One Handicapped Solution


One Handicapped Solution

Jim Watts at the City of Whistler, BC, has come up with a way to begin to "embarrass" handicapped parking violators into compliance, if that’s possible.

One prominent member of the community was upset because she was issued a citation for parking in a handicapped stall. He tried to explain that they had a zero tolerance approach and got nowhere. "I was only there for five minutes, etc"  He was surprised that the person wasn’t embarrassed for taking the space.

Frankly I’m not. Many people can’t see beyond the end of their nose. They have no clue what the handicapped go through and are so self centered its impossible for them to comprehend the problem. Its not that we are feeling ‘sorry’ for the handicapped, although in some cases that may be part of it. Its that we are assisting them with "access" so they can go about their business.

People who are handicapped, whether they need wheelchairs, crutches, or simply can’t walk as far as the rest of us need a bit more room to maneuver.  I saw a woman the other day parking an SUV in a compact space. She got a bit of a feeling what its like for a handicapped person trying to get out of their car in a normal space. Often its impossible. The handicapped want a need a hand, not a hand out. 

Back to Jim — He and his group of Canucks came up with an idea — why not print up a card that explains the problem to the dunderheads who can’t figure it out. It would go in with the citation, and if they don’t pay, sent out with the reminder notice.  Here’s what’s proposed on the card.

1.    You – the receiver of the parking ticket, are not disabled

2.    This is not a convenience spot

3.    Without access to the disable parking stalls, members of the community cannot run errands like going to the bank, do chores like grocery shopping, go to meetings, go to doctor’s appointments, get to their jobs.

4.    It’s not necessarily the proximity of the spot to stores that is the essential but the space required to get in and out of the vehicle

5.    Stopping is the same as parking

I think its a great idea and hope it works. Being a cynic about the human condition, I’m not optimistic.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I agree with you that some people really have the nerve to park in handicap slots. Some businesses do not even care if they do, but it’s time that they take action too. I like the suggestions for the explanations in the parking tickets, but what about putting up signs that would carry the same explanations, only less wordy?

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