Local wheelchair users are helping to map the region's pathways, using innovative technology to collect data that can identify potential hazards.
Briometrix has partnered with Bundaberg Regional Council to deliver the project which will survey the current CBD streets for wheelchair suitability.
Since identifying the need for safer footpaths for the wheelchair community, Briometrix have attached sensors to local wheelchair pilots who use technology to indicate hazards or unsuitable footpath landscapes.
The sensors are used to sense the orientation and motion of the wheelchair, using the data to then interpret what is happening to the footpath in that area.
The different data includes how rough the surface is, what angle it is at and how steep the climb is which all play a part in the rating given by wheelchair users.
Local resident Stephen Richter, who is a wheelchair user, said he was happy to be providing his assistance with the program mapping.
“There’s a program on the tablet that we are using so we can quickly identify a hazard or an asset that’s on the street and we can rate it,” Mr Richter said.
“For example, a ramp is a really easy access angle, it gets a good or excellent, where as a ramp to get down onto the road or up off the street is very steep, it will get a lower score.
“I think it is excellent because we’re going to improve the streets, which will make it easier for everybody to use.”
Bundaberg Regional Council’s roads and drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said with a number of people using wheelchairs across the region, it was vital to ensure they had suitable access to facilities.
“We have a number of people within our community using wheelchairs and being able to access these footpaths is very important,” Cr Trevor said.
“By trialling this innovative technology, we’re trying to gather that data so that we can make changes more efficiently and effectively.”
Briometrix founder Eckhard Kemmerer said the company was thrilled to be providing assistance in improving the quality of the streetscape around Bundaberg, making it easier and more practical for those people to move around the CBD.
“We are working with some local wheelchair users and the Bundaberg Council to map the footpaths of the city,” he said.
“In particular, we are looking from the point of view of accessibility for wheelchair users and for people with mobility issues.”
Sounds a good move, but from my point of view I hope priority is being given to the streets which don’t have a footpath at all. I use a wheelie-walker and it’s very difficult to reach the nearby shops or bus stop. My walker now has a wobbly wheel, so I’ve given up going for walks at all.
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