May 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Sunnyside residents will have the chance this weekend to help contribute to the creation of an online map that aims to provide disabled residents with a guide to better navigate the neighborhood.
AXS Map, a website and mobile app created by wheelchair user and Long Island City resident Jason DaSilva, provides the mobility impaired with a map illustrating what storefronts in their area are accessible.
The map relies on crowdsourced information, meaning users can log onto the website or app, select a business, and review how accessible the buildings is. AXS encourages users to host mapathon events in their neighborhoods to boost the number of reviewed businesses.
The first-ever Queens mapathon will take place this Saturday, May 18, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m, and will be organized by civic leader Brent O’Leary. Volunteers interested in contributing to the map are asked to meet at The Globe Tavern, located at 49-10 Skillman Ave., where they will be given instructions on how to evaluate the buildings.
The volunteers will then head out to gather information about the accessibility of stores in the area. Later, they will regroup at the Globe to upload all of their information to the AXS map.
Many local groups are coming together to help with the map, including Woodside Sunnyside Runners, Sunnyside Woodside Action Group, the Girl Scouts of Greater New York Troops 4283 and 4597, as well as the Love, Hallie Foundation.
Brent O’Leary said the plan is to visit as many stores as possible and map those businesses that are accessible for the mobility impaired. Many stores in Sunnyside, he said, are located on the ground floor and should be completely accessible.
“I believe this will be a great resource for people who have challenged mobility to lead fuller lives,” O’Leary said.
Several other mapathons are set up throughout the city, including in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan.
Just yesterday I had a HELL of a time trying to maneuver my heavy push cart up a dotted curb ramp. I can just imagine what it’s like to try to get a hand operated wheelchair. God, those knobs prove more harm than good.
This app will be great for helping me to get around Winterfell
But seriously, awesome community event. What will he do to improve options?
Lawsuits,lots of lawsuits. That will be the outcome.
As a long times resident of the area this area who has been a w/c for many years I can tell you there are very few “accessible” locations. I spoke to our councilman years ago and he brushed me of to assistant who wasn’t concerned. JVB likes to boost himself but he does very little to help. The special bus sign installed on 39 street is worthless to a disabled person-it would have made better sense if it was at 44 or 40ths street stops. The only food restaurants that are actually handicapped accessible are the fast food, none of the immediate grocery stores accessible- from cashiers aisles being too close to products clogging the aisles and doorways. The new street lights and tactile corners are awful.
Interesting — accessibility really makes a difference. You don’t realize how much your life is restricted until you’re in that situation, even just temporarily. I think a lot of the ground-floor stores may not work due to high thresholds, or narrow aisles, etc., but it will be good for people to have that info.