According to the Comune’s Disability Manager Egidio Sosio, many of the disability projects around the city are stalled due to bureaucratic processes. The work to create access on to the Piazza Maggiore Crescentone (the raised platform in the middle) has been kicked back and forth for two years between the Superintendent and the various offices. And this despite as Sosio says: “Everyone was in agreement about the project in 2016.”
Estimates of disabled people in Bologna do not officially exist however, based on the 6% national average this would indicate that there is approx. 21,000 in Bologna.
Insieme Bologna Councillor Spettoli has been raising the specific issue of disabled access at the station of the metropolitan railway service for some time.
Stefano Fusconi, 36, disabled, has medical visits in Porretta but there are four flights of stairs down to the tracks. There is an elevator “reserved for people with impaired mobility.”
Ironically, you need a key from the district’s URP office to use it. Andrea Spettoli, councilor of Borgo-Reno has been helping Stefano to create better access and make it more efficient for those like Stefano.
At the office in Via Battindarno, Spettoli says, “at first the request for the key catches a bit of surprise. The person in charge of the URP told us that, in fact, the key is there but it is located in Via Marco Emilio Lepido, where the URP office for Borgo Panigale used to be before the unification of the district with Reno.”
The staff member offered to recover the key, however, “between going and coming back we waited at least a good half hour,” comments Fusconi, meanwhile, he lost the train for Porretta had long departed.
Regarding the actual key Spetolli mentions that there is no form to fill or receipt of getting it. More worryingly as Fusconi “discovers that this is the only key that exists.” The situation becomes even more surreal as it soon becomes clear that nobody seems to know what to do, where to go or how to retrieve the key in a simple and efficient way.
Andrea Spettoli has already presented his ideas to the local District Council. He proposes to “overcome the old fashioned key system by adding a keypad to the elevator in which users need to type in a personal code provided by the URP or using the lift with your health card.” If they manage to organize something then “it’s just possible that use of the elevator could be extended to elderly people, pregnant women and to those with small children in wheelchairs or pushchairs.”