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January 12th, 2002

Handicapped Spaces

Like many people, I’m fortunate enough to not need to park in a handicapped spot. My facilities are intact, I can walk without a need to rest, and I don’t mind parking 500 yards from a store’s entrance – really.

Handicapped spaces are designed for people who have difficulties walking more than 200 feet (in a majority of states) without taking time to rest. That explains why the spots are almost always right by an entrance; it’s necessity.

But there are two things that have been bugging me about handicapped spaces as of late. The first is when people park in the yellow striped zones adjacent to handicapped spots. These zones are as wide as parking spaces, but the drivers parking there don’t realize that they’re making it nearly impossible for other people to get back in their cars! Think about it: we can slide between cars, even closely-parked ones, and climb on in. People in wheelchairs can’t, and people with other handicaps might not be able to do so. Most of the time I’ve seen this occur, it’s been done by people with no handicap, just because they’re lazy.

The other big one is using a handicapped placard for no apparent handicap. This is a tough one to control, though, because one can’t truly tell if a person is handicapped just by looking. A fair judge is the 200 feet rule, and a local TV station cracked down on a Chicago city worker using a handicapped spot on a normal basis, with a placard, because she was lazy. She was fired, and rightfully so.

Folks, let’s leave the handicapped spots alone. People need them. They aren’t a 15-minute loading zone, and those striped zones aren’t spots. You can walk – so do it. -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday January 12, 2002 -- 12:34:01 pm
What really gets my goat is people with handicap placards in Porches or corvettes. If you are able enough to climb up out of a low rider sports car you are able enough to walk from a normal parking spot.

FROM: fresh
DATE: Sunday January 13, 2002 -- 12:06:57 am
everyone drive jeeps!

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday January 13, 2002 -- 12:33:57 am
I didn't believe that people parked in the striped areas next to handicapped spaces until I saw a Porsche in one such space tonight. Jackass!!!

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday January 13, 2002 -- 10:41:11 pm
I once knew a kid who's parents had handicapped stickers for the most minor reasons. These reasons being Chronic Diarhea(sp) and foot problems.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Monday January 14, 2002 -- 10:09:01 am
I don't mind the handicapped spaces. I am able to walk just as far as anyone. The only problem I have is when the entire parking lot is full and the only open spaces are handicapped spots. It would be nice if non-handicapped people could use these spots in such an instance but then there is another bag of worms with spaces opening up and while you're in the store and ticketing. Of course there will be those that will abuse it too. My suggestion, free valets for everyone!

FROM: Jim Harris
DATE: Monday January 14, 2002 -- 10:48:08 am
I seriously tore up my knee about 6 weeks ago (ruptured patellar tendon) which has required an immovable knee brace on my right leg. I've been driving for a couple of weeks now, but I have to drive with my right leg extended onto the passenger seat and use my left foot for the pedals. Quite awkward although I'm getting used to it. Of course with this knee brace it takes a LOT longer to walk anywhere, so I requested a handicapped placard to use for the next few weeks until my knee is recovered enough to walk comfortably. Herein lies the problem...

I get the form from the Arizona DMV, which requires just filling out some basic information - name, address, driver license #, etc. You then take this form to your doctor who fills out his info (name, medical license #, etc.) and gives the OK for either a permanent plate/placard, or a temporary placard. Two problems here:

1) All temporary placards are good for 6 months! I figure at most I'm only going to use this for one month. Seems like doctors/surgeons should have the ability to decide how long a patient really needs the placard for - they can always renew it if therapy, etc. isn't going well.

2) I had someone pick up the signed form from my surgeon, and the surgeon had marked me down for a permanent plate/placard! Maybe the surgeon knows something I don't (I'm supposed to be walking w/o braces or crutches in another 4-5 weeks), but more likely he just marks everyone down for a permanent plate/placard.

I still haven't gone to pick up the placard yet - I'm dreading waiting in line at the DMV, and the only time I've really wanted to use a handicapped space was going to the movies last Saturday (Phoenix movie theaters have some big-ass parking lots.)

I agree that there probably are a lot of people out there who have unnecessary handicapped placards/plates/stickers, but I think the doctors have to be blamed as well for not being more judicious in approving them.

FROM: Aaron [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday January 15, 2002 -- 3:43:39 am

I sometimes feel like my parents are "those people with suspect handicap placards". They don't use wheelchairs or anything, but they both have health problems that prevent them from walking long distances w/o stopping for rest.

I can't help but shake my head a bit when my dad goes to Costco, parks in the handicap spot (presumably because he can't walk long distances w/o resting), then proceeds to trek all over Costco's warehouse for an hour. It's not exactly as if Costco is covered with benches for resting or anything.

FROM: Lynne
DATE: Tuesday April 16, 2002 -- 5:29:25 pm
How do you find out how the person got the placard? There's a father in my daughters class who seems pretty ok to me, and was just telling someone that he's going to disney-can't wait to explore all the parks-what's up with that??? THEN, he yelled at ME because I parked BEHIND him, and apparently he thought that spot was better than the handicapped one!!! OH MY GOD!!!
I'd love to catch him up on his game...wish I knew how!!

FROM: Martye Derby
DATE: Saturday August 31, 2002 -- 1:16:00 pm
I have had DVTs in both of my legs and one was just this month. I would like to be able to park close to the stores. Say within a hundred feet or so. But, what I'd like even more is benches inside the large stores. Plenty of them. Wal-Mart has four or five. Even women who are pregnant need to sit sometimes to catch their breath. And the elderly might want to sit a moment. As someone said, what benefit is parking close if you have to walk all over a store as large as Cosco? Benches. We need benches!

FROM: Logic 3:16
DATE: Sunday October 13, 2002 -- 12:31:09 am
What kills me is the stupid handicapped laws aren't enforced with any common sense. My local Home Depot (hardware store) has 5 handicapped parking spaces - exactly how many people in wheelchairs do you see doing home repairs??? In my opinion, consideration for the handicapped should be a matter of voluntary courtesy, not something forced on us by the government. It's not our problem that due to either nature or misfortune, some folks have trouble walking. But the handicapped are just another political special interest group who thinks society owes them something. Maybe next they're going to start putting fining people for using handicapped stalls in restrooms?

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday October 13, 2002 -- 8:23:24 pm
My local Home Depot (hardware store) has 5 handicapped parking spaces - exactly how many people in wheelchairs do you see doing home repairs???

Lord knows that those handicapped people don't do anything except sit in their houses, eat, and watch TV!

It's not our problem that due to either nature or misfortune, some folks have trouble walking.

Unfortunately, someone being an elitist, selfish jerk is everyone's problem.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday October 14, 2002 -- 1:54:51 pm
Wow. Insensitivity has hit an all-time low here on the Ping.

FROM: Jennifer
DATE: Thursday June 5, 2003 -- 2:48:39 pm
My son has arthritis and he has good days and bad days, his doctor prescribed a pacard for him. Do we use it all the time? No, but when he needs it we do and when there are no parking spots infront of my home yes I will use it.
Some well educated person left a note on my car, why do you park here you don't look handicap to me?
I didn't know a person had to look handicap to be handicap.
One should not look at someone and decide whether or not they are handicap. And no I am not, and I thank God for that every day, but I can't carry my son every where so I have the placard and I use it when he is having a bad day.
You cannot look at a person and know whether they are handicapped. I didn't know I lived in an area with a mentally handicapped person but I guess I do.

FROM: andres
DATE: Friday June 6, 2003 -- 9:53:18 am
we dont care about your damn knee jim harris

FROM: bob
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 6:33:42 pm
is there a website where you can tell if a car place card is correct issue or not?

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday May 10, 2004 -- 6:36:22 pm

DATE: Wednesday August 25, 2004 -- 11:03:07 am
What some people don't realize is that handicapped does not just apply to being how far you can walk. I've had three detatched retinas. I'm legal to drive but i do not have depth perception. I also have a blind spot on my left side. I need very large parking spaces. The first day I was able to drive, I was waiting for a large parking spot, and a car did not see me behind him. He pulled out and hit me. I dread getting a sticker but i know, it is a lot safer for all concerned if I have a very large parking space. I know I will get wierd looks because I don't "look" handicapped". But quite frankly," my dear, I don't give a damn"

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday August 25, 2004 -- 1:24:12 pm
Unfortunately, someone being an elitist, selfish jerk is everyone's problem.

Oh my God, I love it!! I finally have a come back now for elitist, selfish jerks who say someone's misfortune is "not their problem."

I love you, Daily Ping!!!!!!!!!!

FROM: JustBreathe
DATE: Monday November 28, 2005 -- 6:37:20 pm
Handicapped parking doesn't make life easier, it makes life possible.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Thursday June 15, 2006 -- 10:58:11 pm
Handicaps covered in my state include heart conditions which would not be visible to the naked eye.
I used to scoff at people who appeared as if they didn't have a handicap until a friend had a quintuple bypass. In her 50's she is living on borrowed time since all in her family have died in their 50's.
On the other hand, a 20 some year old young man who peels into a handicapped spot - I left this note on his windshield -
"This parking spot does not include those with a handicapped brain".

I am handicapped by the way. I was hit by a car as I was walking across the street (yes I did look both ways - he was a crack head) and then left for dead. I have permanent injuries to my left leg which I need a brace for.

DATE: Thursday June 22, 2006 -- 6:53:53 pm
Disclaimer: I was not born in the States, but I have lived here for the past 6 years.

I think the societal obsession with the disabled here is quite abnormal, and it has gotten past the point of reasonableness.

If you need a special parking spot because you cannot walk for an extra 10 feet, YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE.

I imagine that as you are reading this, angry thoughts are rushing through your mind: "What a jerk! How can he or she not be sensitive to the drama of people with disabilities?" So let me help you out, by saying this again:

"If you need a special parking spot because you cannot walk for an extra 10 feet, YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE."

Is it clearer now? This is a simple argument. Cast aside your distracting thoughts about the plight of the disabled - which I agree, can be awful.

"If you need a special parking spot because you cannot walk for an extra 10 feet, YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE."

Any one of us could be run over by a car at any time, and many of us would be lucky enough to survive it, maybe paralyzed, or otherwise marked for life. It is terrible. However:

"If you need a special parking spot because you cannot walk for an extra 10 feet, YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE."

You can't park because you have 'lack of depth perception' or 'blind spots'? DON'T DRIVE. Would I want for you to run over my son at a crosswalk because 'you couldn't see him'?

You can't walk because your leg is paralyzed? DON'T DRIVE. Would I want for you to crush my wife underneath your truck because you could not break on time to stop at a red light?

You cannot walk another 10 feet because you have a weak heart and may have a heart attack? DON'T DRIVE. How will my mother console herself when you have a heart attack at the steering wheel of your car, swerve against oncoming traffic, and hit me at 65 mph?

I posit that most situations of people with disabled permits parking in a handicapped spot are either:
- people that are legitimately handicapped but should NOT be allowed to drive under any circumstance
- people that are acting as chauffeurs for people who are legitimately handicapped => in instances like this, the handicapped could stay home, or could be wheeled from the car in a handicapped chair from wherever they may happen to find a spot
- people with no legitimate reason to park there, but who somehow managed to get their hands on a handicapped card
- people who abusively park there

To this foreigner, it is all nonsense.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday June 22, 2006 -- 7:31:50 pm
Repeating something doesn't help your argument.

Repeating something doesn't help your argument.

Repeating something doesn't help your argument.

Repeating something doesn't help your argument.



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 22, 2006 -- 8:31:05 pm
I was going to try and quote part of "Me"'s June 22nd e-mail, but I couldn't decide on the most absurd part to respond to.

Seriously, you've got some bitterness inside you. Realize that most of the world realizes that people with physical disabilities are fully capable of driving in most cases and what exactly is the problem in being courteous and letting them park closer?

FROM: John
DATE: Friday June 23, 2006 -- 10:53:44 pm
I actually agree with "me". I cannot help but feel sometimes like we all fall prey to the opression of the few, who use and twist and pervert well intentioned but ill directed human instincts. I think the whole concept of handicapped driving is idiotic. You either can drive or you cannot. Its not a matter of it not being a big deal to walk another ten feet. It's a matter of making even small decisions based on a logic that is rationally silly.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday June 24, 2006 -- 9:30:36 am
Please note that it's likely "John" is employing the Tactic.

FROM: Jeani
DATE: Saturday June 24, 2006 -- 9:57:42 am
I think Me probably parked in a handicapped spot, got a ticket and is now bitter.

Also, my impression is that it's very difficult for disabled people to get around in a lot of other countries that don't have our inclusive laws. I traveled to the UK and the Middle East in the past, and now I have arthritis. I can't imagine being able to handle all the stairs and walking I did on those trips.

I'm shocked at how many people on here don't understand two very simple things:

1. Disabled people are PEOPLE. (Meaning, they want to do everything you want to do, and they can safely do the vast majority of it.)
2. You can't tell if someone is physically disabled just by looking at him/her.

MJ February 19, 2007, 6:40 pm

Don’t assume that because someone’s disability is not visible that it does not exist. Also, don’t assume that it’s just a matter of “another 10 feet”. I just had to apply for a disabled parking permit because I have severe chronic diarrhea caused by medications and gall bladder surgury. The condition is under control -most- of the time, but when I am having problems, walking long distances is just not possible. If it were a matter of “another 10 feet” then I never would have applied for a permit.

HOWEVER, sometimes it’s a lot more than “another 10 feet.” I go to college full-time on a large commuter campus. When I get to campus the closest non-disabled parking places are over 250 -yards- from the closest campus building with a restroom. You try walking that distance with minimal bowel control.

To all outward appearance, I am a healthy 30-year old man. Most of the time, in most places, I don’t use a handicapped parking permit. However, do you really think that I should be forced to miss any more classes because I simply could not park close enough to a restoom not to have an accident due to a medical condition that is out of my control?

Really, people, get a life.

Garry June 16, 2010, 5:16 am

I have good days as well as bad days.I have rheumatoide arthritist which at times cuts my walking distance short.Walmart had removed the benches some time back.Sense my wife can’t drive, I have to take her.She had to cut her shopping short sense I had no place to rest.Wanting to be able to do the shopping she needed she paged the manager and told him about how she as well as others had to cut their shopping short and how they were losing money.That a lot of people were being forched to limit their shopping time.The manager didn’t realize how much the benches were needed.He at once had the benches put back. Now my wife is happy to know she can do her shopping and the store is taking care of us handycap as well as the ones who get tired.
There are people like me who wants to be able to live our lives just as much as anyone else.We did not ask for this and we would love to be able to walk across the parking lot.The people who are not handycapped don’t realize we want to have our health back.We want to live and do the things you do but we can’t no matter how hard we try.I know you don’t understand what I am saying and I hope you never do.

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