Q You must be the proud possessor of a temporary disabled parking permit following your back surgery, as my wife was following her bunion surgery. It changed how we look at parking, disabled parking, poachers and access in general, moving it from merely polite consideration to a sore point. Can we expect an exposé from you on this?
A I have a placard now, but I have not run into many abusers of disabled parking permits. My biggest gripe is how few disabled parking spots there are, especially around medical centers. But many others have more to say, so this is the first of two columns on disabled parking issues.
Q Little did I know that I would now be using handicapped parking. I'm sure you have witnessed the inconsideration of people regarding handicapped spots and the surrounding hash-marked areas. I am sure people are not deliberately being inconsiderate, they just don't understand handicapped parking protocol. May I help educate your readers -- although I'm sure it is like preaching to the choir? Your readers appear to be pretty courteous.
A Of that I am certain. Fire away.
Q Handicapped spaces marked with blue signs are reserved for people who have authorized placards displayed on either their license plate or a
A Linda, you are so right.
Q Comments like, "You look pretty healthy to me. It must be nice to park so close" and "Gee, I didn't know fat was a handicap" are not necessary or appreciated.
These spots are not for the healthy to make a quick stop to pick up a food order, use an ATM or pick up the kids at karate class.
Parking in the hash-marked "no parking" area is also not allowed. I saw a woman park a huge SUV in this area. She overlapped both of the handicapped spaces on either side of her. No one could park in either space. She was just going to the ATM. She was there for eight minutes.
A Keep going.
Q When parking in a space next to a handicapped spot, try not to park right on the line. Many people with disabilities need to open the door fully to exit their vehicle.
They are also not to be used by non-handicapped people borrowing a handicapped person's car. I saw a group of cheerleaders rifling through a car. There were shouts of victory when they found the placard, hung it up and went skipping into the store.
Gary, thank you for letting me have a say. I hope people may have a greater understanding of handicapped parking.
A Me, too.
Q Could you drop a few words in the ears of the people who prefer to leave their empty shopping carts in handicapped spaces after they are done with them? I find this practice baffling. Disabled drivers trying to use these spots are usually the ones least able to get out of their vehicles.
A Yes, the courteous thing is to put grocery carts back in their proper place, and that is not in a disabled parking spot.
Q I was at Fry's in Sunnyvale one Sunday. The first handicap space to the right of the entrance was occupied by an electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf which had no handicap placard or plate displayed. I reported it to the store greeter. When I had finished shopping and came out, the Leaf was still there. Should I have called the Sunnyvale police? I've been there before when it was difficult to find a handicap space, and I think it's quite rude for a non-handicapped person to take the space nearest the entrance.
A Yes, calling Sunnyvale police would have been the right course of action.