Old 02-28-2019, 11:01 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Handicapped parking spots

When I was able bodied, it always seemed that the handicapped spots in front of a business were often empty, forcing everyone else to park farther away.

Now that I’m using a wheelchair, it seems that the handicapped spots are often taken. Even at places like Costco where there are lots of spots.

What’s really annoying is finding sedans and other vehicles which clearly aren’t designed for transporting pwcs parked in the “van accessible” spots that have the space for a wheelchair ramp on the right side of the parking space. I’ve even seen sedans parked in spaces designated “wheelchair user only”.

I think a lot of people don’t understand what those spaces are for, or they’re just being selfish. I’ve sometimes had to park in a far corner of the lot and will deliberately take up 2 parking spaces so I have room for my ramp.

Anyone else having these problems?
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:02 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

I've noticed it even in Florida where half the population has a disabled parking permit. There just aren't enough spaces to accommodate down here.

Even I stay clear of the spots for vans but we have very few of them and I don't even think people with disabilities who drive cars even know what they are for. Most of ours are not marked van-only parking or reserved for wheelchairs.

I really hesitate to bring this next thing up but many doctors issue disabled stickers to overweight people with no other medical conditions. I have two friends who have them. They actually exercise in the morning and use the permits wherever they go.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:11 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

Yes, that’s another rant in itself — handicapped permits abused by people who don’t really need them. I’ve seen or heard of able bodied family members using DMV permits that were issued to someone else.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:55 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

The ALS association here issued flyers that said: "You have my parking spot, would you take my disability, too?"

When we travelled the West coast with a wheelchair in a sedan (worked well enough for a month, phew) it looked like there were this endless amount of accessible parking spots. But we didn't have the permit. A nice lady we couchsurfed with gave us her temporary permit. She'd broken her ankle in January but was fine in August. She had manners enough to not use it anymore. It was still good for a month and it was the best thing for our trip. L.A. without it would have been stressful.
Back in Germany my PALS had to wait until October for the paperwork to finish before he got a parking permit here (he applied in July). It's an ugly scene here, too. Less parking overall, so less accessible spaces, often packed with SUVs and delivery trucks.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:25 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

I have witnessed unbelievable things with respect to handicap parking spaces. Here are a few that stand out:

1. Busses parked overnight, with each bus taking up 4 van accessible handicap spots (behind the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone). Ample bus parking was 4 rows away.
2. UPS and FedEx trucks are frequent abusers. I see them in the spots around here all the time
3. Hotel shuttles parked in one of only two van accessible spots at our grocery store (no handicap tag). The driver politely stopped and asked I was good with that. I told him no.
4. Vehicles parked (often temporarily) on the striped area where the lift would open into, even though my van has an obvious (to me) sticker saying don't park within 8 feet.
5. Rental car parked in the only van accessible spot, the driver was reading a map. There were dozens of non handicapped spots available. My wife asked them to move and they said no.

If I see someone pull into a spot without displaying a handicap tag I gently remind them not to forget to display it. If it is apparent they don't have a handicap tag, I call our local police non emergency number. I specifically state I am a wheelchair user and report the make and model of the offending vehicle along with the license # and a description of the driver. I also snap a quick picture or 3 for the records.

I have only had a few folks go ballistic on me. I am not out for confrontation and simply don't engage with them. If I can gently educate folks on the value of leaving handicap spots for the handicapped folks, I will. Otherwise, I leave it up to the police.

The local police love to get my call. They usually have a code enforcement officer available nearby and I think they like the revenue those tickets bring.

Steve
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:25 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

“The ALS association here issued flyers that said: "You have my parking spot, would you take my disability, too?"” Wish, I love that.

Maybe we can get our local chapters to make these fliers too.

Steve — wow! No words.

I’m just getting into this wheelchair/ van lifestyle (if that’s what you’d call it), so I guess the fun is just beginning.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:55 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

Here the «*want my parking space? will you take my handicap ?*» is an official road sign in front of most handicapped parking spaces along with the reminder of the heavy fine people risk.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:41 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

They sure enforce it here. I parked at a Costco and forgot to hang my placard.

Apparently from my plate number they saw I had a Handicap Permit.

Instead of the $200 hundred fine my ticket was for $35 dollars.

"Failure to display Handicap Permit."

Geeze...

PS. Anything is possible I guess. I saw a chopper style 2 wheel motorcycle with
high rise handle bars parked in a Handicap Parking spot.

It had an NC State issued Handicap motorcycle license plate.

Last edited by Clearwater AL : 02-28-2019 at 09:52 PM
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:13 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

I saw this great photo a few years back of a handwritten note placed on a car window which read: "You have parked in a handicapped parking zone without a permit. Sorry I scratched up your car with my wheelchair as I reached over to place this note"

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Old 03-01-2019, 01:56 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

get used to it,. People are inconsiderate, or ignorant that ain't gonna change. It was more annoying where when I was still able to walk short distances. After wheelchair we gave up and parked far away.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:17 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

This has been my pet peeve for years, even before I was diagnosed with ALS.
1 Too many people seem to have handicapped placards. Many I see get out of their car and walk just fine.
2. There should be two levels of handicapped parking. The needs of someone in a wheel chair are far different than those who can walk. Parking spaces with extra space for wheelchairs should be limited to people with wheelchairs.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:35 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

I agree James but I think it would help if the van spaces were located away from the entrance. If the person with a disability is in a wheelchair as long as there is an accessible path to the entrance it should not be an undue burden. The spaces would be less desirable to others and the ramp access less likely to be infringed upon. The walking wounded could have the close spaces

I am an onlooker now. My sister had a van but for me MA only allows severe cardiac or respiratory compromise, missing or paralyzed limbs or unable to walk 200 ft.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:12 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

Agreeing here with James and Nikki—

I’ve been attending symphony concerts of the orchestra I used to play with. Many elderly and disabled people attend symphony concerts (and plays, and musicals, and movies).

The large university parking lot for these concerts has about 6 handicapped spots. Only one or two are van accessible having the striped area to the right of the parking spot.

Even if I arrive 30 minutes ahead of the performance, these 6 spots are always taken. We’ve been parking in a far corner of the lot, as it’s easy to ride the pwc across the lot (while vigilantly watching for moving cars). The real danger here is dodging the cars, not difficulty getting from the parking lot to the event.

In the concert hall I see many people with canes and walkers who are clearly mobility challenged. I don’t mind parking far away so they can use the 6 spots in front of the recital hall (in fact there should probably be 20 spots for these folks).

It would be nice to have more designated van spots, which could be in the back of the lot, provided there are safe corridors for wheelchair users to navigate through the parking lot.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:54 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

WOW, Nikki. That MA law is pretty restrictive. I can still walk OK with the help of a shopping cart. It's much like a walker.

I don't think Florida has any benchmark on the number of disabled parking spots for some types of businesses. I know our grocery store here fills up their disabled spots quickly.

It does make sense to have the wheelchair only spots farther out and people who are disabled but on walkers or have other conditions get the closer ones.

I know a lady at cards with an oxygen tank who really needs to be close as she gets out of breath. If I drive her, I let her out then look for a spot.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:03 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handicapped parking spots

Your lady with the oxygen would probably qualify in MA. There are pulmonary testing parameters for the respiratory people. The 200 ft is tough. If you don’t get to park close you end up using most of the 200 ft just to get to and from the building. If it is a store it doesn’t leave a lot to walk around the store itself.
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