 and 2018, using a CCTV camera we observed people crossing Mascot Avenue near the Bader Drive end. In 2014, only 0.3% of people crossing the road used mobility-assisted aids, prams, or shopping trolleys. In 2018 this proportion increased to 1.9% of all pedestrians.

From the 2014 video we saw that people using mobility aids and devices with small wheels found it quite hard to cross the road. Sometimes they couldn’t get over the gutter and off the road and in some cases they were nearly hit by cars.

After the street changes were made, a raised zebra crossing was put in. This means that the footpath stays the same height and is continuous over the road, so crossing is made a lot easier. This change as well as others have improved access for people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and for those who push prams and trolleys.

For example, the wider footpaths mean it is easier to move around. Residents of Hillcrest Hospital say they often ride their mobility scooter in the bike lanes as they are smooth and protected from traffic. Also, the removal of some barriers at the entrance to lanes and paths means that people can  now access more areas and be more independent.

“…I used to push from home to here [gym by the mall] every day and some of the roads were really bumpy, unsafe and even because you have done lots of good changes I feel independent and safe within myself – in my manual chair or in my power chair. All the local places I feel comfortable and it is freedom for me, so I don’t have a bodyguard [someone to push her].”

– 36-year-old woman with mobility impairment