Handicapped Parking

Handicapped Parking Sign

I have the utmost respect for those that are disabled, which is why what I saw today seriously bothered me.

I just returned from Fry’s, and the parking lot was, as usual for a weekend, full. Fry’s has a large parking lot, so finding a space is not an issue. The problem is that you might have to walk a little bit, which is certainly fine for me considering that it’s a regular occurence when I’m looking for parking at UH.

However, other people seem to take advantage of the handicapped parking available at the front of the store. Almost all the handicapped spots were taken. To be fair, all of the vehicles I saw had a handicapped placard in their window. However, I walked around much of the store and didn’t see anyone that seemed to actually be in any way disabled. Granted, I understand that some people need these placards for disabilities that are not immediately recognizable. As I was leaving Fry’s though, I saw 2 young people that clearly did not need a handicapped placard sit in their vehicle that was parked in a handicapped spot and leave. This is not the first time that I’ve seen this happen.

The reason this is an issue to me is not because I would rather park closer; rather, it has to do with the fact that if a person that truly needs a closer handicapped spot comes to Fry’s and all the spots are full, they are inconvenienced into having to travel a longer distance. This is not fair, and I think that people that take advantage of these spots on a busy day should be ashamed of themselves.

10 Comments so far

  1. HouDog (unregistered) on October 29th, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

    Just FYI – there are some people with disabilities that are not outwardly obvious – such as my mother’s disc problem in her back which you cannot see, but is extremely painful if she has to walk for extended periods. Her handicapped hang tag is well-deserved – the young people you saw could have a similar situation.


  2. Hesam (unregistered) on October 29th, 2005 @ 4:54 pm

    Chris,

    That’s something that I made sure to mention in my post. I realize that it’s highly possible that those people did in fact have a disability, but my guess is that there are people out there that take advantage of the fact that their relatives may be able to get them placards. This has happened before in my school, and that’s why I assumed (possibly wrongly) that the younger people may be taking advantage of the situation. Let’s hope that I’m making a mistake.

    In any case, I’m sure that there are instances where this abuse does actually happen, and this is why I wanted to point in out.


  3. Fyre (unregistered) on October 29th, 2005 @ 5:55 pm

    As somsone who has been repeatedly yelled at, because I park in handicapped spaces (with a tag, even); I’ll simply say this.

    I’m glad you mentioned the “not immediately obvious” aspect of things. Many times, I will park in a handicapped spot, and do my thing, come back out, and never have a problem. More often, however, I will go do my thing and my left ankle will start hurting terribly, or will start “going out,” making it harder to walk without “locking” my leg.

    Now I always try to find a non-handicapped parking space, close to the doors. Often, I can’t, so I use the tag. At least once week, somewhere, someone will complain to/at me, or even be downright nasty, when they see me walk out and get in my truck. Had one guy threaten me (thankfully, within earshot of a Sheriff’s deputy. heh. idiot) with physical harm, should he ever see me in a handicapped space, again.

    I’m not trashing you, Hesam… Not at all. I’m just saying, to EVERYONE: You don’t know if people need their tag. More handicaps are NOT readily apparent than ones that are.

    If you want to get upset at people, get pissed at the ones who don’t have a tag (but, please.. ask them, first, if they have one. They may, like I do on occasion, have simple forgotten to hang it up).


  4. Hesam (unregistered) on October 29th, 2005 @ 6:31 pm

    That’s crazy. I don’t think I’d ever actually bother saying anything to anyone, much less yell at them.

    I guess maybe the problem is smaller than it seems..


  5. Steelsun (unregistered) on October 30th, 2005 @ 7:38 pm

    What about those people that have the Placards in those large duallies or jeeps with lift kits?

    Geesh, if you can climb up into those things, you can walk the extra 50 feet.


  6. LessCowbell (unregistered) on October 31st, 2005 @ 8:32 am

    What about those people that have the Placards in those large duallies or jeeps with lift kits?

    They may be MENTALLY handicapped! :D


  7. Jim Kiser (unregistered) on November 1st, 2005 @ 9:15 am

    I have been in a wheelchair my whole life and this discussion has pushed one of my hot buttons. The concept of “wheelchair” parking came about because anyone attepmting to enter or exit a vehicle needs extra space. Unforunately they put these spaces in prime parking spots so they became the envy of some so they got the definition expanded so anyone that wants a placard can get one.

    I understand that some people have limited walking range but I have to wonder what they would do if handicapped parking didn’t exist. Use a cane or crutches? Buy a folding scooter that fits in the trunk?

    I do sometimes have to park way out in the lot in an attempt to get enough room for my ramp but I invariably have someone park next to me and block my access. That is the original purpose of these spaces.

    As for what you saw with the young people, I sometimes ask why someone has a placard and usually they say they take grandma shopping at Christmas time, or some such. Some people consider finding a way to use handicapped parking a game and are proud of themselves, so your displeasure is probably justified.


  8. Barbara (unregistered) on November 4th, 2005 @ 6:56 pm

    One thing to remember is people from all economic backgrounds have disabilities. My mom didn’t drive a Hummer, but does drive a town car – honestly as much for the extra leg room for my dad (he was very tall) as for the desire to have a nice car. He was 80, in a wheelchair – very obvious why they used the handicapped parking space.

    But my sister, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 34 gets a lot of rude comments. Some people (not all) tend to think only older people have disabilities. Some days she can walk with a cane, other days it’s a wheelchair so it’s not always obvious. But she gets tired so easily, which makes it even harder on her that she really needs to use the handicapped spot. I know she doesn’t sometimes – I think the comments really get to her after a while.


  9. katya (unregistered) on November 21st, 2005 @ 5:10 pm
  10. Dougalas Vaughn Jr (unregistered) on November 26th, 2005 @ 5:41 am

    This is a very big hot button issue with me ! When my mother got older she only had 1/4 of a lung and she did not want a sticker , yea she could have gotten one . She felt there was people out there who needed it more . I have seen people use the spaces who I knew personally did not need them and I TOLD THEM WHAT I THOUGHT ! Infact my Dad got a sticker after a operation he had and his girlfriend got one because of his operation . He never rides in her car and never will , she just wanted the good parking . I agree some people may not look like they need the sticker , but odds are if they are young and look in good health they don’t need it ! I think more people should ask people parking in handycap if they really need it , in a polite manner .



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