Accessible Parking Controversy Raises Questions

accessible parking sign on streetThe Barcelona at Beaverton apartment complex in Beaverton, Ore., offers residents a private parking lot behind the building. Several residents with disabilities recently approached the city asking for on-street spaces to be flagged as accessible and reserved for them by apartment number instead, saying the back lot is too far from their apartments, especially in inclement weather.  And that’s created some controversy: City officials say reserving spaces on the street amounts to privatizing public spots, while disabled residents say the property’s parking lot spaces aren’t really accessible.

The complex includes eight apartments designed for people with disabilities. Four such residents currently live there. They say the curb spaces are just 10 feet from the back door, but they have to travel 300 feet to get to the parking lot’s spots, and some say they then can’t protect their heavy, motorized chairs from the elements. And with a new complex being built across the street, they say they fear not being able to park in what spaces exist near the door.

Read the whole story here. For more information on accessible parking, download “Let’s Make Accessible Parking More Accessible: A Practical Guide to Addressing Disabled Placard Abuse and Other Parking Issues for People with Disabilities,” from the Accessible Parking Coalition.