To Park or Not to Park?

Trying to find handicapped parking can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The Americans with Disabilities Act has regulations for the number of accessible spaces for a parking lot. Unfortunately, only one handicapped space is required for a parking lot with 25 spaces. At times, it’s nearly impossible to have a place to park with so few spaces available and the increased demand.When going to Walmart, it’s very likely that I won’t get a spot near the front of the store. I usually park farther away from the entrance. Often times, shopping carts are left in the access aisles, or even worse, people believe that they can park in those areas.

diagram of wheelchair access aisle

diagram of wheelchair access aisle

Access aisles provide additional space for people with wheelchairs and other mobility devices to have enough room to enter and exit their vehicles. If I see someone leave their  shopping cart in the aisle or park their vehicle in the aisle, I’ll ask them not to park there.

The car is partially in the access aisle and blocking the use of my ramp

The car is partially in the access aisle and blocking the use of my ramp

A few months ago, I parked in a handicapped parking space at the hospital and was able to get my wheelchair out without any problems. However, when I returned, there was a car parked too close and I couldn’t get my chair back into the van. A public safety officer was able to look up the owner of the car by the license plate and located the driver. She was asked to re-position her vehicle within that space since she was properly using her handicapped placard.

South Carolina has implemented new legislation stating that placards will have a photo of the intended user. Fines have increased to deter potential violators from parking in these places simply because it’s more convenient. Please help spread the word about the importance of accessible parking for those who really need it.

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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5 Responses to To Park or Not to Park?

  1. Barbara Delia says:

    Great Job Alex….


  2. Susan Newman says:

    Thanks Alex!! Here’s a link to info on accessible parking regulations from the SC DMV. website.


  3. Yay Alex, ADA stuff!!!!Sometimes when I have to squeeze back into my van, my wheelchair may roll backwards (accidentally of course). I never know what my push handles may do to the side of the persons car…….I’ve had to learn how to do a wheelie and a 90 degree turn from the side of my ramp. I’ve also given complete strangers my car keys to back my van up. Great job Alex!


  4. Beverly Waller says:

    Hi Alex. Aunt Kathy’s friend here. I’m a little late responding but I heartily agree. Kudos for letting that person know that in the future, they should be a bit more careful about the way they park. Your blog is making others aware as well. Take care, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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