Many of the cafes of the Croatian capital Zagreb will have to close this season summer terraces. In accordance with the decision of city authorities in Zagreb central streets of the Croatian capital will be cleared from tables and chairs. This decision was taken by the administration of Zagreb after a number of complaints that were received from the blind. The complaint states that numerous tables and chairs on the narrow streets of central Zagreb obstruct the movement of persons with sight disabilities.
The cafe owners were angered by such a decision of the city authorities. According to them, a hasty decision to "clean streets" of Zagreb from tables does not satisfy the commitments made by the administration of Zagreb while licensing the cafes. Thus, in many cafes license to open terraces is valid until the end of October 2010. However, to date the authorities have not provided the owners of the establishments for any alternative, according to the publication of Croatian Times.
At the same time, representatives of the Association of the Blind are confident that they can find a compromise. According to Ivica Robic, a member of the association, movement through the streets of Zagreb for the blind has become a difficult test since the density of cafes and the number of tables makes a walk around the city for the blind like a test of agility and endurance. Tables are a potential target for injuries, which force a lot of blind refuse to walk to the center of the capital of Croatia.
Either way, according to representatives of the Association of the Blind, the Administration of Zagreb has not received any applications. Complaints were sent to the authorities of the city individually. It is noted that Zagreb today is home to 969 people who lost their eyesight.
According to the owners of cafes, such complaints have become a surprise for them. Over many years of existing of street cafes the owners of establishments heard the first time that the tables prevent blind passers-by. Nevertheless, all the cafes, which were mentioned in the complaint, had already removed their summer terraces.
It is worth noting that such measures will be a serious problem to those cafes that do not have a license for smoking. Summer terraces allowed cafes to attract smokers as on the street smoking is allowed. It is possible that the case with complaints from the blind was an additional way to spur the cafe owners to purchase a license.