Enhancing Accessibility for All

                                                              

Enhancing Accessibility for All

Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust
In a Nutshell: 
Promoting infrastructure that can be used by people with different special needs, including ensuring zebra crossings rather than pedestrian bridges.
Where and When: 
Dhaka, Bangladesh; since 2007
Challenges: 
Social and infrastructural problems make city streets inaccessible to those with special needs. While all problems cannot be addressed at once, some immediate solutions could increase accessibility. The visibility of people with special needs would make it easier to campaign for their inclusion in future.
Innovation: 
New aspects include promoting the cycle rickshaw as a low-cost and immediately available solution to provide access throughout the city for people with special needs.
Concept: 
For a city to prosper, it must be inclusive of all its residents. By excluding those with special needs, from 10-15% of the population is unable to contribute to society. Even those interested in hiring people with special needs may find it impossible due to transport problems to arrive at the workplace; education is similarly hampered. It is time to address both the social and infrastructural issues, but it is not always possible or sensible to do so with the use of motorized transport e.g. specially equipped vans or buses. Provisions for walking and cycle rickshaws would enable mobility while also limiting air pollution and other problems related to motorized transport.
Description: 
WBB Trust has been working on urban transport issues since 2004, including on the need for inclusive solutions. We have repeatedly promoted the concept of an inclusive transport situation that prioritizes walking, cycling, and public transit while limiting use of private motorized transport; we also encourage more use of rail rather than highways for transport between cities. We have repeatedly fought against pedestrian bridges, advocating instead for zebra crossings so that everyone can cross the street safely and conveniently. We also are pushing for cycle rickshaws as a form of door-to-door transport that could make urban transport safe, convenient, and affordable, as well as non-polluting, for people with different needs.
Impacts: 
The program is new so little has changed yet other than the addition of some zebra crossings in Dhaka.