Is Free Disabled Parking Logical?


Is Free Disabled Parking Logical?

Ashville, NC, is beginning to charge disabled parkers. There has been quite a brouhaha in the beautiful city in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Merchants say that disabled parkers take all the space and their customers can’t park, the disabled say they can’t afford to pay to park or are able to walk from parking that is less expensive. It’s a conundrum.

I have never seen the logic in “free” parking for the disabled. It causes all sorts of problems with a black market in disabled placards, enforcement, and the like. Plus I also have never understood the reasoning behind it.

One of the comments in the story was that “we can’t afford to pay for park.” So let’s see. If you are poor, you are out of luck, but if you are poor and disabled, you get free parking. This sound like a Monty Python skit.

I guess the logic is that if you are poor, you shouldn’t have to pay for parking. Well then, why should you have to pay for gas, or for that matter, the car?

My understanding of the disabled parking conversation is that the disabled need ACCESS. Wider spaces close in so they can get out of their cars with their crutches and chairs. Makes perfect sense. A civilized society would naturally do that. But where does the “free” part come in?

This falls under the “we have always done it and it’s hard to stop” rule. Governments are in the same position with their medical and retirement costs. We’ve always paid it all so we must continue to do so. The fact that we can’t afford it makes no difference.

First provide the disabled ACCESS. Make sure there are available spaces for them. My guess is that the part about “free” will go quietly away.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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