The pavement upgrade works were completed yesterday. Fellow accessibility advocate Robert Wang who also resides at Pandan Perdana went to check and discovered that the ramps were too steep. This was despite assurances from Encik Zahari of Jabatan Kejuruteraan Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ) that the ramps would be built according to the code of practice which is the Malaysian Standard MS 1184 and MS 1331. Robert made an appointment to meet Encik Zahari this morning to discuss about rectifying the mistakes.
At the meeting we conducted a brief audit of the ramps and pavement. Encik Zahari concurred that the ramps were not properly done. The three ramps that we checked all had gradients of 1:6 when it should have been the ratio of 1:15. It is an impossibility for a wheelchair to go up a gradient of 1:6 without tipping backwards. We discovered that the width of the pavements was only 900mm when the code of practice recommended 1200mm. The pavement connecting to both ends of the bus stop were not flushed. There was difference of height of 1 inch. This uneven height is a barrier to wheelchair users. Moreover, non-disabled people who are not aware of the small steps may trip over them and injure themselves. Encik Zahari assured us that he will get the contractor to rectify the mistakes.
What I cannot comprehend is the fact that Malaysia has the capability to build the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, SMART Tunnel and the award winning Kuala Lumpur International Airport but we cannot even build a decent pavement that is safe and usable by everyone. This is also most disappointing especially when MPAJ had given their commitment to improve accessibility in the Ampang Jaya municipality by organising the Seminar dan Sesi Dialog Bersama OKU, Agensi Kerajaan dan Pihak Swasta (Seminar and Dialogue Session with Disabled People, Government Agencies and the Private Sector) and Disability Awareness Training. What more will it take to ensure that the accessibility needs of disabled people are not forgotten? As it is, our needs are often ignored and disregarded unless we make the effort to remind the government of our existence.
Poorly built ramp at Pandan Perdana.
Close-up of the ramp – too steep for wheelchair user to ascend unassisted.
Arrows pointing to the uneven levels between the bus stop and pavement.
A closer view of the uneven level between the bus stop and pavement.
The ramp at the other end of the pavement.
Yet another steep ramp at the other side of the road.