Large numbers of Sydney and Melbourne based residences have dubbed bike share companies aesthetically unpleasing and a nuisance. For those in our communities who are vision impaired they are more than just an annoyance—they are dangerous and at times debilitating.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT are one of the many parties who have been vocal in the problems share bikes are causing for our communities. Jennifer Moon, Community Education and Access Advisor for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, said “Bikes don’t need to be dumped in the middle of the footpath to create a problem for people with vision impairment…many people don’t realise that leaving a bike propped up against a traffic pole, where they may consider it to be out of the way, can create issues for people with vision impartment.”
Councils have brought in regulations to control the unruly docking of the bikes including impounding them.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT says “Every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with sight impairment that cannot be corrected, including nine that will become blind.” For companies like Alliance there is a need for the wider community to understand the magnitude of how many people these obstructions impact.
There are tips on how to dock bikes safley from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT – these tips help people perform their daily or weekly routines in a safe way, minimising obstruction and danger
Tips for Parking Share Bikes:
- Park bikes off all possible paths of travel
- Don’t leave bikes against buildings; vision impaired people use walls to assist with straight line navigation
- Don’t leave bikes against traffic poles; the audio-tactile pedestrian facilities and push-button systems at crossings help people with vision impairment cross roads
- Kerb ramps need to be clear so that people can enter and exit the road quickly and with ease
- Don’t leave bikes on corners; this is particularly hazardous for vision impaired people or for people with a disability and their carer (people cannot see what’s around the corner)
- Be mindful – ask yourself, wherever you are leaving your bike, could this be a hazard for someone with a disability?
For more tips, visit Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
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