RDP #26: Navigate

Baselstrasse

Crossing roads used to be so easy. You have a yellow stripe, the so-called zebra crossing, and that is where you do it: no problem. At least it never used to be a problem before I had a wheelchair.  as far as the traffic is concerned, that is the less of the worries. Car drivers, motobikes and bicycles are very well mannered. If they see a wheelchair coming they begin to stop before you even cross the road.  This is wonderful, although there are times when I do not enjoy being the centre of attention when performing this part of the journey.

When the local government re-constructed this part of our neighbouring road they did a wonderful job. The cars had a smooth surface to ride on, the barriers for the train were placed perfectly, so what could possibly happen. They forgot perhaps that not everyone walks across the road. I approach this particular crossing with care. The first bone shaking bump is going down the kerb. Of course the car is patiently waiting and watching, being careful of the wheelchair rider. And so I approach the bit in the middle for a rest under the eyes of the watchful car drivers. The first part of going down the kerb is not so bad, because it is a little sloped. Unforunately they forgot to repeat the slope in the island in the middle.

With luck you reach the island safe, and now have the eyes of the motorists on you on both sides of the road. Honestly speaking I would prefer to just wheel round this island in the middle to get to the bump upwards on the next pavement on the other side. Of course you do not, it is not allowed, you have left the safety of the crossing and if you get killed in an accident on the way across the road it is your own fault and no-one pays for the funeral, except for your own family, although at that point you do not really care.  And so you battle with more shakes and rock and roll to get to the other side.

Baselstrasse03.04 (4)

Just a few minutes along the road there is the next crossing. This is my favourite and less death defying. You wheel along the path at the side of the rail tracks, usually on your own, with perhaps an occasional biker on the way and get to the part where you cross the road. There are no unexpected bumps at the kerb, even the island in the middle is easy peasy and crossing the rails is accompanied with just a gentle stir, no shaking. It is perfect for a beginner in a wheelchair. You reach the other side with no embarrassing thoughts about “are they looking at me” because even the car drivers do not have an impulse to set up a speed record on this part. We are all taking it easy, and sometimes everyone stops for the train crossing. When I complete this part I am already on my way on the entrance path to the local cemetery, so what could be better.

Bipperlisi Railway 16.06 (1)

It is all a question of navigation. Yes, I am the perfect wheelchair driver and even have it all documented on my computer drive in my photo album.

RDP #26: Navigate

13 thoughts on “RDP #26: Navigate

  1. I can understand you very well. I pushed my mom’s wheelchair for years and it wasn’t easy, even in places supposed to be free of architectonical barriers. I guess the guys who build those crossing for handicapped never had used a wheelchair to test them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure they did not, but they were the architects and it had to look good. Thank goodness I have an electric chair I can steer myself and can tip the seat backwards which is a permanent feature when I ride. At least I cannot tip out of the chair.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The State of Colorado came in a year or two before I moved here and made my street wheel-chair friendly. But if you want to go somewhere else? Not as easy. What’s cool for me and the dogs is that the slopes leading to streets (no curbs on corners) have bumps which Bear has learned mean “Sit!” 🙂

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    • Every kerb at a crossing here is sloped for wheelchairs, but some better than others. Where the senior citizens home is, it is perfect because most of them are on the way with a wheeler or a wheelchair. Very few have electric wheelchairs, but few would be able to manage them due to age restrictions.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t think it would come to my mind to litter, rather put it in my bag and save for home, but the Swiss do not litter (except after a street festival). They get fined for it if caught and that costs money. I grew up in London in -England and that was completely different. The street was the place t throw your waste and still is to a certain extent.

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          • The street was the place to throw your waste and still is to a certain extent.

            Sadly, many people over here think this is also what the street is for.
            It is a culture thing I guess, and sometimes there is more culture in a yogurt.
            I have recently taken to picking a few bits of rubbish up on my morning walk/jog.
            It isn’t much, but it makes my walking route more pleasant!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s now a law — at least in this state — that every crosswalk has to have a mini ramp for wheelchairs. They are very mini and I’m not sure how much they help, but I suppose it’s better than just dropping off the curb.

    Liked by 1 person

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