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Disabled parking review released into the wild

By 21 June 2009 75

[First filed: June 19, 2009 @ 21:49]

TAMS has unveiled their review into disabled parking.

A quick reading of the executive summary suggests all is not not in compliance with standards in the ACT. (Would we really expect anything different?)

    Only a few disabled parking spaces comply with all of the criteria identified in the relevant standards. This study found that although many of the disabled parking spaces provided within the ACT town and group centres do not comply with the relevant standards for the physical design of the spaces most are suitable for unconstrained use by disabled persons.

Anyway the recommendations are interesting:

    A rate of 3% of spaces for disabled parking would better meet the demand for disabled parking and should be considered for implementation in public car parks. This parking would need to be located close to likely destinations. Where there is likely to be an overall shortage of standard parking, a much higher percentage of disabled parking should be provided. Centres such as Manuka provide far beyond the required levels of disabled parking, however all spaces were utilised throughout most of the survey period, there was a clear shortage of parking provided generally with the majority of standard parking also occupied most of the time.

    Additional disabled parking is recommended for Manuka.

    Disabled parking is recommended to be relocated at Jamison to better access the revised shopping centre arrangements.

    Additional disabled parking should be considered at centres where there is one or less available space at any of the survey times: Ainslie, Charnwood, Coolemon Court, Weston, Kippax and Southlands.

    There appears to be a case to review the basis upon which parking permits are issued in oreder [Sic] to better understand the dramatic increase in the number of permits issued and the corresponding increase in parking demand for disabled persons.

The lack of proofing in the report is somewhat alarming.

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75 Responses to
Disabled parking review released into the wild
Auntyem 11:55 pm
19 Jun 09
#1

The fact that TAMS Disabled Parking Spaces Provision was undertaken through a “desktop study” is very revealing.

I also love the fact that disabled spaces were fuller in December than February and they think this is due to a “seasonal variation” of disabled drivers.

Interestingly enough there was a 700% increase in disabled parking permits issued in the ACT between 2000 – 2006, (in the conclusion this is stated as 7 years) and they’re not sure if there has been a 700% increase in disability – or if the criteria for a permit has been ‘relaxed’.

Another fine job from TAMS.

Ivan76 7:34 am
20 Jun 09
#2

A review the basis upon which parking permits are issued in Canberra is DESPERATELY NEEDED!

I have a disabled brother whom I take to CSIAC for swimming each week and without fail the disabled spots are always full with people with valid permits yet no apparent disability, in fact, a large number of these people appear to be in peak physical condition yet they will happily take these disabled spots. We regularly have to unload my brother from the road as a result.

Also, if you suspect someone is abusing the use of a disabled permit is there a forum wheras you can report that person or have their pass earmarked for review?

ramblingted 7:41 am
20 Jun 09
#3

So you can identify someone as being in “in peak physical condition” just from a quick glance..I presume you are a GP then?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:06 am
20 Jun 09
#4

If someone can walk confidently from the car to the GYM and back, I’d suggest they can take a few more steps and leave the disabled spot for someone who really needs it.

Ivan76 8:22 am
20 Jun 09
#5

I would describe someone that appears in peak physical condition to be just that, someone that “appears to be” in peak physical condition. An example of this is people walking out with the pump or boxercise class covered with sweat then getting into their car which has a disabled permit, its just rediculous.

I didnt know I had to be a GP to make such an observation.

ramblingted 8:54 am
20 Jun 09
#6

My point is that there are a number of reasons for people to have a disabled sticker- heart condition for one- that may not be apparent from the outside..

willo 9:17 am
20 Jun 09
#7

another point is that many “able bodied” people (such as myself) drop off and pick up people with disabilities from such places…..but onlookers may only observe the driver either returning to or leaving their vehicle on their own…..a legitimate use of disabled parking that I for one am sick of being abused for….of course i am not saying that all cases of healthy looking drivers are legitimate….only that all is not always as it seems to the casual observer……

s-s-a 9:28 am
20 Jun 09
#8

The lack of proofing in the report is somewhat alarming.

Agree on this one.

From a quick skim through, there are several places where it mentions that Disability ACT doesn’t keep any statistics that would provide a useful basis for determining demand and explaining why the massive increase in permits issued. Why doesn’t this surprise me?

By the same token though, the authors could have looked to the 2006 Census results to get data on EXACTLY this topic. Doh!

An increased number of spaces is definitely going to be needed in areas of peak demand, especially if permits are going to continue to be handed out willy-nilly.

As an example, the carpark on the southern side of Cooleman Court is adjacent to the community centre where several programs targeting the aged are held. There are FIVE designated spaces in this carpark, two of which are way over the other side near Thai House.

On many occasions at Coolo I see two cars parked side-by-side in a single disabled parking space, which is all good and fine provided that the big space left after the first car parked wasn’t because a person needed to transfer in and out of their wheelchair at a side door. Grrr!

But I suspect that there’s a perception this isn’t a big issue, because wheelchair users are in the vast minority of disabled parking permit holders. However I know people who have to just go home if they can’t find a disabled parking spot that leaves room for them to get in and out of their car safely.

ant 9:29 am
20 Jun 09
#9

Disabled spots should be only given to people whose disability means they need that spot. Not any disabled person.

s-s-a 9:36 am
20 Jun 09
#10

My point is that there are a number of reasons for people to have a disabled sticker- heart condition for one- that may not be apparent from the outside

A heart condition by itself is not a good enough reason to need one. The criteria are that a person has to:

- Be unable to walk and/or have pain or difficulty in walking 100 metres;
- Require the use of crutches, a walking frame, callipers, a scooter, a wheelchair or other mobility aid; or
- Be blind.

IMO, MOST but not all of these criteria would be visible.

We have a friend with a lower leg amputation who has a disabled parking permit and APPEARS to be completely able-bodied (provided he’s using his prosthetic).

“able bodied” people (such as myself) drop off and pick up people with disabilities from such places…but onlookers may only observe the driver either returning to or leaving their vehicle on their own…a legitimate use of disabled parking that I for one am sick of being abused for

I am an able-bodied driver of a vehicle with a disabled parking permit. If I am dropping off my family member and then parking I will generally do so in a disabled parking space ONLY if there are no other nearby parking spots. The vehicle gets free parking and extended time limits in any case.

I also have a beef with shopping centres (like Woden) where the ONLY undercover disabled parking spaces are inside pay-for-parking areas. Rain and motorised wheelchairs are not a good combination!

dvaey 10:20 am
20 Jun 09
#11

For my 2cents worth. I have a disabled parking permit due to being unable to walk long distances due to (fairly visually obvious) back/joint problems.

I visited Woden to seek specialist X-rays from the place near woolies, knowing there are 4 disabled parks out the front of the building so I wouldnt have to walk too far.

Upon arriving, 3 of the 4 spaces were taken by ‘Symbian Pathology’ company cars. As I arrived there was another car parked on the side of the road being given a ticket as he helped an elderly passenger into the vehicle, due to no disabled parking being available.

I drove in circles for approx 15min waiting for a park anywhere in sight, before giving up and parking in a loading zone. While I understand the illegalities of this, I had the option of either parking where I shouldnt for a 10min X-ray, or returning home sans medical appointment.

Genie 10:51 am
20 Jun 09
#12

If someone can walk confidently from the car to the GYM and back, I’d suggest they can take a few more steps and leave the disabled spot for someone who really needs it.

+1

My mum has a disabled sticker, as she has a back condition. She only ever uses disabled car parks if she cant find anything else, or would be required to park too far away that she can handle to walk.

I honestly don’t think they should be reviewing the amount of disabled car parks in Canberra, but the amount of people who have disabled stickers. I do myself believe that too many people have them that don’t really need them, and people who do require the carparks have to miss out. After I suffered a back injury in a car accident, my doctor offered me a temporary disabled sticker that was to be valid for 3 months. I refused it as I felt I didn’t need to use the larger carpark to get in and out of my car, and walking was helping with the pain so not parking right at the front door actually helped me.

A few extra disabled carparks would be nice… but a few less stickers would be even better.

Clown Killer 11:54 am
20 Jun 09
#13

… they should be reviewing the amount of disabled car parks in Canberra, but the amount of people who have disabled stickers … too many people have them that don’t really need them …

Couldn’t agree more. Through a work acquaintance I know a person who has one of these permits because they are too fat. Apparently consuming enough pastries and soda will eventually get you to a state where moving around becomes difficult. Now I’m no doctor, but I would have thought that walking gently from a little further away would have been just the medicine this person needs – a little exercise would go a long way to shedding some of their 170-odd kilos.

Ian 11:58 am
20 Jun 09
#14

I often joke to my family that they should have parking spaces for really fat people in the farthest flung reaches of the carpark, to force them to walk further and get some exercise.

canberratowie2 1:05 pm
20 Jun 09
#15

Ian said :

I often joke to my family that they should have parking spaces for really fat people in the farthest flung reaches of the carpark, to force them to walk further and get some exercise.

Well I’d love to come to your house for joke night ! but I wont I cant imagine my sides being that sore from laughing

But just for the record I’m a large guy and I DO park in the farthest flung reaches of the car park But not because I think I need exercise but simply so some other bogen wont open there door onto my car !

Ian your a pin head wake up to your self

johnboy 1:08 pm
20 Jun 09
#16

Knock off the abuse towie.

nyssa76 1:17 pm
20 Jun 09
#17

He’s got a point JB. Ian’s comment was not justified and actually deemed those who are overweight.

Oh and Ian, just because someone appears overweight doesn’t mean they are lazy or incapable of doing exercise. Think before you type next time.

nyssa76 1:19 pm
20 Jun 09
#18

It should say ‘demeaned’…..

Lesson learnt: Don’t type when angry.

Ian 1:20 pm
20 Jun 09
#19

Bit sensitive about it towie?

Bit of an overreaction to my somewhat flippant comment!

johnboy 1:20 pm
20 Jun 09
#20

Arguments against issuing disabled stickers to the overweight are ontopic. Towie and you are not Nyssa.

You’re both warned.

johnboy 1:20 pm
20 Jun 09
#21

And leave it alone Ian or you can join them.

someoneincanb 1:26 pm
20 Jun 09
#22

And CK too. People are overweight for many different reasons than pastries and soda. Exercising while being excessively overweight can be dangerous as the cardiac system and joints that are already under greater stress. This is why very over weight people should exercise under the supervision of a professional, not according to CK’s exercise reduction plan of walking extra distance in a carpark. Yes, it is very clear you are no doctor CK.

ahappychappy 1:30 pm
20 Jun 09
#23

Where there is likely to be an overall shortage of standard parking, a much higher percentage of disabled parking should be provided.

In the midst of sounding like a wanker here, I don’t see the logic in this statement?
If there is a shortage of parking, why does the 3% of the carpark already allocated to disabled bays need to increase to say 5% so there is even more of a shortage of parking?

Is it because there is a demographic for people with disabled parking stickers to visit areas with a shortage of parking? Obviously that 700% increase in disabled permits being issued has really effected where the permit holders want to go…

I obviously don’t want to see anyone with a disability unable to park close, and within a suitable distance to the shopping centre, but to me if the average is 3% in 100000 spaces instead of 100 I don’t see the issue as long as that 3% is a minimum standard?

Ian 1:37 pm
20 Jun 09
#24

Ian said :

just because someone appears overweight doesn’t mean they are lazy or incapable of doing exercise. Think before you type next time.

Wow. (a) tell me something I didn’t already know, (b) don’t lecture me about what I post.

I’m not exactly underweight myself – so I do have some understanding of these things, and my flippancy is aimed at myself as much as others of the larger persuasion.

dvaey 2:13 pm
20 Jun 09
#25

In the midst of sounding like a wanker here, I don’t see the logic in this statement? If there is a shortage of parking, why does the 3% of the carpark already allocated to disabled bays need to increase to say 5% so there is even more of a shortage of parking?

Well, for numbers sake, lets take the carparks at Canberra Hospital. If theres only one disabled spot and a shortage of parking in one carpark, a disabled driver could have to walk from another carpark further from the area they wish to reach. For an able-bodied person, walking an extra 100m to another carpark isnt as big a deal as an individual with a mobility problem.

Clown Killer 2:33 pm
20 Jun 09
#26

I’m not getting into that debte other than to say that mine was a specific example. Others would generalise at their own risk.

Granny 2:46 pm
20 Jun 09
#27

I actually agree with willo. He’s using the spot only for the valid and legitimate purpose. A spot further away is useless if the person with a disability has a frame, and the wider spaces are necessary for wheelchairs etc. It doesn’t matter so much who is driving the car as what the purpose is for. I am also tired of being abused or given the evil eye if I am dropping off or collecting.

You will probably find, as many people have stated, that the solution is two-fold. Medical professionals shouldn’t hand them out like candy, and the number of spaces should be increased.

Also these parking spaces should have a much higher level of inspection than any of the others. It should be almost guaranteed that if you don’t have a current, valid permit you will be caught.

I’m not sure what the penalty is but that should probably be prohibitive. We should really make it not worth the risk.

Also, private carparks should have some means of photographing the cars of offenders and reporting it to the parking inspection people. Possibly just some kind of PDA app or via mobile.

The public should also have a well known and promoted number to do this – take the snap with your email and MMS it to 13BUSTED or something.

Granny 2:47 pm
20 Jun 09
#28

Sorry mobile, not email .. d’uh!

Clown Killer 2:55 pm
20 Jun 09
#29

…take the snap with your [mobile]and MMS it to 13BUSTED or something.

i like the idea Granny but I think that it would be too open for abuse.

Granny 3:02 pm
20 Jun 09
#30

I think it would give people a chance to feel they can be proactive about the frustration they feel and also mean that perhaps they don’t feel the need to abuse me and willo. But if safeguards are necessary it shouldn’t be too hard to give some thought to what they could be. What are your specific concerns, CK?

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