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Thread: Valet Parking Problem

  1. #1

    Valet Parking Problem

    Perhaps this forum is as good as any to post this.

    Last week I had an appointment at a clinic a couple hours drive from our town. Traffic was horrendous and we arrived at the clinic with little time to spare before my appointment. NL drove to the front of the building and pulled into the valet parking queue. The parking attendant told us we couldn't use valet parking services because management would not allow attendants to drive wheelchair accessible converted vehicles. His solution was to drop me off in front of the clinic, have NL drive to and park in the main parking garage, a five minute drive away and take a free shuttle bus back to the clinic to meet me for my appointment. When we were ready to leave, we would have to reverse the process.

    Five minute drive away, park, wait for the shuttle that runs on a schedule, not on demand, five minute drive to the clinic (or longer because the shuttle stops at several buildings). By the time NL got to the clinic, I was finished with my appointment. The doctor was running on time because of a cancellation. So reverse the process. Amazing!

    Our Honda Odyssey is a VMI conversion, factory driver's seat, and no hand controls.

    I have written the Parking and Transportation Services management at the facility. Awaiting a reply. More to come.

  2. #2
    You specifically wrote management said "wheelchair accessible converted vehicles" and noted yours is factory drivers seat and no hand controls. How did you keep your temper?
    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.

  3. #3
    Mechanics never complain about the hand controls. Because that would be turning down business. But sometimes their employees complain. See how that works?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saint Petersburg , Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Perhaps this forum is as good as any to post this.

    Last week I had an appointment at a clinic a couple hours drive from our town. Traffic was horrendous and we arrived at the clinic with little time to spare before my appointment. NL drove to the front of the building and pulled into the valet parking queue. The parking attendant told us we couldn't use valet parking services because management would not allow attendants to drive wheelchair accessible converted vehicles. His solution was to drop me off in front of the clinic, have NL drive to and park in the main parking garage, a five minute drive away and take a free shuttle bus back to the clinic to meet me for my appointment. When we were ready to leave, we would have to reverse the process.

    Five minute drive away, park, wait for the shuttle that runs on a schedule, not on demand, five minute drive to the clinic (or longer because the shuttle stops at several buildings). By the time NL got to the clinic, I was finished with my appointment. The doctor was running on time because of a cancellation. So reverse the process. Amazing!

    Our Honda Odyssey is a VMI conversion, factory driver's seat, and no hand controls.

    I have written the Parking and Transportation Services management at the facility. Awaiting a reply. More to come.
    That definitely doesn't sound right. We have been to a lot of places that offer valet parking and we have never been told that they weren't allowed to valet our van. Especially at a clinic!

  5. #5
    i have been told by valet of america that they cannot drive cars with hand controls on it.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saint Petersburg , Florida
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    906
    Quote Originally Posted by Smashms View Post
    i have been told by valet of america that they cannot drive cars with hand controls on it.
    I can understand that. My brother use to work for a company that built/repaired wheelchair vans and he said that if there was damage to the van most of the time it was caused by someone who had never used hand controls before. gjnl stated that their van had the factory drivers seat and no hand controls. So it doesn't make any sense for them not to valet their van.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Perhaps this forum is as good as any to post this.

    Last week I had an appointment at a clinic a couple hours drive from our town. Traffic was horrendous and we arrived at the clinic with little time to spare before my appointment. NL drove to the front of the building and pulled into the valet parking queue. The parking attendant told us we couldn't use valet parking services because management would not allow attendants to drive wheelchair accessible converted vehicles. His solution was to drop me off in front of the clinic, have NL drive to and park in the main parking garage, a five minute drive away and take a free shuttle bus back to the clinic to meet me for my appointment. When we were ready to leave, we would have to reverse the process.

    Five minute drive away, park, wait for the shuttle that runs on a schedule, not on demand, five minute drive to the clinic (or longer because the shuttle stops at several buildings). By the time NL got to the clinic, I was finished with my appointment. The doctor was running on time because of a cancellation. So reverse the process. Amazing!

    Our Honda Odyssey is a VMI conversion, factory driver's seat, and no hand controls.

    I have written the Parking and Transportation Services management at the facility. Awaiting a reply. More to come.

    That's pretty common most "valet" parking services are 3rd party companies and they have every right to refuse service if they dont feel comfortable.

    Our hospital uses them to manage traffic and congestion but it sounds like the person was nice enough to let you be dropped off in front too.

    Most WC vans are factory seating so that's a moot point.

    It sounds more like frustration because traffic made you behind, I would rather have someone be honest and say they dont feel comfortable or a policy in place on a WC van due to cost if they damaged it.

    Then drive is an cause an issue.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    619
    I call complete and utter bullshit. They can feel uncomfortable, sure, but they don't have to use the hand control and then they can drive like normal. Apparently the hand control is equivalent to a button that reads Do Not Press.
    This is just another fine example of the shit we put up with on a daily basis. This scenario does not have to be different for us,
    Rollin' since '89. Complete C8

  9. #9
    UPDATE

    It has taken some time, a bit of research, and a number of emails to get my complaint to the group responsible for parking at the clinic. But today, I got a phone call from an operations manager with the parking group who manages valet parking for this facility. The caller offered profuse apologies and explained what he thinks must have happened.

    This clinic's parking services are within the university's healthcare group, not the university's transportation and parking group that serves the rest of the campus. A third party organization manages parking at the main hospital and associated medical clinics. The policy of this parking management group is that they will not drive vehicles that have modifications to the drive and braking systems (hand controls). When the valet parkers encounter a vehicle that does have hand controls and/or no driver's seat (yes, some drivers do drive from their wheelchair, therefore no seat at the driving position), they are instructed to guide the driver to a valet parking space within the valet lot, and move other cars to allow access to the handicapped driver, so that the driver can park his/her own car, close to the clinic (this clinic, due to construction in the area is all valet parking). There are no handicapped parking spaces. Since my van does not have hand controls and has a factory drivers seat in place, the valet parker should have parked our van, offering us the same service that any other visitors to this clinic is offered.

    My view is that the valet who refused to park our van saw the blue parking placard, saw me, in my chair (albeit the rider's side), and assumed that he could not drive any converted/modified van under the rules he had been given. Possibly the rules he had been given were not written very well and were too vague and training was inadequate. I was told that the parking management group is rewriting this policy to make it clearer and avoid similar problems in the future. The valets will be instructed to ask questions about the vehicle, not just assume that there are modifications to the driving and braking systems.

    The manager I spoke with today, apologized repeatedly for the problem we encountered. He said he knew there was no way he could compensate me for the difficulties caused and barriers placed in my way, He offered to send me several free parking vouchers that I can use on subsequent visits to these medical facilities.

    When parking services are offered to the general driving public, it is the responsibility of the management group to make reasonable accommodation for the handicapped driver.

    While it took some time to get someone to address these concerns, I think it was a worthwhile exercise. The management group recognized that their training and awareness were not adequate and resulted in what amounted to discrimination. I guess if we all take on these little battles when they occur, we can hope to make things better one step at a time. The problem is, I've taken a lot of these steps over 35 years...progress is so slow.
    Last edited by gjnl; 07-06-2018 at 06:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Thank you for the time you spent on this and how well you handled your communications with the parking company. I am sure that your efforts will not only help you, but other drivers/passengers with disabilities who frequent this clinic.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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