The DC powers at be have acquiesced to a lawsuit brought by the disabled that will require all parking meters to be turned and lowered so they can be more easily reached by someone in a wheel chair. They must also repair all the bumps in the sidewalks and move all plants so wheel chairs can get by.
Read about it here.
I have spoken to handicapped people about this and I’m told its about accessibility. If places are accessible, they can be productive members of society. Makes perfect sense to me.
However it does reach a point where it can be a bit "over the top." So we are going to lower parking meters so that the 2% of the people who park can more conveniently use them, and the 98% have more difficulty. I don’t have a problem lowering the meters a foot or so, but I do think that they should be positioned so most folks can reach them easily.
There is a regulation on booths in parking garages that must be handicapped accessable. So a handicapped person in a wheelchair can get into the booth and become and attendant. Well, that’s fine, except that a person sitting in a wheel chair is actually too low to be able to conveniently reach and give change to someone in a car. At least I think they are. Soo, a company must pay 50% more for a booth so a handicapped person can use it, but most likely never will.(Did you ever notice that all the chairs in a parking booth are "bar stool" height. There is a reason for that.)
Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with folks who are mobility challenged. I may very well be so one day myself. But I think we need to use good sense when we attack these problems. The article above notes that meters would be turned to face the sidewalk. Aren’t they already that way? They are here in LA and most places I have been.
Of course it would be easier for a person in a wheel chair to use a meter if it were considerably lower. But what is the optimum height. How should the criteria be set.
Our industry expert in this is Mary Smith over at Walker Parking. She will be speaking at PIE on this topic. Might be worth while to sit in and ask a few questions.