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Disabled Parking Spaces

Posted by enjoyingspring (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 11:50

Have you noticed just how many disabled parking spaces there are in parking lots.

It seems that everyone is disabled now.

NOW PLEASE DON'T JUMP ON ME, if you are truly disabled then yes you deserve a space close by. But, I think people are abusing this big time.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I used to get angry when I saw someone using a space who didn't appear to need one. But after thinking about it more and seeing/hearing about disabilities of friends and relatives, I know that there are many disabilities that aren't readily detected at first sight. I'm sure the privilege is abused, but I try not to think about it anymore. Just thankful that I don't have a disability (at least not yet) and don't need to use one of the spaces.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I definitely give the benefit of the doubt. I have a friend that has a disability that is not easily noticed, but walking very far is a great hardship due to joint issues and wearing braces that are not visible.

I wonder about people using the electric carts that just appear to be extremely fat and don't want to walk. They are quite young. These are not older folks with mobility issues - just look like lazy kids.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

In our province, if people can prove disability (a doctor's certificate required) they can get a small poster, with blue print, that includes a wheelchair, that they can post in their windshield or on the sun visor.

I sometimes check those parking spaces, to see whether the parkers carry such a placard.

Haven't left any notes under windshield wipers, yet...

... but when I do, I'll leave phone No. or email address, as I am willing to enter discussion, not just to blow my stack without the other person's opportunity to have their say.

I've done that, sometimes, earlier, relating to other issues: haven't had any responses, which rather surprises me. (Probably judged to be just some kook, shooting off his mouth ... not worthy of a reply).

ole joyful


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

We have one but to look at DH at times you too would be unhappy, BUT, with severe COPD, and heart problems, he just cannot walk long distances especially either in very hot weather or winter or windy. He looses he breath very easy. I do not use the site unless he is in the car, OR I am picking up at the medical office.
But yes, I have seen some park there, bounce out of the car and go into a store and yes I wonder if they are really disabled.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I find they help me out... cause they cause me to park out even further. :)

Yes, I am one of those that park out in the back 40... and get a walk in, to go in to the store.

Moni


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Moni, I am with you~I park aways out and walk~not for the walk but so my van does not get dinged. Almost always when I do this someone parks right next to me~~empty spaces everywhere but they park next to me and it is usually a big a## truck!


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Me too Moni! I park way out. No door dings and a good walk. I do like to park close to a cart corral though - especially in the winter. I don't like pushing the empty clear back.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

LOL, ladies, I also park out there, to protect my car. I even go as far as parking next to a curb/end of the row, to keep people from parking on at least one side of my car. LOL

Do you also pay attention to the wind, and park in the row facing in to the wind? I always hope, this helps, to keep my door from flying WIDE open, and hope, others too.

Moni


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

You should give the benefit of the doubt to those fat people, too. I have a neighbor who is very obese but also has a serious nervous system disease totally unrelated to the weight. Far from lazy, he is the full time caregiver to his cancer stricken wife....does all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and tender loving care giving.

Knowing just one person like that would open everyone 's eyes about jumping to conclusions. I think about him each time I see someone like that.

I guess the number of required handicapped spaces must be different from state to state. Few business want to put in more than they are required to by building codes. I will tell you that I have often thought that there are not enough spaces to accomodate those of us who want to shop, go to the museum, see a movie, go to a play, or even see a doctor.

I've gotten to the point where I don't drive myself much of anywhere these days because of the fear that I won't be able to find a handicapped spot. :-(


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I have a permanent disabled license plate on my van because of being wheelchair dependent. My gripe is that people who have a hanging tag or plate, whether they truly need it or not, park in the van accessible space when regular handicap spaces are available. I don't have that luxury since I have to have the extra space for the vans in order for my ramp to let down. If there is no such space available then I have to be dropped off at the door or, like Moni, park 40 spaces away requiring my caregiver and myself to walk/drive the extra distance only to find that someone has parked beside us and blocked the space that we hoped would remain empty in order to let the ramp down.

Long-winded way of saying, I wish people would leave the van spaces empty if there is a choice.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Police in our area have been more vigilant about ticketing if there is no handicapped sign on the vehicle.

It does seem to me we have too many designated spaces; they are empty a lot of the time. I suppose there is an ordinance requiring X number of handicapped spaces per sq ft of store.

I don't drive that much outside of our town, but *within* it I see a lot of "entitled" driving, mostly by SAHMs: "I'm too special to come to a complete stop here; My time is too valuable to slow down to within 10 miles of the speed limit; I'm late for the gym/my hair appointment/a brunch, so I can blow through that yellow light."


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Well, you should see the folks who don't park in the handicapped spots but park in the "bumper" area surrounding them so they can be closer to the door. It obstructs your view when leaving the aisle. It is those inconsiderate, selfish people that make me shake my head.

I don't care who parks in the spaces, as long as they have the hang tag or plate.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Ole Joyful, make sure you look at the license plate too. If an automobile has a handicapped license plate such as mine and Jae_tn's, it means that the main driver is disabled. This is why the license plate takes priority over the tag.

Yes, there are many that are abusing these handicapped parking spaces. However, that is another subject.

As for the reason why there are more handicapped parking spaces than in the past, perhaps, it is because of the Baby Boomers. This large population of "Baby Boomers" are coming to age of retirements. As their healths are declining, the needs of handicapped parking spaces are more needed.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I find it odd that there are four handicapped places at our gym.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

A question bouncing off EnjoyingSpring's first question -- the amount of handicapped spaces.

Is it a store's prerogative to determine how many such spaces to offer, or is it in the hands of local zoning officials, based on guesstimated average daily customer count or the space the store and parking lot take up?

At one strip shopping center nearby, there are 2 full rows of such spaces at WalMart. At the other end is Target, with half the amount (if that). Very strange!

I might have to send this question to a local zoning dept. just to figure this out...

(But, yes, there are a lot of unseen disabilities. Some times more than others it's harder to give the benefit, I admit.)


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Why, lily316, are you surprised at handicapped spaces at your gym? I've just had a total knee replacement and use one of the spaces at my gym so I can use the pool for physical therapy. Lots of people have had surgery on some part of their body and may need to park (legally) in a handicapped space. Just because I've had knee surgery doesn't mean I can't workout my upper body. It just means that I can't park out in the back 40 to get to the front door.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lily316, many physical disabilities require daily therapy and exercise. Hospitals and clinics are no longer the only choice for therapy. If one can go to a gym nearby to get the therapy, why not? In a matter of fact, nowadays, a therapist would show the techniques/exercise and it's up to the patience to apply the therapy whereever is most convenient.

Elderlies also find water exercise beneficials. Thus, a gym with a pool is not an unusual place for them to go to.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Well my DH needs a handicapped spot as he can barely walk and often he can't find a place near enough to park, as all the handicapped ones are taken. It irks me to see those who are young and obviously don't need it bounce out of their cars and literally run into the shops. In those cases, they are just using someone else's sticker. Yes, there are some with COPD and other diseases that aren't noticeable and need it. I have seen the police here carefully watch the handicapped spots and demand to compare driver's licences with the handicapped stickers to make sure that they match.

BTW there should be handicapped spots at the gyms too. Handicapped people still need their exercise, possibly even more than others.

I get easily out of breath due to health issues, but I still park far away as it is a way of forcing myself to exercise. I probably would easily qualify for a sticker but haven't wanted to ask for one.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Jae, I know a young man that sat for 1 1/2 hour waiting for the fool to move his car, so he could open his van and let the lift out... and get in.

He is wheelchair bound. It was hard for him to get home, to use the rest room after all that wait...

Moni


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lily, you have GOT to be kidding!


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

dees - that "bumper space" is the space meant for wheelchair ramp use. If you notice, there will be a sign in front of the space saying " Van Accessible" and that means not to park there unless you are a van or there is no other space available.

Moni - that man could have had the car in the bumper space towed away. The movie theater where I was did just that to a car parked across from me and offered to have the one by me towed when the tow truck could return.

It is my belief that the number of handicap spaces in a parking lot is a percentage of how many are in the total parking lot.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

ntt_hou stated: If an automobile has a handicapped license plate ..., it means that the main driver is disabled. This is why the license plate takes priority over the tag.

In my state only one car belonging to an owner can have the actual handicappped license plate, for any other cars owned only a tag is issued. Therefore, at least in our state, a handicapped license plate does not take priority over the tag.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Jae, that's correct. A business owner can put in more than the required amount, but not fewer.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I don't think I've run into many shopping places that have more handicapped designated spaces than needed. I've been taking my mothers with us when I'm driving her in my car, often find none available. Or, will have to cruise through the parking lot waiting for someone to move from one so I can pull in and use it.

My alternative is to drop her at the door, but I'm not completely comfortable with her having to navigate a curb alone, heavy door, or wait alone for me, I'd much rather have her at my side, on my arm.

I had my own temp parking pass following surgery one year and what I used to find was someone pulling in with the appropriate sticker/tag, jumping/skipping/hopping out and dashing into the store, while leaving the person the pass was intended for sitting in the car - never quite understood that.

OT, but something I remember about that year was the kindness of strangers, many strangers. It was almost like the crutches, then cane, made me more approachable and people would engage in casual conversation, ask how I felt like they meant it, reach for things on a shelf, open doors, return shopping carts for me. Small acts I've never forgotten and try hard to do those in return for others still now....


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

No jae; what I'm talking about is the striped area bounding all the parking aisles. There is a larger space around the handicapped ones but that is a different area than the van accessible spots. Around here, people respect the van accessible areas, even though handicapped cars park there.

If you look at the picture in the link below, the spots I'm referring to are not even close to the handicapped spots. They are the closed in areas at the top of each aisle closest to the entrance. There are people who feel those are their personal parking spots.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia Angle Parking Lot Diagram


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I had the option of 2 hang tags or license plates, I chose the hang tags because I don't drive myself much anymore so when going with someone in their car I take my tag along so we can park in those spaces. I don't think there's enough spaces at many of the big stores. Especially Costco and sams quite often my husband has to unload my chair and me at the door and drive way off to park because there's so few spaces. His knees are shot too which makes it really hard on him.

I prefer using the electric carts in the big stores because it really wears out my hands and arms, but have learned always have the wheelchair in the car because there's a lack of carts and they don't maintain them so you end up dead in the water out in the middle of the store somewhere. Many a time my husband has had to walk back out to the car and get my chair because all the carts are dead.

It really angers me when people assume they know if you are disabled or not. Unless you have a medical degree and know that persons medical history then just don't do it. It is extremely hurtful and believe me no one would prefer to go that route if they didn't have to. It would be a real blessing if I didn't have to! I would give just about anything to be able to get around and do the things for myself that I once could.

And remember you never know when it might be you or one of yours in that condition and need!!! Please consider that before judging blindly. It can happen in the blink of an eye.

Another thing please watch for curb cuts don't block them we unfortunately can not perform acrobatics and jump over curbs in our chairs. lol


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Morz, I can relate so much to what you said! After my knee surgery a long time ago, I was so touched by the kindness of strangers. I'll never forget it, either, and do whatever I can to offer a little help when I can.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I wasn't complaining about the four handicapped spaces at my very small gym. It has no pool, no personal trainers and I have yet to see the spaces occupied, and I go every day. It's just there are very few parking places at this gym for others and these seem always to be empty. I would never park there though.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Seems to me one of the problems I see is that where the handicapped parking spaces are, at a store, which are always close to the entrance, there is not a cart corral there. I think someone in a handicapped space would appreciate a cart close by. There must not be enough handicapped spaces in my area, because they are always filled, and I wonder what folks do who really need one.

Fortunately I do not need a handicapped tag, and I drive around looking for a space near a cart corral. I do use a cane, and having a cart to push through the parking lot and into the store makes it much easier and lessens the pain for me.

After each knee replacement, I have been told to park as far away from the entrance to a store as possible, because walking is the best therapy.

Sue


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dees - I did misunderstand. It is the area beside some of the handicap spaces that I encounter small cars parked it. I have seen cars parked where you showed.

There will never be enough handicap spots at Walmart, for example. Not with the extreme number of temp tags along with regular. I think every other shopper there must have one!

On the other hand, I have seen strip malls with only one space directly in front and the remote ones across the street might be so far away that you wonder what good they are doing.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Hubby had a disabled tag for 2 yrs before he passed away. In our area, there are never enough disabled spaces, and it seemed no matter what time of day, we left to go places, 9 times out of 10, he had to park too far away so he couldnt even go into the store with me. Several times, we switched drivers out further in the parking lot, and I drove him right to the door, and once he was out, then went and parked the car, so he could do his personal shopping for things he wanted. When he needed to renew his tags on his vehicle, he made many trips from home to the court house, before he could get a parking spot close enough for him to be able to walk inside the building. Our Walmart could use many many more disabled parking spots.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lily...I have a handicapped placard for my car .... and I go to my small gym 3x a week, on Dr's suggestion, in order to keep my muscles loose enough to get around on my own. Severe RA and 3 degenerating discs in my back demand that I do this.

What should I do, not to hear criticism like yours.....a sign hanging around my neck?

Don't judge people you don't know, lest you find yourself on the receiving end someday.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

One store I got to has the usual handicapped spots. Beyond those they have signs that say for our elderly customers. I think that's a good idea but I wish it would be for elderly customers and mothers with small children but I imagine that would be abused. Anyway, I always thought it was a good idea for the elderly customers.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Walnutcreek, in Texas, you don't need to be the owner in order to have the handicapped license plate. My first car was owned by my father. In Texas, I was allowed, as the main driver, to have the license plate on this car.

Hum... come to think of it, back then, the Placard didn't exist. It wasn't until my 3rd car that the Placard was issued. By then, the car was of my own so I still got the license plate. In any ways, I checked it out and all required is that the driver has a permanent disability. It didn't mentioned whether it needed to be the owner of the vehicle or not. I'm assuming that the previous requirement (prior to placard existent) still stand.
http://www.txdmv.gov/vehicles/license_plates/qualifying/disabled/disabled_person.htm

Ravencajun, did you know that you have a choice of either 2 Placards or 1 set of license plate and 1 Placard? That's what I have right now: 1 set of handicapped license plate and 1 card to use it when I ride with friends & family. You can make this change at a local court house. I go to the one on Cypresswood and Stuebner Airline.

Lily316, you still are puzzled on this. Don't feel bad though, I understand, you're just being curious. It's quite simple. In the early 90's the ADA (American with Disability Act) law went into effect to protect the disabled ones. It is considered a Civil Rights Law. This law also provided standardization of public structure (ADA Title III). All public and private buildings that services to the public must have handicapped parking space(s) and accomodations for the disables. Hence, whether the gym foud the needs or not, it is still needed to abide by this law.

Here is a link that might be useful: ADA and Disability Right Laws


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Sue- va - you're right - after a knee replacement walking is great therapy. I walk plenty because of my job. By the end of the day, my knee is quite sore and swollen. I don't feel like parking in the back 40 just to use the pool. I've gotten in plenty of walking during the day. My surgeon gave me a handicap placard to hang from my mirror for 6 months for a reason.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I've noticed at some stores here in our town there seem to be a lot of spaces that go unused. You can drive around forever looking for a place to park, while many of those spaces are empty. I don't know what the answer is. Maybe they need them at times. But I haven't seen it yet.


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Missy_May, it's the law! They''re required by law to have the handicapped parking spaces. Regardless, if these spaces are used or not.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Monica. where did I criticize the handicapped spots? I don't know much about the Disability act. I just commented that we don't have many places to park since this is a small strip mall , and you can't park in front of other establishments. I just made the comment that four seemed a lot when there aren't many spaces for the 1000's of people who belong to this gym and have to drive around and around and wait till someone pulls out when 9 times out of 10, all four spaces are empty. But I guess it's the law. .


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lily316, please don't feel bad, I meant it well earlier. I've been disabled all my life and there are things that I didn't even know until I've been told by a therapist or a doctor.

We should never criticize someone for not knowing something. It is better to ask rather than be in the dark about your curiousity. I've seen all ages approached me and asked all sort of questions about disability and handicapped equipments. I understood their curiousity and saw the need of educating others.

In your case, because this is a written format forum, it isn't always easy to read and understand through the written words. This was why many have mistaken your intention. Don't take it personally.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I don't think I've noticed an overly large number of handicapped spaces. I do think the trend to have expecting, new-mom, and family parking spaces is odd. I know businesses are doing it because they want those moms and families to patronize the establishment, but I don't like it. What really ticks me off, though, is people who are not handicapped parking in handicapped spaces because they think they're just going to be a minute.

This post was edited by alice_sj on Sat, Feb 23, 13 at 0:14


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Perhaps the solution to cars parking in the Handicapped Van Accessbile spots would be to change the signage to read:
Handicapped Van Accesilbe ONLY.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

My understanding, is that handicapped parking does not need to be close to the entrance. Rather, the goal is to make the spots wider to give room to maneuvre wheelchairs, walkers, and vehicle ramps. Also, there are not supposed to be any "barriers" between the spots and the entrance. So cut curbs, etc. if necessary.

Many lots do place them right in front of the entrance, but that is not mandatory.

Dances


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I don't have a problem with handicapped spots for the truly handicapped. It would be nice once in a while to be able to park closer. I used to park way out to keep the dings away, but for safety reasons now park closer. I still don't park as close as I can. Once in a while, i really could use a close up spot. We sometimes travel with our dog. We make sure he is safe when he isn't with us. If it is hot, either dh or I walks him around outside while the other parent is inside with the kids. If we are eating, we like to have a line of sight to the car so we know everything is still ok.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

My husband was in a wheelchair for the last 7 years of his life so I had lots of experience with handicapped spaces. I had to get him in and out of the car and the wheelchair in and out of the trunk. I experienced all of the situations that have been described.

One of the most frustrating experiences for me was locating a handicapped space and finding several empty grocery carts parked there.

Obviously those people didn't give a darn about the person who needed the space.

It was something of a project for me to move those carts to their proper place while leaving our car in the way of other drivers, then parking and getting him out. If that was the only spot avalable I had no other choice.

There were days when I almost lost faith in humanity over these issues.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Ladies and Gentlemen, please keep in mind that many disabilities are not visable. Just because someone "bounds out' of the car is not indicative of an illness. They may be having a good day but know that soon they are hurting.

Maybe the person dashing into the store is the driver/companion for the disabled.

Like MonicaPA and others here, I also have RA. Some days I can barely walk and others i am perfectly fine and pain free. To look at me, you would not see my disease, but beleive me it is there.

So please keep an open mind and thank whatever diety you worship that you don't need those space.


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One of our local malls has spots for handicapped people, for new moms with babies, for taxis, and for environmentally friendly cars (I'm not sure how that is defined - there are no outlets so it's not specifically for electric cars). Like so many here I just park in the back 40. The parking spots in so many malls are becoming smaller and although I don't drive a very big car I don't want it getting dinged by those that drive behemoths.


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Thank you, ntt hou ,for understanding that I wasn't being critical. I just thought for the small amount of space available to park, maybe two would be enough. I have fibromyalgia and know you can't tell a handicap by just looking at a person.

I also driver a Prius and think it's crazy to assign closer spaces for energy efficient cars. That has to do with what ?.Also I have a beef with signs for pregnant women. When I was pregnant, I walked many miles a day. Exercise is good. And the signs for people with kids??? Kids have more energy than all of us put together. Don't even get me going about shopping carts left in parking spaces.

I will say I have never seen anyone using these spaces at the gym illegally.


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When my uncle started dialysis right before Christmas he was also temporarily suffering from some other ailment that made his legs swell up (a temporary thing). So when I volunteered to drive him to dialysis the transitional home gave me a wheelchair to get him from the car to the building.

Man, that was not easy with all the snow and ice and heaving a heavy wheelchair into the trunk of my car (I am barely 5'2"). I parked in a handicapped parking spot and we spent nearly 3 hours in the dialysis center. I forgot that I was going to move my car (being that it was his first time and mine my mind was pre-occupied). Now I've got a very expensive ticket and I have to take off work to see if I can get it reduced or waived.

My uncle no longer has the swollen legs so he doesn't need a permanent placard, which is good - but I still wish he could get one because he is quite frail and I have to drive him to a lot of appointments. I drop him off at a curb and park and come back to get him lots of times in bad weather with no place for him to sit down.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

In our province, there are no licence plates that indicate handicap, that I'm aware of - there's only the blue print placard that one leaves lying on the space under the windshield, fastened to the sun visor, etc.

It is helpful to park facing the wind not only to avoid having the door pushed all of the way open (or as far as the vehicle next door allows) ... but to avoid having major redistribution of a number of non-heavy items, e.g. papers, resident in your car (including their departure through the open, wind-swept door).

Hi jae_tn,

Would it be helpful if you made a fairly large placard to hang in the window of the passenger door, perhaps with a piece of cloth attached to the top to drop over the top of the door prior to closing, to hold the placard in place, to ask people not to park within XX feet of the side of your van, as you need to fold down a ramp and move your chair on to it, to permit you to enter the van?

Mischievous note: you could suggest that, if they transgressed, and didn't leave you enough room, that they could expect you to keep track of your waiting time, in order to park your chair behind their vehicle to interfere with their leaving, for an equal length of time?? You wait - they wait!

"If you don't leave room, and force me to wait ... my chair may develop paralysis, behind your vehicle (equal time)!".

ole joyful


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Pkramer wrote: "Maybe the person dashing into the store is the driver/companion for the disabled."

This is a no-no. If the disabled passenger is in the car but is not leaving the car, the non-handicapped driver do not have the right to park at the handicapped parking space. Think about it... Just because the driver is driving a disabled person, it didn't make him/her any less capability to walk into the store. Of course, if the disabled one is also going into the store, then, it's alright to park there.

Ole joyful, although you haven't seen the handicapped license plates in your area, I'm quite sure they still exist. Handicapped license plates have been around much longer than the Placards. The Placards have never replaced the license plates. It was created to give more options for the permanent and the temporary disables.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Ole joyful, forgive me, I didn't realize you're not living in the US.


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Ooops....

Ole joyful, forgive me, I didn't realize you're not living in the US.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

"Maybe the person dashing into the store is the driver/companion for the disabled."
Exactly! I have seen it happen before that there were no handicap spots so the disabled person was let out right at the door and the driver then went to park the vehicle. Once a 'spot' became available, the driver parked and went in to meet the disabled friend and the vehicle was parked close by for when the disabled person came back out to get in.

One just never knows what is taking place, and so long as there is a plate or placard shown, I assume that there is no violation. It's the ones with no plate or placard that, imho, should be warned or ticketed.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Regarding my reply here- I wasn't implying there was anything wrong with extra spaces. I was just making the comment.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Curious?? We have the blue tags for DH but if we went to Canada would there be a problem? There is nothing on his driver's license to indicate he is disabled? He just can't breath when he walks any distance plus heart problems


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We were all over Banff to Jasper, Calgary and back to U.S. with no problems. There are so many tourists from all over the U.S. using blue tags and handicapped license plates.


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"make sure you look at the license plate too. If an automobile has a handicapped license plate such as mine and Jae_tn's, it means that the main driver is disabled. This is why the license plate takes priority over the tag."

That's not true in California. In California, a person has the choice of the permanent license plate OR the hanging placard, no matter if you're in a wheelchair or not. It used to be that if you got the license plate you'd also get a placard, in case you were traveling (e.g., flying somewhere and wouldn't have your own car), so that you'd still be able to park in a handicapped space at your destination. Not any more. Now, if you get the license plate and you're going to travel and need to take a placard with you, you have to apply to the DMV to get a temporary travel placard. Also, with a permanent placard, you have the ability to transfer it from car to car -- such as when I'm in my car, I have the placard. If Hubs and I go somewhere in his car, I can take the placard with us to still be able to park in a handicapped space.

A handicapped symbol on a license plate does NOT take priority over the hanging placard. They are exactly equal and equivalent to each other.

"As for the reason why there are more handicapped parking spaces than in the past, perhaps, it is because of the Baby Boomers. This large population of "Baby Boomers" are coming to age of retirements. As their healths are declining, the needs of handicapped parking spaces are more needed."

"Is it a store's prerogative to determine how many such spaces to offer, or is it in the hands of local zoning officials, based on guesstimated average daily customer count or the space the store and parking lot take up?"

Again, I can only speak for California, but here it's a building code -- a specific percentage of the total number of spaces in the parking lot are to be designated as handicapped spaces; and the handicapped spaces are supposed to be closest to the entry/exit doors.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

A coworker has a handicapped child and a placard that she hangs from her rearview mirror. She often parks in the handicapped spot at work, even tho her child isn't even with her. This is not a coworker I choose to be friends with for many of the same type of reasons.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lindsay_CA, you need to continue reading for my additional posts further down.

What I said about priority of license plate over Placard was what I was explained by the the court house clerk during the time I was obtaining handicapped license plates for my vehicle. I realized that your observation only covered for what it is practiced in California. However, what I stated stand true in the state of Texas. Each state has its own regulation for these permits. Many people only see the Placards and overlook the handicapped license plates. That was my main point.

Again, another point I was making to why there are so many more people needing the handicapped spaces than ever before was because the large population of the Baby Boomers plays a significant role in our US society. As they grow older, their heath conditions detiororate. Being that this age group is a large population than others, we often notice of significant changes in our society. My comment was something that the medical field has been taking notes of. How do I know? I've been handicapped for all my life and have been around the medical areas enough for doctors and therapists to point this out to me.

The medical world was not the only one to notice, the business world was once worried about these changes too. Many companies was once worried that a big gap in jobs would need to be filled when the baby boomers were retiring. They were worry that there wouldn't be enough people to fill up all the jobs. Funny how things have changed now because of all the jobs been outsourced.

Another topic was why there are handicapped places in areas where they may not needed. It is simply because it is the law and it is required. Read more in details at my comments above.

Anyway, I'm going to stop here with these subjects. It's been said enough at my end.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

ntt-hou, perhaps you should go back and re-read your original post to which I replied. You CLEARLY said "If an automobile has a handicapped license plate such as mine and Jae_tn's, it means that the main driver is disabled. This is why the license plate takes priority over the tag." According to your way of thinking, if a family has only one car, of which the husband is the main driver, but the wife is handicapped, they will not be allowed to have a handicapped license plate on the car but will be restricted to the use of a placard only.

Perhaps that's the way it is in Texas (which is one more reason to never live in Texas), but that's just a totally convoluted way of thinking, and that's not the way it's done in California; and I'd imagine that's not the way it's done in many, many, many other states (if not all other states).

Just because a vehicle has a handicapped license plate doesn't mean the vehicle can't park in a regular space if the handicapped person isn't "along for the ride" that day.

But, the main point I was attempting to make (which you missed, apparently), is that a handicapped license plate and a handicapped placard are equal. One does not have "priority" over the other.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Why do people get so worked up and so overly-defensive when/if people suspect abuse of the parking? Do you feel guilty about what you're doing? If you're not guilty, why are you so worried about it? I don't think there's a lot of people who would say there's absolutely no abuse of handicapped parking. I got vilified for jokingly calling myself a "cripple" in another similar thread but many of the complainers were using the term "handicapped" which is the "n word" amongst cripples "disabled", "differently abled", "mobilityly challenged", "4-wheeled Americans" etc. these days. Why go berserk if you're not doing anything wrong? Seems to me some perhaps doth protest too much.

I know of several people who use their friends, relatives, etc, permits and park in the spaces. I turned them in too. And I told them I was going to do it. I doubt anything happened but I'm glad I did it.

In Minnesota, there's criteria to get a permit. Essentially you have to have trouble walking the specified distance. Seems pretty hard to conceal that issue. As said, seeing people hop out of the vehicles, literally run into the store, run around the store, carry out armloads of stuff, jump in and go doesn't demonstrate the inability to walk the required distance. And I think people that have the need for the spots *should* be offended by that. And those who are so concerned for others *should* be offended by it too.

Also in MN, you cannot sit in a car and wait in a "disabled" spot. That's illegal. Now I do see a potential problem for this since there could be a couple who have issues. One person could have mobility issues and leaves another with issues (who doesn't drive) in the car while they go into the store. Can also be they can't just leave them at home while they go also. I see potential problems with this but I understand the reason for no waiting in the spot.

One of my peeves is people who have no issues and are driving who drop someone off at the door then go and take a disabled spot because they have the permit. If you're dropping them off, then go park somewhere else. You don't qualify for the disabled spot in that case IMO.

One thing that should be pointed out about the fat people concerns. If a person becomes crippleddisabled, it's much more difficult to exercise and it's easier to put on weight so I'll cut them some slack there.

As for regulations on the number of spots in the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act regulates parking spots. For 25 space lots you are required to have 1. For 1000 spaces or more, you're required to have 20, plus 1 for each 100 regular spaces over 1000. For every 8 handi-spots, 1 must be "van-accessible".

I know this irritates people in wheelchairs but it irritates me that the van-accessible spots are always the closest to the store. That's bass-ackward as they say. The wheelchair spots should be the farther ones. Someone who is walking with COPD, relies on a walker, a couple canes, crutches or something should have a closer spot than a wheelchair. And I say this having been in all the different phases at one time or the other, from being able to run, walk, walk with a cane, with 2 canes, crutches, a walker and a wheelchair. I was at a store one time when I was using the wheelchair and a guy parked farther away and was going with a walker, lugging his oxygen and having trouble walking with that. I said no way, had him go back and we switched spots. I was riding, he was suffering trying to walk. He deserved the closer spot.

And the ironic thing is a lot of times I can find a non-"handi-spot" that's actually closer than the handi-ones. I believe that's not following the regulations, but that's the way I've found it several times. Then there's the reserved for mothers with children spots which is a whole nuther story...


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

"Then there's the reserved for mothers with children spots which is a whole nuther story..."

I totally agree. Having children is a choice. Becoming handicapped is not.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I'm glad we provide handicapped spots for those who need them. There are some days when my husband's knee is giving him a lot of problems that he really should have a tag (and I'm sure one day he will, but hasn't asked for one yet) and it's easy to see how important they can be.

I hate to think of people abusing the privilege, but like many have said, it's not always obvious to the viewer who is abusing and who is not. To me, I guess it's best left as an issue between that person and their conscious. Although I'm not so sure I'll feel exactly the same when my husband does have a tag and is really in pain and can't find a parking place within reasonable distance.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

The ones that abuse the privilege do not have a conscience so I don't think it's best left to them to patrol themselves, especially if you want to have a space available if and when you or your husband should need it.

AFAIC, if you're not concerned about it, you condone the abuse. That's a personal choice each will make for themself.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

But, the main point I was attempting to make (which you missed, apparently), is that a handicapped license plate and a handicapped placard are equal. One does not have "priority" over the other.
That was what I was thinking too, and really why would it matter unless there was an actual showdown in the lot, with 2 vehicles vying for one spot. I haven't seen such a 'showdown' happen yet, but maybe they do happen occasionally. I would just figure whoever was in line to get the spot first, would get it.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I haven't read all of the lengthy responses but have read enough regarding the controversy about permanent plates vs. hanging tags. To throw out another way to think about it....I have a permanent plate and do not, nor have I or will I ever, drive my van. I have a wheelchair equipped van and my caregivers drive me and I exit the right side of the van, thus the need for a van accessible parking spot. When I am not in the van, or don't go in the store, we don't use a handicapped space.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Jae, you seem to like making a "big deal" out of van-accessible handiapped spaces.

In one post you wrote:

"My gripe is that people who have a hanging tag or plate, whether they truly need it or not, park in the van accessible space when regular handicap spaces are available. I don't have that luxury since I have to have the extra space for the vans in order for my ramp to let down." ... "I wish people would leave the van spaces empty if there is a choice."

Unless you want to follow around on a 24/7 basis EVERY person with a handicapped plate or placard in the area where you live, how can you possibly know whether a "regular handicap space" was available when they parked? You can't; therefore, you can't really gripe about it.

In another post you wrote,

"...that "bumper space" is the space meant for wheelchair ramp use. If you notice, there will be a sign in front of the space saying " Van Accessible" and that means not to park there unless you are a van or there is no other space available."

Wow. Yet another reason not to live in Tennessee or Texas. In California, and I'd be willing to bet in a majority of the other states, "Van accessible" means simply that a van with a wheelchair lift/ramp will have room to operate the lift/ramp. It never has meant, and I doubt it would ever mean, that unless you are in a van you are not allowed to park there. All handicapped plates/placards are equal in allowing a vehicle to park in a handicapped space, whether the space is "van accessible" or not.

And at least in the greater Sacramento area, all handicapped spaces have that "bumper space" on one side or the other. I've never seen three handicapped spaces next to each other without a bumper space between at least two of the spaces. I have parked in plenty of handicapped spaces that have the "bumper space" on one side or the other that don't say "van accessible" on the sign. Doesn't mean a van with a lift/ramp wouldn't have room. Just means that whomever is in charge of paying for alterations to the signs doesn't want to pay for a new sign that says "van accessible" on it when anyone with a lift/ramp-equipped van would realize that the space works.

And for the record, I don't use a wheelchair (yet, anyway), but I want that "bumper space" on whatever side of the car I'm in (driver side if I'm driving, or passenger side when I'm the passenger) because I need the extra space to fully open the car door so that I can get in/out.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Lindsey - you bet I'm making a big deal about needing that space. And thanks for taking the time to dig up my past posts regarding the subject. For what it's worth, I will elaborate on the issue. I survived a brain aneurysm six years ago and spent a year in and out of hospitals and therapy trying to get to the place where I could use a power wheelchair. I paid $26,000 for this van ( half of that was fitting it for a wheelchair ramp) in order for me to be able to go out shopping, doctor appointments, and so on. There are many of those occasions where we have to park a good distance away so as to find two regular spaces together, if handicapped isn't available, so the ramp can be lowered. I HAVE NO CHOICE in the matter and it's is far different than wanting more space for the car door to open. It's the only way that I can get in and out of the van.
So, walk a mile in my shoes before you try to shame me for my complaints.


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RE: Disabled. Parking Spaces

And I do not intend to suggest that it is " illegal " to park in a van accessible space. Only, as an act of courtesy, to think about it and park in a regular space, if there s one, and leave a wider one for someone who needs it for a van like mine.


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RE: Disabled. Parking....... Spaces

  • Posted by jae_tn East Tennessee (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 10:51

Erased this duplicate because the first attempt was rejected.

This post was edited by jae_tn on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 10:56


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Cynic, while you do make some good points I don't believe people in wheelchairs should have to park further away, just because they can wheel in easier than someone who has, for instance, COPD.

Being in a wheelchair makes a person lower to the ground. I'd hate to have someone wheeling all through the parking lot while others are backing out. Seems like it would be a very dangerous situation. Lets just agree that disabled persons should have close parking spaces.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Group, the plates and the hang tags are both equal. Hang tags are issued on request if the disabled person uses more than one vehicle. When my mother was alive, we had the tags. She could go in either my van or my Dads. Even out with friends.

The plate limits the person to one vehicle only. It just would not work for us.It works if you can only get around in a custom vehicle.

Also, with a hang tag you can travel anywhere in the world and use the handicapped spots. Mom could take it with her on trips to Europe with rental cars. The icon/symbol is universal.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

"And I do not intend to suggest that it is " illegal " to park in a van accessible space. Only, as an act of courtesy, to think about it and park in a regular space, if there s one, and leave a wider one for someone who needs it for a van like mine."

I cannot get into or out of a vehicle that's parked in a regular space. With my mobility issues and physical limitations, I have to have the door fully opened. Sorry if you don't like that, but that's the way it is.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Do you think that my suggestion earlier, rather tongue-in-cheek (but only partly so) that you hang a large sign on the passenger door window asking that people leave space for your ramp, might help some?

ole joyful


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Thanks Joyful but the problem isn't someone parking there after I have and needing to keep it empty. It is in finding a space to use that leaves the extra width available.

Lindsey - What is your problem with me? I have obviously rubbed you entirely in the wrong way! I have never inferred that your need isn't valid. My initial comment was that I wished people would use regular spaces rather than van accessible, if given a choice. Prior to my need I never would have given it any thought that there were vans with ramps that let down on the side. The spaces do not say anything about being for those who need to keep the door open fully so how can anyone know that you need such a courtesy? How can jumping all over me make your situation any better? How can I, or anyone else, have a clue that you need to park in a van accessible space when you aren't in a van? We happen to have two different needs and mine is supposed to be helped with a sign addressing that need, and yours is not. Going off on me will not solve your problem and I can't offer any help in what might.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Bringing this back to the front page in hopes Lindsey might acknowledge reading my response to her.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

neesie, obviously I was talking about the handicapped spots and not the entire parking lot! Geez. The way the law (in the US) is written the "van-accessible" spots have to be the closest *handicapped* (or "disabled") spots of the handi-spots and my point was that that is the wrong way to approach it. So let's not try to suggest I was saying the wheelchairs should park in the next county, OK? And I think someone riding in an electric wheelchair can handle riding "all through the parking lot while others are backing out" much better than someone someone on crutches, walker, cane(s), lugging an oxygen tank, using prosthetic devices, etc. Why should those people suffer so the rider can have the closest spot? Come to think of it, those people are *more* susceptible to problems since the rider can usually be looking around and paying closer attention to the surrounding activities than the others who have to pay close attention to the ground in front of them so they don't fall. Good grief, I never thought of that before! Thanks nessie! And that's for the person propelling themself in the wheelchair. When being pushed by someone else, they have yet another benefit.

You're actually making my point and I'll have to remember that. For someone who is struggling to walk to have to walk farther so someone can literally "drive" into the store, is wrong IMO. I have sympathy for people in wheelchairs but I see very little sympathy from people in wheelchairs toward people who are trying to walk. And I won't even bring up the people who *can* walk, but use a wheelchair anyway. And as I said, not that someone in a wheelchair should have to, but if it came down to a choice of someone in a wheelchair parking on the far end of the lot (even if it's to have the extra room to load/unload) and having to ride, verses someone in any of the other situations mentioned and possibly more, I'd say it's still better IMO that the rider go the farther distance most of the time. And yes there's exceptions but for the majority, I feel it's better. The fact is if someone in a wheelchair gets tired even if they're propelling themself, they can stop and rest. They're sitting. If someone is in the other situations, not many are carrying chairs with them to be able to stop and rest. There's been times I've had to stop and lean against a car and even try to sit on a bumper or something when I've had to make my way through a parking lot. Maybe I should just say to heck with it and use a wheelchair!

Jae_tn, not to get involved in your argument, but saying you wished people wouldn't park in the vandicapped spots gets contradicted when you said "If you notice, there will be a sign in front of the space saying " Van Accessible" and that means not to park there unless you are a van or there is no other space available." I haven't found the law that says that yet, post a link if you know one but the vandicapped spots aren't only for van use. It's that they're van-accessible by my understanding. I am going to keep looking though. Maybe I'll just call DPS and ask them.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

I just wanted to thank whoever posted the reminder not to park in the van accessible spaces if there's an alternative. I've had a handicap permit for 30 years since I had my leg amputated above the knee. Van accessible spaces are a relatively new thing and I'm in the habit of just pulling into the first available space which is sometimes identified for vans but honestly, I don't even notice sometimes. I now pay more attention and I don't park in the van accessible space unless there are no others.


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RE: Disabled Parking Spaces

Cynic, I sure don't think it's a good idea for wheelchairs to go any farther in a parking lot than necessary because they are low and especially hard to see. I find it hard enough to edge out of a spot watching for pedestrians and vehicles--view often blocked by taller trucks/suvs parked on either side. By the time I get where I can see past them, a chair could be behind, unseen.

Not to mention the drivers who barely even look!

And while I'm at it: I just fume when I see some jerk (driver) sitting in his/her car in a handicap spot waiting for someone. They, of all people, should know how hard it is for others. I always remember when every step was agony, and only use those spots when I really need to.


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