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LETTERS: Disabled parking spaces not for convenience for able-bodied

Peace Arch News - 1/26/2019


I am disabled. I use a portable oxygen tank, but can still drive. I'm really disgusted by the numerous people who keep parking each day in the three disabled parking spots at the Semiahmoo Library. It is especially a problem when it's raining.

I drove with my husband to the library the other day and when we pulled in, the two upper spots were taken.

I couldn't see the approved disabled sign hanging from the mirror of the one car, but some people put them on their dash. The one other disabled spot, in the lower level was available.

When we were leaving, a car without the disabled sign was waiting to pull in.

They actually had the nerve to drive in and pretend to be backing up out of the spot, as they saw we had stopped several spots down to watch and make sure they didn't stay in this spot.

Other cars were coming down the ramp and so we had to move on. As we did, I noticed that when these people saw us going, they pulled back into this spot.

When we got to the top, one of the cars was still there. I told my husband to stop the car and let me out. I went over to see if this car was legit. There was a woman in the passenger seat. She turned down the window and told me that she realized that this was a disabled spot, as there is clear markings for both spots and that they weren't "going to be long."

She also told me she would move the car if that would help. We were finished, but that is not the point. The spot should be available when required, unless another valid driver is using it.

These are not spots for convenience. These are spots for people that actually require them for health reasons. You should be grateful if you don't qualify for a disabled pass.

While she was telling me she was sorry and would be able to move this car, an SUV pulled into the spot next to it. He too was going to park there, same thing, "only going to be a minute" but when I confronted him, he said he was only turning around. Funny, though, he was there long enough to let his wife out of the car with their movies and as he saw I wasn't leaving, he did back up and go. In the meantime, the mini that had parked in the spot downstairs came up the ramp and I tried to talk to them. Well, they didn't stop and instead pulled out into the traffic quickly.

From new drivers, up to seniors, male, female, all races, poor to rich and it's always the same story. They've all known it was wrong, but each time they try to justify it with, "I wasn't going to be long"

This problem occurs elsewhere, but I must say that this library branch has an out-of-control problem. It's also sad to know that there is an RCMP detachment in the same building, but even this doesn't worry these people.

I've been told that it is up to a parking enforcement officer to deal with it, but the car will be gone by then.

Please, if you are not a registered disabled-parking pass holder, don't park in disabled spots. These are not convenience spots for the able-bodied and just hope you never require the use of one.

Ruth Edwards, South Surrey

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