Disabled parking review released into the wild

johnboy 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.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
75 Responses to Disabled parking review released into the wild
Filter
Order
nota nota 3:15 am 21 Jun 09

willo said :

another point is that many “able bodied” people (such as myself) drop off and pick up people with disabilities from such places…..

For random mention, last Friday I arranged to drive my (physically) disabled neighbour to Centrelink Woden which contains a small parking area of about eight spaces, in contrast to the voluminous user-pay public carpark next to the Plaza. The Centrelink carpark was full but there was someone just leaving so we quickly circled the block, only to see a single motorist driving a new Hyundai slathered in NRMA Driving School logo (rego # SAFER 1) zip into the only, just-vacated spot.

My passenger insisted he limp in with me from the public carpark, although it was fairly heavy going for him, while we watched this selfish NRMA representative stride off healthily and without shame, straight into the Plaza. Just one more reason, I thought, to avoid any dealings with ‘your community based’ NRMA.

While waiting outside I also noticed quite a few new-ish and valuable cars occupying space at Centrelink, it seemed unlikely they were from clients requiring welfare assistance and more probably belong to wealthy penny-pinching opportunists who, as with the NRMA amoeba, showed no sympathy of community needs.

Granny Granny 12:30 am 21 Jun 09

I think ‘pick up and set down only’ areas are a good idea. It wouldn’t generally help our family much because I couldn’t leave my daughter while I parked elsewhere, unless her dad was with us; but it would definitely be a great help to people in similar circumstances to threepaws.

We still need more disabled spaces, however, as there really aren’t enough to go around, and it is a safety issue to have to trust to other drivers not to hit people with a disability when carers are forced to use regular parking spaces. When someone can’t move themselves out of harm’s way that is really scary.

threepaws threepaws 10:33 pm 20 Jun 09

Perhaps rather than more disabled spaces, there could be more ‘pick up and set down only’ areas. Many people may simply need the convenience and safety of entering a building without risking life and limb.

When I used to take my nan out for ‘excursions’, medical, shopping or otherwise, I was happy to park wherever, as long as I could drop her as close our destination as possible. She could potter along ok with her frame, but needed assistance in and out of the car, and was simply unable to negotiate traffic in carparks. I would drop her off, then find a parking space and join her.

I often used loading zones or disabled spaces (she had a permit but refused to let me use it because she thought there was probably someone worse off than her) for just long enough for me to get her in or out of the car. I swear if anyone had abused me or tried to give me a ticket, I would have gone beserk.

monomania monomania 9:51 pm 20 Jun 09

And perhaps I should have first read your post of #24 Ian and I would not have so aggressive and individually highlighted you in my comments. My apologies.

monomania monomania 9:45 pm 20 Jun 09

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.

The concentration in the media and from government on obesity seems to have opened the floodgates. Walking through these are a lot of nasty sh*theads that feel that they have licence to abuse people who may be of a larger size. Not only do you read them on RiotACT, you hear them do it to strangers in public places. These people are obnoxious bullies. I find this whole emphasis on weight disturbing. I have had relatives and friends who have had life threatening eating disorders. None of this sort of stuff helps and simply shows a lack of empathy for others. Your not a smart, just an arse Ian.

harley harley 8:18 pm 20 Jun 09

It’s apparently healthy peeps with disabled stickers (perhaps they are a carer, perhaps they have conned a doctor) that use them to avoid paying for parking at work that annoy me.

Outside the L.A. there’s a 4 hour carpark. I’ve noted several cars with disabled permits that park there all day, every day and never pay. If the driver was the disabled one, they are entitled to park closer to their building, so all I see is someone rorting the system.

In Victoria there were 2 classes of permit – one that allowed access to disabled parking, and the other allowed extended access to the regular parking. The rule was you could stay twice the time allowed, but you still had to pay the fee for the regular limit.

A 2 tiered system might take the load off the disabled spots by pushing the less-impaired to regular spots.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 4:01 pm 20 Jun 09

And to those many hundreds of you that do not have a disabled parking permit but think it’s okay to park in a disabled spot for just a few minutes because nobody’s using it and it seems convenient, you really do suck, and I wish you a special place in hell.

On that I couldn’t agree more SwamiOFswank.

swamiOFswank swamiOFswank 3:46 pm 20 Jun 09

I have a few points to add:

There are clearly not enough disabled parking spots at the majority of shopping centres and health related centres (hospitals, doctors etc) in Canberra at all. Regardless of the ‘research’ you could ask anyone that has a disabled driver permit, and they’ll universally tell you that there are often no vacant disabled parking spots. Furthermore the majority will tell you that they often see physically able people leaving vehicles, or vehicles with no permit displayed parked with people waiting for others – eg outside ATM’s and so on. Either way, those complaints are valid, or appear to be.

What bothers me though is the out and out verbal abuse, nasty notes and so on that various people leave. My mother is 62, and after a couple of serious accidents, has had a full knee replacement (they replace about 50% of your lower and upper leg bones as well), and has also had to have bone removed from her hip. Her other joints on that side of her body have marked degenerative osteoarthritis due to the previous injuries. Yet…she walks, and she appears to walk well. Her entitlement to a disabled parking permit is due to only being able to walk short distances without resting, not being able to carry more than a couple of kilo’s of shopping items, and because of the chronic pain associated with her condition. But she suffers abuse and ridicule on a regular basis from morons who perceive that she is rorting the use of a disabled parking space. And yes, she does go to a gym, because her ongoing mobility depends on her having regular exercise!!

Recently, I was driving a large white van owned by a community group, but that had no particular signs on the outside of the van – except on the back, where there were large wheelchair stickers, and stickers saying ‘please don’t park within 3m of this van’ due to the wheelchair hoist inside needing that space in order to be operational. There was a disabled parking permit in the front window. Admittedly, it did resemble a large tradies van (being a new white Toyota Commuter van with no apparent seats in the rear).

I parked outside the Commonwealth Bank at Kippax, in the disabled spot that I was entitled to use – I was about to pick up people in wheelchairs – but because I had noone else with me when I got out of the van, I was abused. First abuser was an old lady, who told me off and wrote down the number plates before making a phone call to report me. Then a group of pram-pushing young mum’s who’d heard the old lady had a go at me as well. Next was a rough-looking chap in truckie-type attire. Then, a man in a suit. I felt like utter crap, as though I was doing something wrong and as though I should return to floating on the surface of the pond I’d obviously slimed my way out of. Despite all of this, I politely pointed out that it was a wheelchair-hoist equipped van, and that if they would look, I did have a permit, and that I would be returning in several minutes with people with disabilities who required use of the wheelchair hoist.

Bottom line was that I suddenly had a very real taste of what it’s like to not appear to have a disability and yet face the scorn and contempt of people who were judging my capacity without having any idea! I don’t have a disability, but I have a very first hand experience of what people like my mother and others who have commented here go through – and it’s quite horrifying. Please think before you judge!!

And to those many hundreds of you that do not have a disabled parking permit but think it’s okay to park in a disabled spot for just a few minutes because nobody’s using it and it seems convenient, you really do suck, and I wish you a special place in hell.

vg vg 3:29 pm 20 Jun 09

“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.”

There’s nothing the parking inspection people can do. Its a private car park. The spaces aren’t gazetted in accordance with what is needed in a public car park. No offence committed. May be immoral, just not illegal in a private car park

Granny Granny 3:03 pm 20 Jun 09

Perhaps the disabled spaces could have security footage recorded in cases of dispute.

Granny Granny 3:02 pm 20 Jun 09

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?

Clown Killer Clown Killer 2:55 pm 20 Jun 09

…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 Granny 2:47 pm 20 Jun 09

Sorry mobile, not email .. d’uh!

Granny Granny 2:46 pm 20 Jun 09

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.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 2:33 pm 20 Jun 09

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

dvaey dvaey 2:13 pm 20 Jun 09

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.

Ian Ian 1:37 pm 20 Jun 09

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.

ahappychappy ahappychappy 1:30 pm 20 Jun 09

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?

someoneincanb someoneincanb 1:26 pm 20 Jun 09

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.

johnboy johnboy 1:20 pm 20 Jun 09

And leave it alone Ian or you can join them.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site