Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand who is visiting Jerusalem
is recovering from an injury and presently unable to climb stairs.
The grounds of Beit HaNasi, the President’s official residence
are accessible for those with disabilities,
however it is reported that on an official visit she had a difficult time
because of the stairs inside.
Many places in Jerusalem can be difficult if you cannot do steps.
The Kotel, the Western Wall can be accessed by wheelchair
but until a proposed elevator is built,
getting there from the Jewish Quarter requires going down many steps.
Some sidewalks are narrow,
The new Mamilla Mall
and the central square in the Rova, the Jewish Quarter, are passable,
but too many sidewalks
forcing wheelchairs and similar vehicles into busy streets.
None of this is news in Jerusalem,
for too many restaurants, synagogues and public buildings
are not accessible to the disabled.
In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day
when thousands and thousands of people gathered
…there were NO additional bathrooms provided.
Those women patient enough to wait in line had to navigate steps.
Some women required assistance,
requiring men in the toilet area to help them in and out of a waiting wheelchair.
there is no excuse for this situation in the center of Jerusalem!
It may be hard to avoid going in the street in some locations,
but one should not have to be royalty to have their basic needs accommodated.
Update: April 17, 2012,
New bus stops make walking easier,
now we need better public toilets in Gan Sacher for Yom Ha’atzmaut.