Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't park in that handicap ramp space!

According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Handicap Accessible Parking Regulations:

Van Accessible Spaces must provide an access aisle that is at least 8 feet wide next to the van parking space to permit a person using a wheelchair or scooter to exit or enter a van with a side-mounted lift.

And yes, that access space is always clearly marked with boldly striped markings on the ground. However, you will often see another vehicle with or without a disability parking plate/placard parked in that loading space without any regard for anyone else.

You know what this means? The wheelchair driver has no choice but to wait for the other driver to return and move their vehicle so they can use their ramp or side-mounted lift!

Lately we have noticed this over and over again, especially at different Walmarts we have been at. Finally fed up with it, and angry about people being inconsiderate of our van with a ramp & the clearly marked Handicap decals on the van stating that we need atleast 8 ft space so we can use our ramp (in addition to our handicap plates), we decided to "do" something about it.

We were at a Walmart recently and parked in the end aisle spot with the striped markings on the ground where our ramp would extend out. We're thinking "great! now we will have no problem getting back in!" HA. When we came out of Walmart, there was an SUV parked right on top of those boldly striped lines. I really could not believe it. I mean I see it all the time, but how rude! I would barely be able to get in the van passenger seat from the outside of the van, so forget about extending the ramp for our scooters.

That was it. We had had enough. We went right back into Walmart and complained. They paged for the owner of the vehicle, but no one showed up. Walmart would not call the police to ticket the vehicle, so we did. The state police came and the owner of the vechicle was paged AGAIN. We waited for another 20 minutes or so at the front of the Walmart near their SUV.

The trooper asked us how long we had been waiting. By this point, it had been almost an hour. My husband spied a woman coming out on a Walmart scooter and sure enough, this was her. She said her daughter had dropped her off and went to a nearby shop in the strip mall and must have parked it there; it wasn't her fault and she shouldn't get a ticket. He told the woman to move the vehicle to the front of Walmart so we could get in our van...and he proceeded to write her a ticket.

We loaded up and counted it a victory for all the handicap drivers who have had to wait for an inconsiderate, dare I say selfish driver, who parks on the ramp aisle access lines without regard or care for anyone else.

Oh yeah, and on a side note, she drove off from Walmart without her "daughter" who supposedly parked the SUV there, not her.