Parking Wars spark controversy

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Handicap parking thieves take disabled parking spaces away from those with actual disabilities.

Betsy Sparks, sociology major, pulled into the Rose State parking lot looking for a place to park. What Sparks witnessed was someone pulling into a handicap parking space and running off into a building.

“When people without disabilities take up these places, it makes it hard for people with disabilities to get to their classes on time,” Sparks said.

Sparks disability requires her to use crutches to get from place to place around campus.

“I am going to be getting a wheelchair soon, and having to pull it out of the car from a regular space is going to be difficult,” Sparks said.

There are various techniques for getting in and out of a vehicle with a wheelchair.  Some people find it easier to get into the passenger side of the vehicle, then slide into the driver seat, and then pull in their wheel chair. This difficulty is compounded when attempting to do it within a regular, narrow parking space.

“When students with disabilities enroll into the college I think the school should put a handicap symbol on their parking hang tag or give them a sticker to put in the window,” Sparks said, “So that the campus police can distinguish between who really has a handicap and those who don’t.”

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Parking spaces required to be accessible:
Accessible parking spaces serving a particular 
building shall be located on the shortest accessible
 route of travel from adjacent parking to an 
accessible entrance.

Accessible parking spaces shall be at
least 96 in (2440 mm) wide. 
Parking access aisles shall be part
 of an accessible route to the building or
facility entrance.

Parked vehicle overhangs shall not reduce
the clear width of an accessible route. 
Parking spaces and access aisles shall be level
 with surface slopes not exceeding 2% 
in all directions.

Accessible parking spaces shall be designated 
as reserved by a sign showing the symbol of 
accessibility. For vans a "Van-Accessible" mounted
 below the symbol of accessibility is required.

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