Peter O'Connor; Martin Kelly, Chairperson of Newbridge Access Group and committee member Cllr Peggy O'Dwyer .
Cars and motorbikes parked on footpaths in Newbridge create just some of the obstacles that people with disabilities face on an almost daily basis.
According to a local action group other significant hindrances include sandwich boards, refuse bins, scooters being used on paths and bicycles attached to poles.
Just Make Way Day is a public awareness event highlighting the needs of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share.
“Hey, this blocks my way!” was the message the groups tried to spread and on Friday members of Newbridge Access Group took photos of obstacles that blocked the way and uploaded them to an app created by the Disability Federation of Ireland.
Martin Kelly, Chairperson of Newbridge Access Group commented on the prevalence of unnecessary obstacles on the pavement which impedes mobility while trying to navigate using a guide cane.
"I would love to be able to walk downtown independently but it is unsafe and extremely stressful. I need a companion to walk alongside me and I take their elbow to guide me along and steer clear of dangerous situations. It would be hugely helpful if bins were properly placed and taken in as soon as they are emptied and sandwich boards are displayed away from the direct line of travel,” he said.
Mr Kelly added: “We definitely need more well appointed bicycle stands in Newbridge due to the huge increase in usage. We have urged the gardai and traffic wardens to be extremely vigilant about cars parked on footpaths, illegal parking in disabled bays and scooters being used on footpaths."
The group continues to advocate for Universal Access for All. Upcoming events include International Disability Day (Dec 3). If anyone would like to become a member can email firstname.lastname@example.org
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