The top obstacles for users of Guide dogs

12 Sep

The Guide Dogs association asked 100 users of guide-dogs to identify the worst obstacles they encountered. The percentages below are based on the number of times each item was mentioned by respondents.

  1. Overgrown hedges / low-hanging branches 87%
  2. Cars parked on the pavement 81%
  3. Wheelie bins / loose rubbish 58%
  4. Shop furniture, incl. A-boards, displays, canopies, etc. 42%
  5. Broken glass 34%
  6. Badly maintained pavements 33%
  7. Cyclists/scooters/skateboards on the pavement 28%
  8. Chewing gum 22%
  9. Discarded bikes outside shops 20%
  10. Lack of barriers around road-works 19%

3 Responses to “The top obstacles for users of Guide dogs”

  1. SteveL ( a Bristol Traffic team member) September 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    This is a good argument for bike parking by shops that is off-pavement, but either on the road on buildouts, or by the road in a way that doesn’t block passing by

    We’ve seen this in Portsmouth, where bike parking close to the kerb by a zebra crossing not only encourages pedestrians to stop by the crossing, it stops anyone pulling up on the pavement on the zig zags to shop. It’s less than perfect, but a start
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2009/01/portsmouth-cycle-parking.html

    Bristol has some on road parking, both official and unofficial, with the official ones taking up pay-to-park slots at various locations in town
    http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2011/01/bike-parking-rollout.html

    What’s interesting there is the number of people who complained, including the shop keepers. Apparently someone in the council pointed out to one of them that the build out only took up one space, and if they wanted they’d reduce the number of residents permits that the shop owner had to free up more space -at which point they backed down.

    It shows another form of conflict. Pavements are be appropriated to fit more cars into towns and cities, but any form of bike parking on roads, as opposed to pavements, gets criticism from the local press as an anti-car activity. Taking away a bit of pavement doesn’t. Which implies that councils -if they add bike parking at all- do it on pavement just to avoid the bad press.

    • Peter Miller September 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Very good points, and you are doing such good work down Bristol way!

  2. Graham Martin-Royle September 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Interesting to see wheelie bins so high up. In Hastings, along the seafront road, most of the old houses have been converted to flats. As the council has changed over to wheelie bins, the residents apparently have nowhere to put them (what they did with the old dustbins I don’t know). They are not only left out on the pavement, metal stands have been concreted into the pavement to which the bins can be padlocked. Parking spaces COULD have been utilised but of course, that might have upset the almighty motorist.

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