How accessible is the Pan Am Path? One group is mapping the trail to find out
Partnership hopes to make the path more inclusive
One Toronto group is en route to making outdoor trails more accessible. AccessNow is mapping the Pan Am Path to find out how easily people with mobility devices can use the trail.
Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an advocacy organization, said that people often forget about lifestyle and recreational activities in the conversation about accessibility. This project is trying to change that.
"We're trying to look at how they can get people with disabilities and others who need access out and enjoying themselves just like everyone else," said Ziv.
A local handcyclist athlete, Anthony Lue will be taking the wheels. He's riding an off-road motorized handcycle created by a company called Icon Wheelchairs. It's outfitted with a 360-degree Google trekker camera.
Lue will document his trek on the 80-km path to highlight stretches that are accessible for people to enjoy or those with barriers to avoid.
Ziv says she also hopes seeing things from this point of view will inspire politicians to make the paths barrier free.
Once complete, the map will be up on Google Street View as well as the AccessNow app. Ziv said that their team have previously mapped areas in Toronto, like the waterfront, that have long stretches that are completely barrier free and available for people of all abilities to enjoy.
Ziv said the goal is for this information to "lower people's anxiety about getting out there and letting them know that this really can be an inclusive experience."