Walking in the shoes of a blind person – a thematic walk in Zugló-Törökőr (Budapest)

In January 2018, the SUNRISE project’s partners from Budapest organised a thematic walk in the Zugló-Törökőr (the SUNRISE action neighbourhood). As the Institute of Blinds is based in Zugló, several people with visual impairment walk and travel day-by-day in the area. The aim of the walk was to map out the specific obstacles and identify suitable solutions. The project’s partners have found several examples.

The first obstacle on the corner of the Mexikói and Thököly streets provided several lessons. The concrete elements were installed in order to help and protect the pedestrians when crossing, but they provide misinformation to blind people particularly about the area between the sidewalk and the roadway. In order to make the street corner safer, this last could be improved by installing a standard crosswalk with traffic lights and specific signs for blind people. 

The elements provide misinformation for the blind, causing dangerous crosses.

During the thematic walk, several others inappropriate sidewalks and curbs emerged in the area. The proper maintenance of the pavements not only is essential for blind people but it helps other vulnerable groups too, like the elderly or the disabled, parents with prams etc.

The train station of Zugló is a popular and busy place in the city. Despite its central role in mobility, the station is unattended and it doesn’t have any specific facility for people with visual impairment. A platform without any tactile sign could be a dangerous place when the train approaches. A solution could envisage the installation of tactile signs for better and safer orientation.

Obstacles on the pavements, like pillars in order to keep away cars or standing boards advertising a restaurant, are also potentially dangerous objects for blind people. A trial walk in the shoes of a blind person would raise awareness among the local citizens and businesses towards disabled people.

Background:

Zuglo’s area Törökör is a SUNRISE pilot neighbourhood using innovative methods of co-planning and co-implementing solutions for the regeneration of public space. There is a special programme for engagement of people living with special mobility needs, in particular elderly, children and disabled people.

The thematic walk on the 18th January in Zugló was part of the SUNRISE project events in 2018.

Trial walk with a stick

For more info, visit mizuglonk.hu

Special thanks to our guides Zsuzsanna Kroll and Zsolt Tillmann!

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