zaterdag 18 augustus 2012

Steeple Chase with a wheelchair

After having stayed in Norwich for a few months, I'm getting used to the poor condition of the pavements here.  So I keep my eyes in front of my wife's wheelchair and try to prevent bumping into holes.
At least I can do that.  It's impossible for me to keep the wheelchair completely upright when the pavement is really crooked, I'm in peace with that now. Sometimes the pavement makes you almost need to jump, but  pushing a wheelchair, that's impossible. Try to do the steeple chase while pushing a wheelchair!

                                         No possibillity to get off the pavement

Walking along I have noticed that cars are certain of getting good care. Wherever needed the kerb is lowered so the tires will not be damaged. It's really a priority.
Secondary in care is the way people in wheelchairs, on mobility scooters and with strollers are treated.  It takes me quite some strength to lower or uplift the wheelchair off and on the pavement where the kerb is not lowered.

                                         Blocking access totally

The people with cars have their own worries. The streets are often narrow (the city is old or wide streets maybe too expensive) so when they park they seek safety and so park their cars on the pavement.
That pedestrians are forced to walk on the road is not their problem. And of course the same goes for the people in wheelchairs and such.

                                          The car is safe!

It causes dangerous situations. More than once cars have passed us by while honking for minutes. I wouldn't like to try to walk with the wheel chair after midnight. In the neighbourhood it's pitch black because the local government is trying to save 20 pounds sterling a year for every streetlight they don't use in the night. So the lights in the neighbourhoods are switched off between midnight and 5 AM.
So we are restricted to the house after midnight.

                                          Blocking the pavement totally

My hope is that in the future the city council would do more about access to the pavement for people in wheelchairs and such. Maybe a member of the council should sit in a wheelchair and experience what the people do. Maybe car owners could consider the space for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs a bit more while they are parking their car. I do understand that they don't want their property being damaged, we can only hope that the city will provide more parking space where this is needed.

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