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Wednesday, 22 May 2013


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Your encounter with the handicapped truck driver reminded me of Walter Mosley who writes books I like. Imagine you've met Easy Rawlins and Leonid McGill.

Well normally I greatly respect Ctein take on things (allthough I do not always agree)....but this time I can tell you a priori that (as a Gimp-user) I couldn't care less :-)....sorry Ctein, no hard feelings I hope.

Greets, Ed.

There's nothing wrong with doing nothing much now and then. In fact, it's probably good for us.

My sister-in-law managed to convince an incompetent doctor to grant her a handicap parking permit on the basis of a largely phony syndrome, one of many she seems to contract when it's convenient. Her ailments disappear when inside a shopping mall, I've noticed repeatedly, but that walk from the car to the mall door seems to cause no end of pain, according to her. One day, with me and others on board and her husband driving, we pulled into a handicap spot in a grocery store parking lot. Then, HE got out of the car to go buy the milk. I asked her why we were in a reserved spot and she said she had a handicap permit, completely missing the point of my question. My father was partly disabled from a stroke and had one of those permits, so I have not much sympathy for the moral cripples of the world.

Perhaps an urban myth, but a police stakeout of non disabled parkers abusing allocated spaces revealed that many had outstanding warrants, unlicenced/uninsured vehicles etc

Thank you for the "moral cripple" remark. I may use that line.

My wife is disabled and really struggles to get anywhere on her feet. A bit of thoughtless on the part of someone who takes a disabled parking spot when they're not entitled means my wife often faces a difficult, painful ordeal. And taking that spot with the motor running while you're waiting for someone is no excuse. It makes things just as difficult for my wife or anyone like her. (What. Did you think she'd jump out of the car and come around to your window to ask you to move? She's disabled for chrissakes!)

Join the most important grassroots movement in the history of mankind!
You Park Stupid!

We may very well have the largest public collection of bad parking photos extant!

Our motto: Making a better world, one parking spot at a time!

Well, some intersections have cameras to catch red light violations. Why not have a camera on the HC sign pole (with a polarizing filter of course) to photograph the HC card through the front window. Then just send the citation to the jerks house.

I once lived across the street from a large grocery store on a busy street (Chicago suburbs) and if your car was waiting in the "No Parking or Standing" zone in front of the store (e.g., while your spouse ran in "just for a minute" for a jug of milk) any passing police car that spotted you would immediately pull up and write out a full ticket--no ifs, ands, or buts. It was great.

I asked a local cop about it once, and he said, "'No Parking or Standing' means exactly what it says, for everybody. If they know that we're just going to tell them to move along and go find a parking space, they'll pull the same stunt tomorrow or the next day, when we're not around. But if they know that any cop driving by the store might whip into the parking lot in the blink of an eye and fine them $150 on the spot, they don't usually try it again." Too bad more towns don't do this.

Bill, you are Bill. Bill has a spinal cord injury, Bill is not a spinal cord injury. I'm not trying to be rude, it's an important distinction.

Whenever I get a chance to challenge some idiot who is AB and parks in a handicapped spot I take it. I have several friends who need these spots and it REALLY pisses me off when they are needlessly used.

I saw someone who would put a note on their windshields with a condom attached. The note said "please don't procreate until you learn to be a responsible human being"

I am going to be contrarian here. My local supermarket has a car park, and parking is virtually impossible in the street so its the only option. Last year the car park was closed, in sections bit by bit, to be resurfaced and revamped. When it re-opened there were many more disabled bays, and many more 'driver with children' bays (with extra wide space either side). OK fine, good idea. But they are very under-utilized. Who decides how many is the 'right' number? it does piss me off when there are no spaces available EXCEPT the reserved ones. I wonder how many of the few cars which are using them are genuinely those of disabled or family drivers, or like me, ordinary shoppers left with nowhere else to go.

You probably wasted your breath with the second sentence anyway. I doubt he would have understood what you meant.

Dear Ian,

Yes, they are SUPPOSED to be under-utilized! If they're full, it means that someone coming along who needs a handicapped space can't get one. It's not about most efficiently using the asphalt, it's about accommodating folks who need the accommodations.

As for the oft repeated red herring about whether the people who use them are genuinely disabled, yes, many of them are. Probably most of them are. And even if there are some scofflaws in the bunch, that in no way changes the fact that they are necessary and important for the handicapped.

This isn't about making YOUR life more convenient.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Dear folks,

Worst example of stooopid parking I saw was last year at a local TARGET. Someone had parked one of those yuppie macho symbol pickups so that it not only straddled two spaces but it was backed in way too far, so it made the two spaces on the other side of the row behind it unusable. One vehicle managing to take up four spaces. God, I wish I'd had the time to let the air out of his tires.

Normally I'm very passive-aggressive about this kind of thing. I try to keep 3" x 5" piece of paper in my glove compartment that say “Please park in one space only, for the consideration of others.” No need to get sarcastic or insulting about it. I slip one of those under the windshield wiper on the driver side.

That's the passive part.

The aggressive part is that I print them on adhesive labels with the non-peelable adhesive and I'm careful to wipe the windshield glass nice and clean before I slap the label on it.

Ain't I a stinker? (He said, munching on a carrot)

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Bill,I'm sorry but in Australia, you don't have a handicap. That is politically incorrect. You are a person with a disability.

Mike, you may have more information, but based on the facts you've introduced so far, it's impossibly to say whether the burly guy in the pickup truck had a legitimate reason to be using that spot. Some disabilities, including some mobility disabilities, are not terribly visible, or can be rendered not-so-visible with enough effort. For all we know, that effort was something he could keep up convincingly for the relatively short walk in question, but would have been too much in the longer walk from another space.

Or maybe not. I mean, the situation you describe doesn't sound like this sympathetic scenario, but it's hard to know, and people with less visible disabilities deserve respect too.

[Okay, Ctein wins. (He bet me that someone would bring this up.) My answer is, not in this case. He was very obviously a working tradesman, and his truck did not display any sort of handicapped permit or plate. The only real defense that's possible is that he was a guy in a hurry and he just didn't notice that it was a handicapped space. That's possible. --Mike]

Good job, Mike, for saying something. I wish people took handicap markers more seriously.

If I could post a minor caution though: be careful in how you approach people who seem to be misusing these spots, just because someone looks 'fine' doesn't always mean that they are. My mother has multiple sclerosis and utilizes a handicap sticker frequently. Externally she appears to be 'fine', but I can assure you that the sticker is vital to her continued ability to be mobile and active. I know that she worries that people will think she is misusing the tag when it's actually very important.

All that being said... I seriously doubt that this was the case in your situation. So, again, GOOD JOB.


Guys like your pickup truck driver are only one side of the story. Every now and then, I run across a handicap spot that looks like it's been designed for anyone but a handicapped driver.

Go figure.

I reckon anyone with a physical disability should be issued special wheel clamps. They should be allowed to clamp any vehicle illegally parked in those spaces (I'm sure passers-by would eagerly help them clamp the car). The clamp would have to be removed by the police after paying a double fine, half of which gets returned, along with the clamp, by the police to the disabled person.

Or what about electronic tags on a disabled persons car to allow them to park in a disabled spot. Any car parked in the spot without a tag will trigger steel jaws of death which spring up out of the ground and crush the car. "You have 5 minutes to move your cube Mr Burns" :)

Mike - I'm going to try this again at a smaller size, to see if I can get it to show inline. Please pardon my HTM-iLiteracy.


Guys like your pickup truck driver are only one side of the story. Every now and then, I run across a handicap spot that looks like it's been designed for anyone but a handicapped driver.

Go figure.

I've recently been granted a Disabled parking permit, fully approved by my doctor. I'm not fully disabled but I find walking any distance and getting in and out of my car difficult.

In the past, there have been many occasions when I've been tempted to say to someone who looks able bodied but has parked in a Disabled bay, "Must be mentally disabled, are you?" BUT I NEVER DID SAY IT.

Now that I'm in that category, it's been going through my mind that I would be devastated if someone said anything like that to me. In fact, I'm finding that I avoid the disabled bays if I can find an acceptable one nearby.

In Australia you must display your ACROD permit prominently in the windscreen, so it's easy to check. I've seen some pretty blatant examples over the years where I couldn't see any permit. But I think this is one case where we don't know the full story and it's mostly better to stay quiet. If only for your personal safety. Unless you want to join the ranks of the disabled.

Some of my doctors refuse to sign off on the forms people use to get the placards/plates. They get asked so often by people who don't need them they just won't do it. I don't know how the people with legitimate disabling conditions get their paperwork done. Sad that it has come to this. Some of those doctors also refuse to sign fake medical marijuana paperwork. Talk about abuse!

We sometimes see numbers for how many drivers in San Francisco have placards and it is extremely high, but I suspect many of those were granted to people who no longer drive (or have died.) I know of people who abuse them but more who need them but don't have obvious disabilities. They just pass out if they have to cross the street.

Since moving to California, I have been documenting by photos the cars I see in handicapped spaces WITH PLACARDS. I have seen a young family in a HumVee, several Bentleys and Rolls, a BMW M5, a Ferrari Enzo at Golds Gym in Venice Beach, a Lambo Murcielago on Wilshire, sh*tloads of S-class Benzes, but the absolutely best is the Tennis School van parked at the Santa Monica tennis courts on Wilshire Blvd. A TENNIS SCHOOL VAN!
Here in CA about 7% of all cars are reputed to have handicapped permits!

Colbert just ran a segment on rich people hiring handicapped people for $1000/day to join their family at Disneyworld so they can cut the long lines...ah, to be one of the 1%!

In the UK you are given a sign to place in the window which shows that you are allowed to used a disabled space. Legally it only applies in council owned car parks and designated bays on the street but it is generally used in all ares where there is disabled parking.

Contrary to some of the above posts though, I sometimes see someone parking quite legitimately in a disabled roadside parking bay when there are many ordinary spaces either side.

My wife is disabled and has the sign which allows her to use these spaces. When we turn up to park, if there is an empty space next to a disabled space we use it, leaving the disabled space free.

Many disabled drivers however go straight towards the disabled space seemingly just because it is their right to.

Yes, there are times when I wish I could take a pair of Rosa Kreb shoes to the tyres

What is it like to be disabled? Imagine that you have 12 biscuits to use up each day. Each biscuit represents some sort of activity. People who are slightly disabled will find that going to the shops uses 4 biscuits, while getting up in the morning and going to bed at night uses 1 biscuit each.

People who are seriously disabled might use up 10 biscuits to go to the shops, while getting up and going to bed uses 3 biscuits each.

If you use more than one day's biscuits up you have to pay for it with some of the next day's biscuits, usually with heavy interest. Using up all of or more than the day's biscuits usually ends up in pain. Being able to park closer to where you want to go reduces the amount of biscuits used up, and so the amount of pain.

Sometimes you will have good days, and sometimes bad days. My problems are slight compared to many, but I do better now I have the specially made boots.

This presumably doesn't apply to your example, but for people on the lookout for AB violators of reserved spots, bear in mind that sometimes the guy you see jumping out of the car is headed into the store to pick up a severely mobility impaired person. I've done it myself, in fact, one time got cussed out by some folks hanging around the back stairs of a theater as i went in. I asked one of them to fetch the wheelchair for me from the top of the stairs as i had my hands full carrying the person who used it back out.

Rarely does it work out that perfectly.

I think people are being unduly harsh. Some people are crippled by selfishness while others find themselves unable to walk more than 50 yards in case it causes them to shed some lard.

I was so hoping Stan B's link was to an article in the Onion.

I've never parked in handicapped parking, but am I the only one who's seen weird handicap parking adjacencies in newer constructions? I get the whole "need more space to maybe get out of handicapped functioning vehicle", but lately in new constructions, it seems like the handicapped spaces are getting farther way and weirdly placed...maybe it's just me...always a head-scratcher!

Roger's biscuit analogy is very good and describes my wife's condition perfectly. I will probably use this the next time I have to explain it to someone.


I am absolutely gobsmacked by the story you tell of your former colleague who had spina bifida and how the employer tried to assist (not!) your colleague.

You really ought to name that employer.

I had to read the story twice because I found it hard to believe that an employer could be so heartless.

Absolutely shocking.

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