The Joys of Handicap Parking

January 14, 2010

Temperatures are supposed to be above freezing for the next few days. Maybe some of the snow and ice obstructing the handicap parking spaces will melt. Yes, its winter again and yes, they’re plowing the snow into the handicap spaces again. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a pet peeve of mine. Of course, there’s also a law against it. But that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from pushing that snow right in between those blue lines. Some places make an attempt at cleaning out the spaces but still leave some snow up against the curb. So then people park further over to allow egress and encroach on the access (hatched lines) area. That access area is critical if you are using a van with a ramp.

So parking in winter presents additional challenges than those that already exist the rest of the year. There never seems to be enough spaces and Lauren needs a “van” space – one wide enough to open her ramp – an extra eight feet alongside of the van. There are even fewer of those spaces. And what do we do if we can’t find an acceptable space? We go to the “uninhabited” area of the parking lot and use two spaces. Lauren is then exposed to wind, cold, rain, snow, and heat for a longer period of time while we push the wheelchair through slush, puddles, and vehicles entering and leaving other spaces. Ever try to hold an umbrella over a wheelchair? One of you is going to get wet, and if the wind is blowing...both of you. And what do you find when you return to the van? People actually take the time to write nasty, swearing, notes and tuck them under the windshield wiper commenting on your parking talent! Of course, the handicap license plates and sign on the side of the van escapes their notice.

Well, maybe by Saturday that nasty white stuff, rather gray now, will have melted away. Unfortunately, I hear it’s going to snow again on Sunday.

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