Bamberg: the arduous journey to the specialist’s office

Bamberg: the arduous journey to the specialist's office

Best 46 centimeters, even better 48. Underneath it becomes critical. When martina pause sits down on a chair or bench, she knows after a short time whether it will be difficult for her to get up – the sitting height is decisive.

She has the gangly mabe in her head, she recognizes her by the height at which her calves are running up. "Most of the seats are 42 centimeters high, some sofas only 40. If they are also softly padded, it will be difficult to stand up."

Difficult is the keyword. Because first of all, the memmelsdorfer has to find a cafe that is conveniently located. Parking spaces in front of the gym, enough room to get out with the trucks, as little risk as possible of being parked on the street.

Martina pause has a 60 percent walking disability, and she never leaves the house without her crutches. "However, I am not allowed to use handicapped parking spaces. Sometimes I do it anyway, because the way from the parking garage to the goal is otherwise too far for me."

This is a particular problem in bamberg's city center. Martina pause's dentist, radiologist and, above all, orthopaedist have their practices in places where there is a shortage of parking space. "I usually park in the karstadt parking garage. The way to the practice on the luitpoldbrucke or to the heumarkt is a torture", explains the 60-year-old.

Recovering from running
She has to stop again and again to recover from her walk along the bridge. But then she literally faces the next problem: in her opinion, there are too few seating opportunities in the city center. The existing benches in the fubgangerzone and at the maxplatz are mostly full, he said. A place to take a breath of fresh air would be important. "The karstadt parking garage has no elevator. After the ascent with the crutches I am already a bit exhausted."

"Of course an elevator would be an improvement. But this is an insane cost block", karstadt managing director alfons distler points out. But he is taking the request into the discussions for long-term planning. Then he points out that the parking garage has ramps on the left and right, the store itself has an elevator and a toilet for the disabled.

Offers like this female marina pause to appreciate, as well as wide aisles and seating. She misses the latter not only in the city center, but also while shopping. "When i'm on my feet for a long time in a rough market, i sometimes get back cramps. Then I really have to sit down."

Sabine koppel from the bavarian trade association is investigating whether a store can offer such facilities. She is the district manager for upper franconia and awards stores with the certificate "generation-friendly shopping" from. It is a project of the german retail association, the german chamber of industry and commerce, the federal ministry of family affairs and the initiative "wirtschaftsfaktor alter".

58 criteria are tested, at least 70 percent must be met. Exception: in 18 K.O.-criteria the business must perform positively in any case. The goal: shopping should be comfortable and as barrier-free as possible for people of all ages, families, singles and people with disabilities.

"The business applies to us. We come unannounced and test, for example, the width of the aisles, the size of the lettering on the prices, the height of the shelves, or whether there is a children's play area and seating", explains sabine koppel. Over the past two and a half years, around 1,000 stores across bavaria have received the certificate, and 110 in upper franconia. In the city and district of bamberg, it is mainly the rewe chain stores that contribute to this. On friday, the mediamarkt in hallstadt will be the first in franconia to receive the award.

Managing director werner bschorr is pleased: "this is important for the future. You have to put yourself in the customers' shoes. " There had been no remodeling prior to the application. "We have only installed one coat hook in the toilet." A bench in the entrance area and chairs in the market have been there for a few years, parking spaces in front of the door anyway.

Martina pause can only dream of this in bamberg. Recently she had to make a referral to a doctor at the luitpoldbrucke. "The parking lots in front of the medical center were full. I have parked illegally half on the sidewalk, behind the minibus of a craftsman." She asked them to let the park supervisor know that she would be right back.

Again and again knolls
"When i came back, i already saw the two of them discussing". It didn't help, martina pause had to pay 15 euros. It was not the first and probably will not be the last time. "The way from the next parking garage to here is long for me and there is no bench to rest on." That's why she usually has one of her three sons drive her.

When she is driving herself, she avoids the city center, although she misses her favorite stores and cafes. Her new regular cafe is right next to a DIY store, where martina pause can park. And she buys groceries in the supermarket in memmelsdorf, where she is well known. There is also a blind eye when she puts her car on one of the handicapped parking spaces.



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