Ústí nad Labem developed a web portal to provide its citizens with improved mobility opportunities. The website application is primarily aimed at providing access routes for citizens with mobility disabilities, including handicapped residents, mothers with strollers and other vulnerable route users. It provides information about local access routes presented in interactive maps with videos from each route recorded in a user´s point of view from a height of a wheelchair person.The web portal allows citizens to plan and review their walking trips and presents complex information about access routes both visually and practically to get them acquainted with local mobility possibilities according to their personal needs or restrictions.
Implementing sustainable mobility
The city of Ústí nad Labem has a goal to improve conditions for handicapped and vulnerable road users and to introduce mobility services promoting road safety. Within the official city website an integrated transport portal is being developed with all comprehensive transport information from the city available from one site to provide its citizens with improved transport services. The aim is to support use of sustainable urban transport modes, increase safety of transport in the city and improve accessibility for all city residents, including residents with mobility restrictions.
Objectives of the measure were to:
- provide citizens with access routes,
- provide information on security issues and the quality characteristics of each route,
- provide alternatives for city mobility.
Ústí nad Labem aims to provide improved mobility services to citizens with limited mobility. What kind of information is required by disabled people was established through surveys among city residents. This information was gathered and processed for the web portal http://bezbari.usti.cdsw.cz/imapa.aspx. The barrier free routes were identified to be suitable for carers with strollers, elderly people, people with reduced mobility and other road users subject to reduced mobility and deemed to be vulnerable.
The deficits on access routes identified during the field survey were submitted to the relevant office authorities (City Municipality, City District authorities, Directorate of Roads and Motorways and Regional Authority of the Ústí region) for corrections with priorities of their need of implementation, especially concerning the pedestrian crossings in the city centre.
Routes described on the web portal enable access to the major destinations in the city – public offices, social services, healthcare facilities and other public buildings. The routes are initiated from the nearest PT stations and parking lots reserved for disabled people. Routes will be further extended to other important points of interest in the city, such as cultural destinations and free time facilities in the city.
Implementation of the web portal dedicated to improve mobility in Ústí nad Labem was carried out in the following steps:
- Field surveys were conducted to gather background data for the website database, which included mapping of the major access routes, recording of GPS location, collecting photos of the route and points of interest and videos from each route, gathering data about all barriers on these routes (height of a barrier, safety hazards, accessibility of destinations, etc). Field surveys were carried out by an electric scooter with a camera attached in eye height of a wheelchair mobile person.
- Data processing, setting the interface for data recall, implementing web application from source code and graphical interface.
- Implementing the interactive maps for the web portal.
- Integrating relevant information on routes, barriers, points of interest and other data gathered via field surveys and requested by disabled residents.
- Debugging web application features.
- Providing the trail version online and processing the feedback to improve its features in order to make the website more user-friendly.
- Continuous improvements of the online application.
The web portal includes the following features:
- Continuous viewing of maps in various scales.
- Identification of selected pedestrian routes from its source to its destination
- Information about barriers on the route – edges, stairs, ramps, etc.
- Videos of each route showing the position on the interactive map.
- Detailed information on points of interest in the city.
- Downloadable application for a cell phone.
For the purpose of measure evaluation, a mobility survey was performed with city residents.
Most of the access routes in the city centre are already barrier free, but many citizens deemed to be vulnerable pedestrians are not aware of these alternative options. People with limited mobility are often not able to seek suitable access routes by themselves. The web portal is aimed at improving this situation by providing the access routes online to a much wider public.
It is necessary to continue constructing and improving quality of pedestrian routes and conditions for development of non-motorised transport interlinked with the services of local public transport to help initiate change of the modal split in the city (along with implementation of other measures). Activities should include adjustments of public spaces, pedestrian sidewalks and trails, pedestrian crossings and especially all PT stations to fulfil the conditions of barrier free routes, based on the findings of the mobility field survey and the safety audit performed within the project CIVITAS ARCHIMEDES. Furthermore, the issues of access routes in the city are discussed with associations of disabled people in the Ústí region, with local schools and other representatives of the public.
Based on the collected data, the web portal for people with mobility restrictions will be gradually further improved. Findings are progressively utilised to seek the appropriate solution. New access routes are being added to the web portal along with other related information required by local people deemed to be vulnerable pedestrians (such as data on local cultural and free time activities, etc.).