Tucson meters too high for handicapped

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Tucson meters too high for handicapped

In Tucson, Ariz., a resident has filed a complaint against the city for installing its meters too high. At first glance, it seems hard to imagine any adult too short to reach your average parking meter, but Jim Diller, the man who filed the complaint, regardless of his height, uses a wheelchair to get around. According to Tucson.com, nearly 1,500 new meters might be violating ADA regulations.

Diller said Americans with Disabilities Act standards say the “operable parts” of a parking meter must be no higher than 48 inches from the ground. He said he has seen some keypads on Tucson meters as high as 56 inches.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that, while I fully support laws that make parking and other amenities accessible to the handicapped, it doesn’t seem necessary for 1,500 meters to be ADA compliant. City leaders were already aware of the situation and working to correct the problem.

Park Tucson administrator Donovan Durband said the city is working on a response to the complaint and was working to address the problem even before Diller’s complaint was filed.

The city lowered the height of the poles for meters at some designated handicapped parking spaces, he said, because staff members thought only designated spaces needed to meet the ADA standards.

Of course, meters at handicapped spaces need to be compliant, but do all the meters need to be lowered? I fully expect the answer to be “yes,” and won’t argue, but it seems extreme. According to the article, Mr. Diller has filed complaints like this before, and he says the city should not try to avoid this issue, because it will end up paying to settle a lawsuit and fix all the meters.

Read the article here.

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. If the handicapped are required to pay to park even in regular spaces, then all meters are required to be compliant. Tucson will lose the lawsuit in about a nanosecond, even if it seems extreme to comply.

    What nobody seems to be aware of is the new PROWAG guidelines that WILL be made law and require that all signage and displays be located no higher than 3’3″ from the ground. Operable parts can be I think 42″, but how will the meter manufacturers answer that, I wonder? How about POF stations in parking facilities? I’ve already seen compliant gas pumps with an alternate screen at the required height.

  2. As a 6’6″ human, I protest this race towards the ground. I have to bend over to press keys in elevators, I have to bend over to read signs, and I constantly trip over truncated cones.

    We’ve become a disability driven country rather than a country of aspirations. Instead of our businesses reaching out and servicing the broad spectrum of customer needs (or suffer for failing to do so), we are legally required to address the needs of the small minority under the penalty of law. And fairness has become more important than opportunity.

    I’m pretty frustrated.

  3. Being 6’6″ in a world made for 5’9″ probably has a lot of challenges. It’s beyond me how we can accommodate everyone.

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