|01-27-2009, 02:59 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Politician starts handicap parking internet flame war...
LOL. You should read the comments on this story!
Clear, uniform handicapped parking needed
My brother is paralyzed. My father was wheelchair-bound. I've seen firsthand the difficulties those with disabilities face trying to get around. These are difficulties most people cannot even begin to fathom, and ones that are painful to watch loved ones trying to overcome.
So if anyone knows the importance of not parking in a handicapped parking spot, it's me. I would never do it intentionally. Yet there I was on Jan. 12 in Millville pleading guilty to parking illegally in a handicapped parking spot. It cost me a $256 fine, $33 in court costs, and attorney fees; but the cost was more than a financial hit to me, because I know I never would have parked in that spot outside the Old Oar House Irish Pub on North High Street had it been properly marked.
There was someone parked in the actual handicapped spot, I unknowingly parked in the overlap used for van access because the lines were very faded. The judge made clear that he considered me a responsible person and didn't think I intentionally parked in the spot, but I took the responsibility and decided against taking up the court's time and public money by fighting a ticket.
But as novelist and poet Josiah Gilbert Holland once said, "Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power," so I will take steps to ensuremistakes like this don't happen again. When I parked that night outside the pub, I had no idea I was parking in an area designated for handicap access -- a car was already parked in the handicap spot. It was dark and the blue lines designating the extended area for van accessibility were faded. The sign designating the space as handicapped wasn't properly centered and was obscured by the adjacent car. My attorney learned that the parking spot -- along with others in the city -- hadn't received proper handicapped parking certification from the state. I'm quite sure these are problems for other handicapped parking spots throughout New Jersey.
So I will pursue state legislation that would require every handicapped parking spot in the state be marked and maintained the same way. This would include clearly displayed signs, proper lighting and easily visible painted parking lines. Every handicapped spot in the state would look the same. Thus, no one would have any excuse for parking in one illegally. I plan to work with my 1st District colleagues -- Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Nelson Albano -- to make this reality.
By doing so, we'll help others avoid the same mistake I made, but most importantly we'll be ensuring handicapped spots are reserved for those who truly needthem.
|flame, handicap, internet, parking, politician, starts, war|