City folk want DBKL to ensure e-scooters stay off sidewalks

Bags of rubbish left on the pavement in Brickfields are a danger to the visually impaired.

KEEP them off pedestrian walkways!

That is pretty much the sentiment of city folk in Kuala Lumpur when asked what they thought of electric scooters being allowed to be used in the city.

Many who spoke to StarMetro said

that while they were not against the e-scooters, they would want it banned from sidewalks.

“As it is, motorcycles and bicycles are using pedestrian walkways even though they are not supposed to and that has made it dangerous for us, ” said Malaysian Association for the Blind’s (MAB) accessibility and advocacy executive Siti Huraizah Ruslan.

“I hope the mayor will give further thought to allowing electric scooters on pedestrian walkways.

“Sidewalks currently are full of obstacles.

“The visually impaired have to contend with barriers like pillars, dustbins, rubbish and parked motorcycles and they have often been injured because of such objects in their paths.

“Those in wheelchairs are also affected, ” she pointed out.

Siti stressed that walkways with tactile blocks for the blind should be solely for pedestrians.

Senior citizen M. Ramoo said that as an elderly man in his late 70s, he had always felt afraid when walking on city streets in areas like Brickfields.

“I have seen blind people injured when they knock into obstacles on the street.

“A broken leg or hip is the most frightening thing for a man of my age, ” he said.

“While able-bodied people can move quickly to avoid something coming their way, it is not possible for the elderly and the disabled, ” he added.

Bangsar resident M. Viknendran agreed with Siti and Ramoo, saying that Kuala Lumpur’s streets were more cluttered now than ever with DBKL allowing traders to operate with temporary licence.

“Even though street hawkers are not supposed to operate on sidewalks, many do so, ” said Viknendran.

“While we cannot expect DBKL officers to be everywhere, they should at least make sure that people stay off pedestrian walkways, ” he said.

Cheras resident N. Ramesh said that he found e-scooters handy whenever he went shopping in Bukit Bintang.

“It is cheaper to use, easy to carry and friendly to the environment.

“I hope DBKL allows it, but there must be enforcement and the public must also be responsible with it, ” he said.

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