Tuesday, January 12, 2016

AccessMap Seattle: survey and first peek

Do you depend on the bus to get around?

Do you use any kind of mobility aid such as a cane (support or white cane), wheelchair, crutches, walking poles, scooter? Do you go about with children in strollers? Do you use a shopping cart or wheeled backpack?

OR do you ride a bicycle and want to put in a vote for information that helps bicycles find good routes and preferably routes that minimize conflicts both with cars or road conditions and with pedestrians.?

Check out  AccessMapSeattle

AccessMapSeattle is an early beta version of an app to provide people information about accessibility issues related to bus stops, and locations. Very Early Beta means an outline and some interesting ideas, as well as  a whole boatload of reasons for RantWoman to rant.

For instance on the AccessMap page you will find a survey about COMMUTING.

In the interest of administering the survey as currently listed rather than biasing results based on RantWoman's ranting, RantWoman urges readers to to the survey and THEN read the rest of the rants here.

RantWoman does not have accessibility concerns only about commuting. RantWoman is completely dependent on public transportation and has accessibility concerns all the time. RantWoman wonders whether other people who might complete the survey feel the same way.

RantWoman tends to map out her route in advance and then to leave the directions open on her Smartphone. RantWoman does not have a lot of confidence in results when she talks to her phone. Unfortunately, RantWoman also usually has enough else to do with her hands that also trying to type on the phone usually does not happen. That goes for OneBusAway, this app, and other sites.

RantWoman does want specific accessibility information about bus stops whether
she goes there regularly or only occasionally. Unfortunately RantWoman and other Trip Planner users were VERY sad to discover recently that some REALLY useful detail about the path from bus stops to addresses got deleted from some update of Metro's trip planner. RantWoman feels a SMALL pang of responsibility for this oversight getting past her. That is RantWoman is REALLY sorry the information has vanished from the trip planner. RantWoman thinks she probably in her email has a link for "please help us betatest this for free." In terms of guaranteeing that things like testing get done, "free" is just not a reliable price. Word!

RantWoman needs information that is route segment based as well as point-based. For example a few weeks ago, RantWoman and her friend the Transportation Nag both wanted to go to a destination off Bellevue Way SE. Transportation Nag gets around mainly be bicycle. She was interested in some steep grade issues; RantWoman knows there is a bus stop near the destination, BUT RantWoman also knows that about the last half mile after the bus stop involves narrow shoulder, no sidewalk, and then a steep climb on a path RantWoman feels no inclination even to look for. Transportation Nag happily rode her bicycle. RantWoman asked to be fetched by someone else at a nearby park and ride.

You will also find a link to a link that eventually gets to a Github directory talking in really nerdy terms about the development work on AccessMap Seattle. RantWoman likes to think of herself as having a high  tolerance for Github stuff, but RantWoman spent her evening's increment of patience on the survey.

Full Disclosure: RantWoman is thinking of approaching the AccessMap project and saying "Here is what I propose to do. how about you pay me to mouth off more constructively?"

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