Council charts course with new mobility maps

The new Sunshine Coast Mobility Maps are turning heads and wheels after they go live on the Council’s website.

The groundbreaking pilot project aims to make life easier for people of all abilities, from moms and dads with toddlers in tow to seniors, people in wheelchairs and mobility aids.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the project uses modern mapping technology to help improve the way residents and visitors access and ultimately enjoy popular areas of the Sunshine Coast.

“It feels like only yesterday we announced the start of the mobility project where wheelchairs have been transformed into mapping tools with specially trained local ‘pilots’ and state-of-the-art technology to follow routes from Maroochydore to Mooloolaba,” said Mayor Jamieson.

“I am pleased to report that the mobility maps are live on the council’s website after being generated, checked and compared before being uploaded online – allowing everyone to find their best path, based on their needs and abilities.

“This project began as a trial to test new techniques to help community members with limited mobility or those with a short-term injury get around the coast by giving them access to maps and orientation information on accessible routes.

“The mapping project began with riders who had an experience, combined with innovative technology to collect information about our trail conditions, transit and parking access, amenities, rides, beach mats and more.

“I am delighted to see Sunshine Coast Council partnering with Briometrix, a leading provider of technology solutions for people with disabilities, to undertake this important project. »

Pilots identified the stretch of track extending between Maroochydore and Mooloolaba generally as being of very high standard.

Clear route categorization minimizes mobility challenges and allows the user to make informed choices before visiting locations across the Sunshine Coast.

Community Portfolio Advisor David Law said projects like this were important for the region to promote activity, provide mobility options and encourage visitation to our coastal areas.

“Equity and inclusion are key principles that we value here on the council and in our community, which is why this pilot project was essential in identifying routes that are accessible and suitable for all, said Cr Law.

“The Mooloolaba foreshore, along with our beach accesses, is an area that is undergoing significant revitalization, with an emphasis on accessibility.

“We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and they are becoming more accessible with the availability of wheelchairs and beach mats.

“To ensure that visits to the beach are easy and enjoyable for everyone, we are taking the next steps to map 18 beach accesses within the existing mapping area (Cotton Tree to Mooloolaba) that have a sealed surface and lead either to the beach or to an observation platform.

“The maps will include the northern section of Beach Parade, Maroochydore (BA 146) to the Mooloolaba Spit car park in the south (BA 195).

“In the coming months, the maps will also include the trail network around the Sunshine Coast University Hospital sanitary compound and we are planning to roll out mapping of the Sunshine Coast Stadium sports compound.

“As the program grows and the budget allows, I look forward to supporting and providing maps for other locations such as our backcountry towns.

“It is so important that as we approach the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our region provides the opportunity to provide best practice, fully accessible public amenities that better serve our wider community and prepare the region for the world stage.”

When it comes to a “level of effort”, it is based on the slope of the path, the condition of the surface and the cross slope of the trail, which makes it possible to identify the easiest and requiring the least effort to circumvent the coastal strip.

Dane Cross, mobility mapping pilot, said these new maps would change the lives of many people with reduced mobility.

“The Sunshine Coast is home to some of the most incredible natural environments in the country, but many places remain a challenge,” Mr Cross said.

“The areas we mapped from Cotton Tree to Mooloolaba, as well as the Mooloolaba Spit boardwalk, are a great start.

“These maps are easy to use on your computer or portable device. I use my phone when I’m on the go to check accessible parking spots, restrooms, accessible entrances to restaurants, and elevators, as well as find the best route between them.

“Hotels and entertainment venues have also been mapped. It just gives me peace of mind when I go out and it should help others plan before they leave the house.

The maps also identified places where access may be limited due to the slope of a site or the steepness of a trail.

The Council is committed to ensuring that facilities meet the needs of the community throughout the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast Council will join other local governments and transport authorities across Australia including Brisbane, Townsville, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne and Public Transport Victoria to roll out Briometrix Mobility Maps.

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