Tag Archives: disabled

Woman Launches “Don’t Curb the Access” Campaign

Portrait of young afro american woman yelling into a megaphone on grey background. African female making an announcement with megaphone.A 21-year-old woman from Leicester, England, is getting press for her social media campaign urging drivers to be mindful of wheelchair access routes when they park.

Umaymah Dakri, who has spina bifida, launched an Instagram account to document what happens to her when other drivers park blocking wheelchair routes. #DontCurbTheAccess is gaining attention in both the press and the public.

Meet Umaymah here.

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.

The Accessible Parking Challenge

By Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA

Parking and mobility professionals have the power to make a difference for 30 million (and growing) Americans with disabilities–people who need to park in our communities, campuses, and complexes to live an independent life, but who often circle, circle, circle and go home because accessible parking is not available.

People shared these comments with us in a recent survey:

  • “It all comes down to a lack of kindness and understanding.”
  • “I am a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. Parking is the biggest obstacle in my life!”
  • “Parking issues make me add 90 minutes to my morning commute.”
  • “Street-side accessible parking spaces always assume the disabled person is the passenger. Try having to upload a wheelchair from the driver’s side, getting in and shutting the door while traffic is going by!”
  • “I have no grip or finger dexterity so pulling out tickets at parking garages is impossible.”

Does your on- and off-street parking comply with 2010 ADA Standards and meet all accessibility guidelines? Try putting yourself in the position of a wheelchair user (figuratively and perhaps even literally) and someone with impaired manual dexterity as you take inventory:

  • Would you find it easy to park close to the building?
  • Do you provide the space needed to load and unload a wheelchair safety and easily?
  • Are there streetscape issues (e.g. honor boxes for newspapers, curbs, benches, planters, etc.) that could interfere with mobility?
  • Do your snow and ice removal polices/equipment present any obstacles that interfere with accessible spaces and access aisle markings?
  • Can someone in a wheelchair easily reach–and manipulate–your pay stations and meters using case and credit cards?

This inventory action item is just one of a dozen included in the IPMI-led Accessible Parking Coalition’s soon-to-be-published, Let’s Make Accessible Parking More Accessible: A Practical Guide to Addressing Disabled Placard Abuse and Other Parking Issues for People with Disabilities.

The 24-page guide will be published later this month and will be a practical starting point to help your organization begin to address this issue effectively. It’s full of ideas and real-world examples of how others are making parking more accessible.

The problems related to accessible parking can’t be fixed overnight. This is a complex issue and the APC is a multi-year, multi-platform initiative, but there’s a great deal we can do as an industry if we do it together. More soon!

Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is IPMI’s communications counsel.

Mobility and Societal Considerations: What’s Happening?

More people than ever are enjoying the convenience of shared-mobility services: transportation network companies (TNCs–Uber, Lyft, etc.), bike-share, scooter-share, and other easy ways to get around. Eric Haggett, senior associate with DESMAN and a member of IPMI’s Planning, Design, & Construction Committee, found himself pondering this recently and wondered if there isn’t more to it all than meets the eye:

  • While there are real and potential benefits to society of increasing mobility options, how do we ensure these benefits are available to everyone?
  • Do we care if these options are not available to some groups?
  • If the trend in society is toward mobility-as-a-service, what happens to the segment of society that can’t afford those services or are not physically capable of using them? Will this be yet another way in which the “haves” separate themselves from the “have nots”?

In this month’s The Parking Professional, Haggett breaks down these concerns along with others. How will underbanked or unbanked people use these systems? What about disabled people? And what is our industry’s responsibility, especially while mobility is young?

It’s a great, thought-provoking read: check it out here. And then share your thoughts on Forum: Are these challenges ones our industry should address? And how?

Pennsylvania Toughens Up ADA Parking Regulations

In a move designed to improve access to parking spaces for those with disabilities, the Pennsylvania Senate passed legislation that levies penalties on those who park in a way that blocks curb ramps and access aisles next to them.

Senate Bill 888 now goes to Governor Tom Wolf for his signature. It was passed unanimously by the senate, whose members said they hoped to open access to areas and features that are vital for wheelchair users and others legitimately using parking permits for the disabled.

Read the whole story here.

Gauging Handicap Parking Abuse at the Fair

For the second year, officials conducted handicap parking rules enforcement at the Los Angeles County Fair, and their findings were sobering: 17 percent of those parking in a lot reserved for those with ADA permits were there fraudulently.

Officers checked the placards of 1,955 cars parked in a reserved lot at the fair during four days, and issued 345 citations to drivers using the permits illegally. This was the second year checking permits at the fair; last year, 477 drivers were cited out of 2,754–also about 17 percent.

Read the whole story here. For resources, visit the Accessible Parking Coalition.