Handicap Parking

The ADA was passed to ensure that all citizens have equal access to goods and services. For every 25 spaces in a parking lot, 1 parking spot must be designated for those with a physical disability near the entrance of the building. Disabled parking spots must be labeled with a sign mounted 60 inches above the ground. Wheelchair users, those who use walkers and other devices need plenty of space. An accessible parking space means having room on either side of the vehicle for the person with a disability.

Van accessible parking spaces should be 8 feet in width and have an access lane that is 8 feet wide also. Handicap spaces designated for cars should be 5 feet wide. Handicap spaces are usually painted white or yellow in places. The entire parking space may even be painted entirely blue with the handicap symbol white.

Handicapped is defined as persons who are blind, have a limited ability to walk, are parents of a handicapped child or any organizations that transport handicapped persons. So, have you ever went somewhere and had to drive around a parking lot looking for an empty handicap space to find them all TAKEN? Frustrating, right?? And what makes me even more mad is to find a person who DOES NOT need it to be the one who is occupying that spot. I understand there are people in this world who have invisible disabilities and need them. But, when someone takes the spot, gets out of their vehicle and walks and acts like there is NOTHING wrong with that person, then that is a PROBLEM!

Handicap parking spaces are NOT for individuals who want to be lazy! They are not for the individuals who don’t want to walk the extra steps to the door of the store, restaurant or wherever that person may be. Handicap parking is not for those who just sit there while their able-bodied person goes in the store or wherever. Those who use walkers, crutches and wheelchairs NEED the handicap spaces. Why do we need them? Because we do not move around like a healthy able body person.

We take extra time to get out of the car and then to get from point A to point B. Secondly, those who are in wheelchairs are SHORTER in the wheelchair than they would be walking. So, when they are trying to get to the place they need to be cars are not going to see them as they are backing up or crossing the streets. Those who have no disabilities may not even realize this. I am here to tell you that it is a struggle to get to somewhere safely when we are parked far away.

Before you decide to use a handicap parking spot, ask yourself a couple questions. Do I really need to use this spot? Is the person who is disabled with me? If both of those questions are answered with a NO, then don’t use the parking space. Let someone who really needs to use the space, use it. It’s better to do the right thing than to pay a fine between $250.00 and $1,000.00 fine.