Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MBPJ First To Build Disabled Friendly Park - NST

PETALING JAYA: The wheelchair-bound in the city can now look forward to a day in the park as the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is embarking on a mission to make its parks accessible to the disabled.

For a start, MBPJ has installed a small neighbourhood park in Jalan 6/14 with disabled-friendly features such as ramps for easy mobility, tactile flooring for the blind, accessible entrances and wider footways.

Mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman said the upgrade was a first for state municipalities, and part of MBPJ's corporate social responsibility effort to make PJ a barrier-free city for the disabled.

"This park will be a model for the rest of the public parks in the municipality, and the design will be according to global standards that prioritise user-friendly features," said Roslan.

He hoped the disabled and elderly would use the parks for recreation and socialising.

Roslan said PJ had over 400 parks but only 384 parks were under the council. The rest were under development or were yet to be surrendered to the council.

He said RM1.5 million had been set aside this year for the maintenance of the parks. This includes the repair and replacement of park equipment and playground amenities.

A big concern, said Roslan, was vandalism. He urged the community to share the responsibility of caring for and protecting the facilities.

The council has placed metal bars poles with width fit for wheelchairs at the appropriate entrances of the park as a measure to block motorcyclists from entering the park.

"I hope the residents will adopt the park as their own and together, safeguard it from being vandalised," said Roslan at the disabled-friendly park, which was launched by state exco for tourism, consumer affairs and environment Elizabeth Wong.

Wong and Roslan placed the disabled sign at the entrance of the park to mark it as a disabled-friendly park.

Wong said the council's move to make its parks disabled-friendly was a ground- breaking achievement.

MBPJ landscaping department director Zuraidah Sainan the council had made it compulsory for developers to allot 10 per cent of land for open space and to equip the development with disabled-friendly features.

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