On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, annually observed on 3 December, the Italian Hub would like to present some insights on Turin’s actions for the people who would like to access bike sharing services. As seen in this initiative collected on the Open Innovation Platform, Turin has been the first city offering a handbike sharing service in Italy, with a starting offer of 9 bikes for users with special needs: 6 hand bikes and 3 easybikes.
Hand Bike service offers a fleet of particular city bikes, with three wheels, equipped with a special mechanism for “pedaling” with the hands and some devices. EASYBike, instead, allows standard wheelchairs to be transformed into Handbike.
The sharing mobility is also affecting the mobility of people with disabilities in another way, that pushed them to meet under the city hall of Turin some time ago. Some associations linked to the world of disability, especially visual disabilities, asked the administration and the city council to intervene against the incorrect use of shared bicycles and e-scooters, particularly the ‘wild’ parking.
According to the protesters, “too often city sidewalks become a new frontier of urban disorder, where new vehicles for personal mobility represent a danger for walkers.” Dangers come from these means, the associations point out, “when they travel along spaces other than cycle paths at high speed and when they are left parked at random, becoming mobile architectural barriers, a further obstacle for people with limited motor skills.”
The associations, therefore, call for interventions “to ensure greater attention and respectful behavior for people with mobility difficulties,” as well as “an adequate number of stalls for the correct parking of bicycles and e-scooters.”
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