Two key intersections in Buninyong will be retrofitted in coming months to ensure easier and safer access for people with disabilities as part of a broader program which will see $105,000 spent this year to upgrade Ballarat's pedestrian infrastructure to meet Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) guidelines.
Council has received $45,000 from VicRoads under its 2011-12 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Retrofit Program which is targeted at arterial roads.
The City of Ballarat's annual DDA retrofit program of $60,000 is directed to the local road network. The program has been running for eight years, positioning Council strongly at the forefront of compliance with the requirements of the Act.
The projects funded by the VicRoads program will see the installation of kerb ramps and tactile ground surface indicators (TGSIs) at the intersections of Warrenheip and Barkly Streets and Warrenheip and Eyre Streets in Buninyong.
City of Ballarat Growth and Development Portfolio Councillor Ben Taylor said the installation of TGSI's would help people with vision impairments navigate their way around their community more safely and give them greater confidence and independence.
"Installation of kerb ramps complements the TGSIs and increases access for a broad range of people including users of wheelchairs and scooters, people with a vision impairment, people pushing prams, or using any other equipment which assists with mobility," Cr Taylor said.
"These devices can assist people attempting to cross the street or accessing the footpath from a car park."
A separate project will see detector loops for wheelchairs installed at the intersection of Sturt and Ripon Streets in Ballarat. The detector loops are installed into the walkway and detect the presence of wheelchairs or scooters, automatically activating the pedestrian phase. This overcomes problems created when people in chairs or scooters cannot reach the push button to activate the pedestrian crossing.
"The City of Ballarat's Disability Access and Inclusion Plan makes improving access for all members of the community a priority. Council's commitment to achieving this goal is demonstrated through our DDA retrofit program."
Works are carried out on approximately six intersections per year and include:
- replacing broken or uneven pedestrian crossings,
- constructing new pedestrian crossing to the best line of travel,
- replacing or adding footpaths,
- removing any obstructions from the path of pedestrian travel such as signs or seats,
- placing TGSI's to better define the path of travel for pedestrians,
- relocating or lowering service authority pits (gas, Telstra).