If you are disabled and it is difficult to get around, one of your options is to get a mobility scooter. Mobility scooters are a form of electric wheelchairs that are similar to regular motor scooters with handlebars to steer. The steering column features controls for speed and going forward or backing up. Mobility scooters are also less expensive that electric wheelchairs and eliminate some of the stigma of using a wheelchair. For people with limited mobility or have a disabling condition, these scooters can give them back their lives as they enable them to get around both indoors and outdoors.
On the other hand, if you have a mobility scooter, not all cities are friendly to them. Mobility scooters are often too big to use some elevators or kneeling bus lifts. Mobility scooters have a limit on their ground clearance, and they sometimes have difficulty getting over obstacles like improper curb cuts in some cities. Many cities have rules or laws about mobility scooters. Some of them count mobility scooters as pedestrians and they must travel on the sidewalk. Other cities are a far cry from being friendly to the disabled without sidewalks or accessible public transportation or hotels.
However, there are some cities around the world that are friendly to mobility scooters and the disabled. Here are a few cities that are the friendliest to these kinds of scooters:
San Francisco, U.S.A.
You might not think San Francisco is mobility scooter friendly because of its compactness and many hills. However, San Francisco’s public transportation is one of the most accessible in the world. Except for the cable cars, the rest of the city has buses, trolleys, streetcars, subway service, and railroad coaches and stations that are friendly to wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Many San Francisco hotels, from luxury hotels to budget hotels, have accessible rooms with roll-in showers. The city is an example for how metropolises can make their streets more accessible for the disabled and easy to get around. Many of the city’s major attractions, like Chinatown and Fisherman’s Whorf, are easily accessible for the disabled. San Francisco also has scooter-friendly parking along streets.
In the past, European cities have been notorious for their lack of accessibility. Streets and sidewalks are too narrow, handicap parking spaces are almost nonexistent, and cobbled streets make getting around difficult. However, many major cities in Europe are doing their best to fix this, and Berlin, Germany is one of them. The city won the 2013 Access City Award because of its initiatives in making the area friendlier and barrier free. Berlin has made large efforts to make the city free of accessibility barriers, including making attractions wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly, transforming public restrooms into those that are accessible for everyone, and offering accessible options on public transportation, such as buses, trams, and subways.
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Seattle is one of the most accessible cities for the disabled and motor scooter users. The city is hilly, but most public transportation is accessible and even free in the downtown area. Seattle has a Link rail transit system that is one hundred percent accessible. It runs from the airport all the way to the north side of downtown. Its public transportation also includes step-free buses that are nice for wheelchair and mobility scooter users. There are also accessible ferries to get out on the water and many hotels offer accessible rooms. Several of Seattle’s well-known attractions, including the Space Needle, the Columbia Tower, Safeco Field, and Qwest Field are all made for accessibility. Seattle has also mild weather so scooter users do not have to worry about dying batteries or freezing temperatures.
For those who are worried about mobility concerns, one of the cities in the world to travel to is Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish government is committed to making its cities accessible for all, and any disabled traveler or those with limited mobility will have no problems finding accessible services. Stockholm has a wide range of hotels that have accessible rooms, and guest can even reserve accessible tables or lounge areas that are easy to get around in. Visitors have a wide variety of transportation options that are accessible including mini buses, mini bus taxis, larger accessible coaches, regular buses, and railways. You can also rent accessible equipment during your trip.
Future Of Mobility
As mobility scooters increase in popularity for the disabled and those who have difficulty getting around, more and more cities will begin to take measures that make them friendlier to scooters. Cities have a variety of options from putting in sidewalks, lower curb cuts, and making lifts that accommodate mobility scooters. San Francisco, Berlin, Seattle, and Stockholm all are good places to visit because they are accessible, while other cities are still developing disabled-friendly public transportation and streets. Just because you use a mobility does not mean you are banned from travel because there are some cities making great strides in accessibility.