Mobility Maps promote accessible tourism

Mayor Mark Jamieson inspecting the innovative mapping equipment with project officer Evelyn Murphy and Pilot Jason Jones

A clever project that makes it easier for people of all abilities to get out and enjoy the Sunshine Coast way of life, is being expanded.

The initiative began a year ago as a trial where specially trained “pilots” backed by advanced technology tracked some of our busiest routes, providing accessibility mapping for those living with a disability, using wheelchairs or using mobility aids to help plan their routes.

This led to the development of Sunshine Coast Council’s award-winning mobility maps, which are now a shining example of accessible tourism opportunities.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was pleased to announce the expansion of the project during 2023: The Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland.

“The first maps focussed on the popular area between Maroochydore to Mooloolaba and since then, more maps have been developed for the health precinct at Birtinya,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Next to benefit this month (March) will be the Sunshine Coast’s major sports precinct in Kawana and our hinterland areas.

“The project provides a clear solution for those with disabilities to plan and map their routes and is a comfort to travellers and visitors to our region with mobility issues in identifying where they can get to with ease.

“The mapping has been completed for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital health precinct and surrounds identifying 11 toilets, 84 parking bays and 20 bus stops along with monitoring the kerb ramps, wayfinding signs, street crossings, surface types and conditions.

“This area was mapped by the Department of Transport and Main Roads as a footpath condition and mobility assessment study, and kindly shared with council to help the community with their accessibility needs.

“Equity and inclusion are key values here at council and in our community, which is why this project has been essential in identifying accessible routes suitable for everyone.”

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said he was pleased to see the revolutionary pilot project making speed.

“I’m really pleased to announce the next phase of this project includes the Caloundra area, Sunshine Coast Sports Stadium and Kawana Sports Precinct and the hinterland town of Maleny,” Cr Law said.

“The wheelchair pilots are back on the ground to capture these areas this month (March) and we hope to have these new maps online by mid-year.

“Briometrix, a leading provider of technology solutions for people with disabilities, said Sunshine Coast Council’s mapping data has covered more areas than any other council area or metropolitan city in Australia – this is an incredible achievement!

“We’ve come a long way since this project started as a trial in February 2022 and now the maps, on council’s website, show the most accessible routes, including footpaths, shared pathways, carparks, trails, toilets and ramps.

“It’s a valuable project supporting mums and dads with prams and toddlers in tow to the elderly, people using wheelchairs and mobility aids.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey welcomed the project.

“Well done to the Sunshine Coast Council on this project,” Mr Bailey said.

“We know that, on average, every dollar invested in active transport infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queensland with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion, and lower transport costs.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Labor Government is investing more than $268 million in active transport infrastructure in Queensland over the next four years.

“I’m pleased to see local government doing the same as the Sunshine Coast Council is doing here.”

To access the mobility maps please visit council’s Mobility mapping website.

For more information about the pilot program please visit Briometrix website. For more information about Access, inclusion and disability visit council’s website.

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