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Today Was 'Make Way Day' And Here's Why It's SO Important

By Alana Laverty

September 27, 2017 at 12:59pm

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Today is Dublin's first #MakeWayDay

What is Make Way Day, you ask?

Well, following the successful launch of 'The Make Way Dublin' campaign aimed on making Dublin more accessible for those living with disabilities, today's national Make Way Day in association with the Disability Federation of Ireland was to create awareness of the issues concerning disability mobility - more importantly, the obstacles that hinder it. 

Like obstacles on footpaths - meant for people - not bikes, not cars, not bins. 

Like, c'mon. 

By blocking footpaths with cars etc you are forcing people out into busy and dangerous roads... you're selfishly putting them in harms way. 

Aways think twice. Always make way. 

010 Make Way Day
007 Make Way Day

Pubs and restaurants of Dublin - take note - this is NOT ok:

Not to mention overgrown hedges... which are literally a slap in the face to a person with a visual impairment.

"As a person who is blind, I am no stranger to walking into cars and indeed vans blocking footpaths. A quiet word with neighbours has worked wonders but I never know when I will walk into a car injuring my head, knee or shins. 

For wheelchair users, the elderly, parents with buggies and children, having to navigate around a car/van blocking the footpath unnecessarily puts them on the road where there would be a blind spot to road users putting pedestrians in danger. Navigating cars and obstacles has caused me to lose my orientation and to end up in the middle of busy roads."

Disability campaigner, Barry O’Donnell

The most frequently occurring obstacles are as follows: 

  • Cars parked on footpaths (25%)
  • Sandwich boards/signs on the footpath (18%)
  • Bikes/mopeds & motorbikes tied to lampposts/railings (16%) 
  • Wheelie Bins on footpaths (14%)
  • Overgrown hedges/Greenery/Floral arrangements (10%) 
  • Others (17%)

If you parked your car on a footpath, if you are a business who left a sandwich board on a path or a cyclist who chained their bike in an irresponsible manner today - then you most likely got slapped with one of these friendly stickers (as modelled by the beaut Paddy Smyth).  

And rightly feckin' so. 

On the 26th of September every year, from today, the people of Ireland will pause and think of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share. 

No more thoughtlessness or using the genuine excuse of lack of awareness - it's time to think of those not fortunate enough to be able to manoeuvre easily around obstacles in every day life. It's time to make way. 

Sign the petition to make today a national day here

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