THE USJ 10 Commercial Centre is the first area in Subang Jaya municipality to have infrastructural improvements for disabled pedestrians under the council’s (MPSJ) Barrier-Free City pilot project.
MPSJ president Noraini Roslan said more than RM445,000 from the RM2.3mil allocated for the project was spent on upgrading the area, also known as Taipan USJ.
“We have chosen to work on USJ 10 first because it has a systematic public transportation system used by many to visit the area which has many businesses that attract a large crowd.
“Many disabled folk use the public transportation system but once they get off the bus or train, their last mile to the destination is found to be very challenging and dangerous, especially for those who are visually impaired or have mobility issues.
“MPSJ has been conducted a series of audits in the areas under its jurisdiction since 2018 to check on accessibility in the municipality, based on Malaysian Standard MS 1184:2014 (Universal Design and Accessibility in Built Environment).
“We completed the audits of USJ 10 and SS16 in 2018; Puchong Commercial Centre, Bandar Kinrara, Seri Kembangan and SS15 Subang Jaya in 2019; and Putra Heights this year.
“All areas will undergo improvements in phases.
“Works are underway in three other areas, which are SS15, SS16 and Puchong Prima, ” she announced.
Noraini said that while the number of disabled persons in Taipan USJ was small, it was nevertheless important to look into their needs to create an inclusive society.
“To me, looking after the disabled equals to looking after everyone.
“There is no guarantee that an able-bodied person will have the ability to move independently forever.
“Some among us may also get temporary disabilities due to accidents and medical conditions, and will need good infrastructure to assist us in moving about, ” she reasoned.
The works in Taipan USJ include installation of anti-slip tiles and tactile paving for 550m of a pedestrian walkway, construction of six ramps, three staircases, six pedestrian crossings with traffic lights, installation of solar-powered warning lights that flash to alert motorists of disabled pedestrians, and pedestrian crossing signage.
A wheelchair-bound storekeeper Sunny Chan, 57, was grateful for the improvements made, especially to the ramps.
“The earlier ramps were too steep.
“However, the connectivity between one area to another needs to be improved, such as from the LRT station to the pedestrian walkway.
“There is no ramp for us in wheelchairs to get out of the station safely, ” he said.
Blind masseur Wong Yeong Cheing, 39, said the kerbs needed to be maintained and built at an appropriate height to cater to blind folk using the cane.
“Often I find myself kicking into a kerb because its level is almost the same as the road, ” he said.
Noraini said the council would continue to gather feedback from the people to continuously improve the infrastructure in the municipality.
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