The Disability QUESTION

The Americans with Disabilities Act turned 20 this week, as I wrote about. Let me tell you one of those disability things that really infuriated me, still infuriates me and it was five or six years ago.

A blind man was crossing the street heading for the local Bruegger’s bakery (at Madison and South Allen, for you locals). I had the sense that he’d made this trip a number of times before. But on this day, some yahoo decided to park his car across the crosswalk. I’m thinking that the driver figured that he’d “only be there a few minutes”. But the blind man was terribly disoriented walking into the car, and I was too far away from him to help. The kicker is that – lazy jerk! – there was a parking space three car lengths away.

I’ve seen other cars park there subsequently and it never fails to irritate. It’s particularly problematic when there is snow on the ground, and those folks with walkers and canes have to maneuver around these turkeys. Ditto to those people who park a second car so that it blocks the sidewalk.

I’ve actually given more than passing thought of making up faux parking tickets to stick on their windshields, with a message, “Hey schmuck: If this were a real ticket, your inconsideration would cost you $50.”

Any of you have pet peeves regarding the way selfish folks make it more difficult for the disabled? (And the rest of us: damn car parked across the sidewalk in winter makes me slip/slide into the street!)

0 thoughts on “The Disability QUESTION”

  1. I don’t know how it works in the US, but in the UK we have a system of parking permits for people with disabilities which allows parking in restricted areas and in designated bays. Sadly it is widely abused. Some use a relative’s permit, often when that relative is deceased, or they get permits when they don’t really need one. Some even buy stolen permits to avoid parking charges.

    The problem is that it makes everyone else pretty cynical and you assume that someone using a permit is a fake unless their disability is plain to see.


  2. Here in Canada we have parking permits for people with disabilities which allows parking in restricted areas too. It always annoys me when someone without a disability parks in that spot.


  3. Hi Roger,

    Since I have become handicapped with limited strength and use of my legs and feet I’ve become aware of the many abuses of handicapped parking permits. It’s fuuny, even though I can only walk around 100 yards or so before having to stop and re-group whenever I see an open handicapped spot and regular parking closeby I always take the regular spot with the thought that there may be another handicapped person who may need the spot. It does gall me when on campus I see a perfectly fit and healthy 20 something student take a handicapped spot. Nassau County has a volunteer program where an individual can report illegal use of a handicapped permit and report it to the police who will take further action. There is a training period. Enough rambling… Have a great weekend !


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