In recent months I have been noticing that cars have been parking in the wheelchair van parking spots at local merchants. Now, these cars have handicapped drivers and that's fine, but they make it difficult for customers that are confined to a wheelchair to find a parking spot that provides ample space to exit their vehicle. The American Disabilities Act regulations state that wheelchair van parking spots must have a wider aisle than regular handicap parking spots to accommodate a wheelchair lift or ramp.
I have a stepfather who is handicapped from a swimming accident. He is paralyzed from the chest down and he has limited use of his upper body. One of our goals after the accident was to buy him a wheelchair van. A couple of years ago we finally reached that goal.
Nothing is more aggravating than seeing the wheelchair van parking spot taken up by a car. It's even more frustrating to drive around the parking lot looking for a parking spot that can provide us with enough space for my stepdad to use because someone is taking up the wheel chair van parking spot.
Now one would find it very difficult in these situations to keep calm. I do my best to be polite and ignore this, because not everyone stops to think about it. I would like to say that my mother is civil and turns the other cheek. But she sometimes finds this difficult to do. Every time she sees a car in these spots with either a driver in it or getting in, she politely reminds them who the parking spot is really designated for.
It would be nice if there was an unwritten rule amongst the handicapped drivers that wheel chair van parking spots are for wheel chair vans only.
It even says van right on the parking spot. It would be nice to start issuing special permits to be able to park in these spots.
Ty Miller is a Fredonia resident.