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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

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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