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Thread: Why don't handicapped people have to feed the parking meters?

  1. #11
    Not to mention traveling all the way down the street to the curb cut, coming all the way back up the sidewalk to the meter to put the coins in. It is not like we can squeeze between the car and jump on the curb to pay like anyone else.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  2. #12
    Free parking for those who have a placard exists in Belgium, too. The reason, I think, is the same reason wheelchair users get a discount at my local theater: it is perfectly possible for us to go see a movie (as it is perfectly possible for us to own and drive a car), but we are limited in what we can do with a movie ticket (or a car), except where special arrangements have been made.

    At my cinema, not all of the theaters are wheelchair-accessible: some require one to take the stairs. And in those that are accessible, wheelers always sit in the front row, getting a sore neck from looking up all the time. Given all that, I think few people would argue that we need to pay full price.

    In a way, it's the same with parking. It's not always possible for us to park wherever we want. If an AB finds no parking anywhere close to where he needs to be, he can drive around the block until he finds a spot, even if that means he has to walk a little further. When a wheelchair user finds no accessible parking, then that person is simply doomed to stay in the car. He often doesn't have the option of parking further down the road, even if there *are* accessible spaces there, because for some of us, outdoor mobility is very nearly an insurmountable hurdle. This is doubly true for the mobility-impaired who do not use a wheelchair.

    Public transport might be a viable alternative for AB's who think parking is too expensive, but for gimps like us, figuring out how much of our local public transit system
    will be accessible is often a Herculean task all by itself. Public transport companies seldom provide clear information on this issue, either in print or online, and when you ask the staff, they usually don't know.

    Maybe there is an argument to be made for the notion that not all wheelchair users (or people who are otherwise impaired in their mobility) are equally unable to park in regular spots in a pinch, or equally unable to use parking meters. But this is a very difficult distinction to make, and it depends on payment options existing state-wide, even for those who can't reach conventional parking meters that are too high off the ground to be used by any wheeler.

    To the original writer of this letter, I would say: try life with epidural anesthesia at around T8 for a few days, or with limbs that almost never immediately obey you (although that is harder to emulate). After that, let's talk about parking again.

  3. #13
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Have to pay here in Ontario as far as I've experienced - wheelchair or not.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #14
    We only pay to the private parking companies so more than half of the places are free. I think that is fair as long as we can't use public transport and have to drive.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  5. #15
    Thanks everyone for your input. It will be interesting to see if this letter gets responses from local readers. I'll keep you posted.

    All the best,

  6. #16
    Senior Member TheAbleChef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    As far as I know, you have to pay for parking. But from time to time, I do see someone with a disabled parking permit that is not disabled. It's possible they might have someone disabled in their family but they're still using it wrongfully.
    Never Give Up!

  7. #17
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    North Carolina, USA
    It makes me crazy when people mix up the issues of a) abuse of placards and b) "privileges" that having a placard entitles one to. In the case of "a", that's totally unrelated to the person's question and should be noted as such in the paper. In the case of "b" in this particular instance, I think that having free parking at meters is fair because in many times, one cannot park in a ramp because the vehicle doesnt fit (our van is 9' tall and very few parking ramps accommodate that height) and it is normally far cheaper to park in a ramp than to feed a meter. Meters are intended for short term parking - an hour or so. Which leads to the second point, returning back and forth to feed the meter IS a significant hardship for those who legitimately have a placard due to mobility issues (whatever those may be, ranging from being unable to walk long distances or using a wheelchair, or whatever). No, not all wheelchair users need extra time to return the feed a meter, but some if not most do, and as such the only reasonable thing to do is to allow meters to be free for the disabled.

    THe last reason is that it SUCKS to be disabled so its nice to for once catch a break!! Everything in life is more expensive if you are disabled. Its nice that meters are free. This argument will not fly with the AB crowd though, at least not the AB who wrote the letter. After all, I am AB.

    ETA: one last thought .... I always want to tell people like that to get back to me when THEY break their neck. Or when their wife/brother/friend does. Something tells me they'd be a bit less worried about how unfair it is that h/c people get free parking. Geesh.

  8. #18
    Senior Member zagam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Western Australia - Hammer wielding daemon
    The meters/ticket machines may not be quad, CP, etc. friendly.

    Should paras have to pay?

    Not if kerbing between me and ticket machine is over 50mm. I won't bust myself or my rims.

    You gan get a hardship exemption from the DDA, but that hardship must be proven. You can't just say it is required for safety or security.

  9. #19
    Wait, so the whole state of California I don't have to pay parking meters??? That's pretty awesome.

    Where I live I still have to pay parking meters, but if you mash the blue wheelchair symbol on the meter they will give you extra time (at time limited meters) for extra money of course, which seems a reasonable accommodation.

    I went to visit my parents and found out that the meters in the city they live were free all day long (even the time limited meters) for ppl with handicap placards.... Didn't find this out until after I had been putting money in meters for days and days because I didn't know some towns give different exceptions than others. Now I have to google on my phone for five or ten minutes whenever I'm in a new town to figure out whether or not I can park at the meter and whether or not I have to pay.

  10. #20
    we get 4 hours of free metered parking in virginia.

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