Tuesday, August 20, 2013
On 20 June 2013, I was checking the disabled access around Dewan Sri Pinang when I first saw this walkway. It had initially appeared wheelchair friendly to me. I found the kerb ramp to be gentle and wide. (See Photo 1). So I decided to check it out.
As I moved along the ramp, I quickly discovered that it was not as good as it had appeared to be
Firstly, I didn't like the drain cover. It could trap the small front wheel of a wheelchair. (See Photo 2).
Along the walkway, I found some trees (I like trees), that were wrongly positioned, thus making the walkway too narrow for my wheelchair. (See Photo 3).
At the end of this walkway, I could not find any kerb ramp to go down. Some wheelchair users may have to go all the way back to the start of the walkway and move on the street to avoid the hazard of going down at position 5. A walkway like this is no good to us at all. (See Photo 5 and Photo 5a which shows the side view of the kerb).
This walkway shows that wheelchair access is still lacking in Penang. (The map below indicates the locations of the photos taken. The numbers on the map correspond with the number of the photos) .
Monday, August 12, 2013
Gurney Paragon Mall was opened partially last year. (See my post dated 26 August 2012, link HERE). At that time, only the section facing Persiaran Gurney was opened. The remaining rest of the building was still under construction.The mall is fully opened now. It has an additional entrance from Jalan Kelawai. I used this entrance in my recent visits and the following was what I saw.
As soon as I entered the mall at Ground Floor or Level 1, I saw six escalators in front of me. They led to either one level up to Level 2 or one level down to the Lower Ground Floor. I could neither go up or down because of my wheelchair.
I sought for help from a security officer and he told me I should have used the lifts outside the main entrance. I found the lifts easily. Although the lifts were rather small, they were useful because they could reach all levels.
Car parks for disabled people were located at level 2B. I was very happy to see that they actually clamped a non-disabled person's car. (See the car in the photo below.)
I was very careful when I used the ramp that led me into the mall. It was long and steep. But more importantly I noticed that there was a flight of steps going down on the opposite side of the landing of the ramp. That could be dangerous for less observant people.
I was disappointed with the toilet for disabled people. It was too narrow for people who used side transfer to get to the toilet bowl. I also noticed that there were two wrongly placed bins. Why are two bins needed?
(Note: A disabled person who uses side transfer needs to place his wheelchair side by side of the toilet bowl. The video below will illustrate my point.)
There were two entrances to the food court. One is accessible, the other one is not. Unfortunately I took the wrong one. The following photos illustrated how I had to go "down" a small step and then "up" again before I could reach the place my lunch.
I discovered the accessible entrance to the food court much later but I had forgotten to take any photo. Fortunately I found a good map at Gurney Paragon's website. I have added the red arrows to show the accessible entrance. (See the "OK" sign below)
I shall end this post by showing more photos of Gurney Paragon. The mall is big and fairly accessible. You should explore the place when you are free.
(I visited the mall on 28 Jul. and 10 Aug. 2013)
This newly built temple is very popular among local and foreign visitors.(See link HERE.) Although the path (see yellow arrow lines) leading to this interesting site is bumpy and uneven, I found it "manageable" for my motorized wheelchair.
The ramp at the entrance is steep. There is no other facilities for disabled people.
I found the ground floor to be flat and spacious. However I could not find a lift to go up to the first floor.