by Staff Reporter

DESPITE awareness campaigns, there are still a lot of architectural barriers in the streets, making it difficult for the disabled to get around.
Most shops, for example, have a small step at the entrance, but very few have a ramp for wheelchair access.In many parts of Palma, the city council has introduced sloping pavements at crossings, but inconsiderate drivers often park across them, so that people in wheelchairs cannot get past, nor can they negotiate the high pavements in other parts of the street. To take just one street as an example, Calle Olmos is lined with shops, some of which have taken into account the needs of the disabled, with ramps and automatic doors while others ignore them, and have narrow doorways and steep steps. The problem is a generalised one, not confined to Palma, but found all over the island.
However, in recent years, the authorities are trying to do more to improve access to the beaches and to public buildings.
There was an outcry when the bridge across the railway lines and the Stations Park was built as it was too steep for wheelchair access. It was said at the time that this would occupy too much space, but it was rectified following a public outcry. Road works also provide insurmountable barriers and in some narrow streets there is very little room between sign posts and lamp posts for wheelchairs to get through.

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