Upgrades to the crossing at the intersection of Maryborough and Electra Streets have made a big difference to accessibility for residents with mobility aids.
Previously the gradient of the crossing ramps did not allow for easy access for people in wheelchairs or with walkers and the traffic light crossing buttons were located too high to be comfortably reached.
Spinal Life Australia peer support volunteer Pat Allison said issues like these often meant residents requiring mobility aids would be unlikely to return.
She welcomed the upgrade which the group identified and raised with Council’s infrastructure team resulting in the positive change.
“[We] explained to them that this crossing was very hard to access the buttons because of the gradient,” Ms Allison said.
“Well, if you have a disability and you're in a chair or on a walker … if you can't reach it easily, you don't bother coming back.
“[It’s] just wonderful now. It's just so much easier.
“Even the gradient in the middle is very good.”
Intersection accessibility improved
Acting Mayor and Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said improving accessibility right across the region was a priority for Council.
“We met a number of residents here that brought to our attention some time ago the problems they are having with accessing across the street with the different heights and levels,” Acting Mayor Trevor said.
“Our teams have been able to come up with some options to make it better for people in wheelchairs or mobilised scooters or just with a disability to be able to cross this busy intersection.
“We're surrounded here by shopping centres, fruit and vege marts, those sort of things where people come to do their everyday shopping and because there's one on one corner and one on the other, sometimes it's not always practical to pack the chair up and put it back in the car.
“What we've done is change the levels of the access, so it's a lot less steep in some of the gradients, we've been able to lower the push button that allows you to reach out to push the button to get the traffic to stop, to allow you to cross.
“This work made it easier and safer to access at this very busy intersection and we're delighted with the fact they've brought it to our attention and we've been able to work with them to bring it to fruition.”
He said the intersection accessibility upgrade was a great example of Council working hand in hand with the community to resolve concerns.
“And I would say to other members of the community out there, if you're seeing these things in your every day, let us know about it. We mightn't be able to fix it tomorrow, but we can try to get it on a program.
“What we're trying to do is make life better for those people that reside in these areas, making it safer for them out there and just generally improving their lifestyle and the liveability of our wonderful region.”
Ms Allison said she had enjoyed working proactively with Council and Spinal Life had since taken an active role in consulting on projects including the new regional aquatic centre and accessibility in the CBD.
“I think this sort of thing that council have done is just great.
“Spine Life members, they're active now, doing all sorts of things.
“It's important that we can access roadways, parking lots.”