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Thread: Van Accessible Perking Spaces

  1. #1
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    Van Accessible Perking Spaces

    I would like to begin this rant with a quote from a fridge magnet that a friend of mine has. It says that there is special place in heaven for mothers of three boys.

    There is also a special place in hell for those who take van accessible spaces who do not need them. I have the responsibility of driving a full sized van with a raised roof (required for head clearance for my son) and a side ramp for loading and unloading. Too often, we arrive at our destination only to find that there is no SAFE place for us to park. When we cannot use the van accessible spaces, we are forced to park where there is an empty space adjacent for discharging. This not only does not assure us that we will be able to load (no one reads the sign that says please leave space for loading), but also put Ry at significant risk when crossing the parking lot as people in general are more focused on their phones that they are in where they are driving. We have had too many close calls.

    If you can use a regular space (even if eligible for placard parking) and the only thing available is a van space, do you use the van space or leave it for someone who need the extra space?
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

  2. #2
    I quit driving about three years ago but certainly feel your pain. My first van was full-sized with a side lift. Even when I parked in the end spot of a parking row someone would park beside me on the yellow lines. When I got my second van, It was full-sized and I had the lift put on the back. That pretty much solved my problem. I used non-handicapped parking places unless it was pouring down rain to leave them for people who had greater need than me. There was some risk of getting hit when the ramp was out but I had that problem with my side lift. In one instance a taxi drove over the side lift when my wife was picking me up at a hospital entrance. Parking lots are really dangerous for people using wheelchairs.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
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    I have been driving a full sized van most of the time alone for 30 years and very seldom get any kind of handicapped parking spot. There is no curtsy, no one cares!
    ^^(A)^^

  4. #4
    I drive a van with a lift. I think the problem of folks monopolizing the van spaces will be somewhat resolved when states decide to issue a plate/card specifically for vans with lifts/ramps; in addition the 'van accessible' sign could be a different color. Violators could get a ticket.
    There are so many placards issued now - people who can walk may well need them, but those folks in vans need a unique spot to deploy their lifts/ramps.
    Yes, I often see cars parked in van spots.

  5. #5
    I park in a van spot if it's all that's left. Your situation really doesn't seem all that bad to me. If I'm on my own and I park my car in a regular space and someone parks too close beside me, I'm screwed. There's nothing I can do about it short of track down whoever parked next to me and ask them to move, or have a stranger back my car out for me using the hand controls (done this a couple times with some spectacularly dangerous results). From your description of your problem it sounds like you are AB, so worst case scenario you'd have to back the van out first and then deploy the ramp...

    That being said, if it's a parking lot with lots of islands and curbs, I'm just as happy to park next to a curb where I know no one will park next to me... I don't need to be up front.

    I could definitely see the frustration of someone who uses a vehicle with a side ramp to drive them self... that's gotta be miserable finding a parking space and not getting blocked in. I'd bring orange cones and mark off the spaces whenever I needed to.

  6. #6
    I agree with Funklab as far as needing the extra space next to my drivers side when on my own to get my wheelchair in and out of the car. I have driven a full size van with a side lift and also a minivan with a side ramp. I got tired of dealing with the space needed to deploy the ramps and now am driving a car. There is many times when I choose to park out in the parking lot especially at the grocery store where I can park next to a cart drop off and not have to worry about anybody parking next to me. You need to look at the big picture and keep in mind that some of the cars parked handicap need to have the lined off spots and are not just parking their because they can. I think the most frustrating thing about handicap parkers are when they think the lined off area is a spot and jam their cars in them with no regards to the ones parking legally.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lisamae4 View Post
    I think the most frustrating thing about handicap parkers are when they think the lined off area is a spot and jam their cars in them with no regards to the ones parking legally.
    I like this... one of the guilty pleasures in my life is to give their car (the one parked on the white lines) a good bashing with my door as I attempt to get in (whether or not I am successful), then leaving a little note on their window letting them know that I bashed their car trying to get into mine and kindly informing them that you're not supposed to park on the hashmarks. I leave my phone number... but they never seem to call.

  8. #8
    Forrest Gump said it, a parking lot is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    I like this... one of the guilty pleasures in my life is to give their car (the one parked on the white lines) a good bashing with my door as I attempt to get in (whether or not I am successful), then leaving a little note on their window letting them know that I bashed their car trying to get into mine and kindly informing them that you're not supposed to park on the hashmarks. I leave my phone number... but they never seem to call.
    All of this.....yes.
    Many times when I deploy the ramp it is done as soon as we get close to our parking spot. Sometimes we have no idea that someone parked next to the ramp and their car gets a little bump from the ramp and/or a little powerchair bump because it looked "do-able." Oh well.

  10. #10
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    Well, "Funklab" I really hope you do not choose to park in the lot adjacent to my son's physiatrist's office. I will have no problem deploying my ramp on top of your car. Cars can park in the garage which is not only covered, but attended to ensure security. I cannot park in the garage as I need at least a 9 foot clearance and the garage entrance at Norfolk General is only 6'8".

    Have you even been run over by a car in the parking lot? We have too many close calls. We do not park because it is close but where it is safe. At the grocery, we park in front of the bar in the shopping center because they are not busy in the mid-afternoon and he can get on the sidewalk and be safe. The nether regions of the lot may look like an option until some airhead on the phone runs you over because they are not looking for anyone lower to the ground like a wheelchair.--eak
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

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