Thoughts On Parking For Handicapped

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
June 29, 2017

We were guilty as sin, 30 years ago when we parked in the parking slot for the handicapped.
It was just for a few seconds while we dropped off the papers at Bernie’s Liquors on G Street. We thought no one would notice.
Jumping back into the car, we had no sooner put the vehicle into reverse, than a man in a wheelchair started pounding his cane on our back fender.
“What the hell?” we shouted.
“You Bast---d,” he replied, “this space is for the handicapped.”
Immediately, we knew we were in the wrong, and started to apologize as we drove off. No apology was accepted!
That was the last time we ever parked in a handicapped parking slot.
There was a time, after having full-knee replacement, when we were encouraged by our doctor to use our handicapped status.
“No way,” we said. “There are others out there who really need the handicapped parking.”
Now, we are very observant of those who are handicapped, and those who just use the handicapped plaque because they once qualified. Sometimes, it appears some of these people are overweight, but walking just fine. One would think they need to exercise and walk more.
We are not talking about the elderly or the infirm; we are talking about healthy individuals who are too lazy to walk a little extra to get to the store, or even in one case, the sports club which is all about exercising.
We have watched, as one motorist waits with car idling at Costco for a parking slot to open, when he or she could have walked an extra 100 feet, and parked their car a little further from the store.
When did walking become such a chore?
In many cases, walking keeps our body well. Bodies which are inactive stop functioning as they should.
We urge everyone to stay as active as he or she possibly can, for as long as possible.
And for those who use the handicapped plaque, when they are really not handicapped; they have our sympathy because they are not fooling anyone but themselves.
But watch out for that man in a wheelchair with a cane.
He could be waiting.


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