bridge onramp

Unwelcoming Entrance

Sometimes referred to as the Eel Trap Bridge, the Webb Bridge is a modern route designed specifically for path users to connect the north and south banks of Melbourne cities west developments. The coiled entrance from the south end splits the users into two sides shown here with a typical mix of morning users commuting and exercising.

bridge onramp

A gentle incline suitable for wheelchair users is a welcome design inclusion but segregating them to a unique area in turn reducing the shared path to just 1900mm works against prevailing standards. The fence exposes sharp edges to the users in the shared path width, which would require an additional 1000mm of clearance on top of the absolute minimum width of 2500mm for a shared path (then an additional 200mm to the sharp kerb). A well designed shared path or even bicycle path is not a hostile environment for a wheelchair user, their needs should be included in the design but not allowed to dominate as here. Modern road and railway overpasses throughout Melbourne accommodate wheelchair users with appropriate gradients and path widths and do not follow this segregation approach instead simply supplying appropriate landings/rest areas and compliant handrails along both sides of a suitably wide path.

The sad news is this bridge hides much worse horrors within.

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