Archive for the ‘Parking’ Category

imagesCAHFCRGBVehicle parking for individuals in wheelchairs can be a challenge. I know I wrote about this in a previous blog, but some things are worth mentioning twice. My focus here is going to be on parking spaces that are intended for vans that have either ramps or lifts on the side of the van.

This is going to be a very short blog because I am not planning on turning this into a whining session. The laws are such that businesses are required to have a certain number of handicap parking spaces per total. Problems arise for vans with ramps because many spaces provided are only suitable for cars. Most van ramps fold out from the passenger side of the vehicle. Spaces that are allotted for vans typically have a larger no parking zone as part of the space.  Unfortunately, many disabled people driving a regular vehicle will park in the larger spaces, even though the spaces are marked with signs for van parking only.

Here is a suggestion that I have for businesses and the ADA laws. Most people driving vans with lifts are in wheelchairs. People pushing a manual chair, or are in power chairs, are not overly concerned with parking 10ft from the entrance. We just need a place to park that will allow us to get in/out of our vans independently.¬†imagesSo let’s say that a business is required to have 20 disabled parking spaces. Locate 10 of the allotted spaces on the front row near the entrance. This would allow for people that have difficulty walking to park as close as possible. But place the wider spaces designed for vans with ramps or lifts near the back of the parking lot. People that do not need the wider spaces would not be tempted to park in them, and they would remain available for people that do need them.

This may seem like I am joking, but I am quite serious. I believe there is a problem with disabled parking and that the ADA needs to address it. Enforcement of the law is not possible since most parking lots are considered to be private property of each business, and cars cannot be ticketed or towed.

Perhaps you have some better ideas? Let me encourage you to start writing letters to Senators encouraging them to address the issue. Time to think outside the box.

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