Should You Park Here?
Ongoing Campaigns Highlight the Challenges of Finding & Using Accessible Parking
PARKING SPOT: COURTESY BRAUNABILITY.
In a 2018 survey, BraunAbility — a manufacturer of accessible automotive vehicles — reported that 74 percent of survey respondents had seen accessible parking spaces being misused. And 42 percent of people don’t know that the blue-striped regions alongside many accessible parking spaces are “no parking” areas.
While BraunAbility noted that 1 in 6 accessible parking spaces must be van accessible, teaching drivers what those blue stripes mean is an ongoing challenge.
Blue-striped areas are reserved for accessible vehicles to deploy their wheelchair/mobility ramps. When that blue-striped area isn’t available — because that space is being occupied by other vehicles, shopping carts, etc. — an accessible vehicle can’t function, and drivers/passengers are unable to enter or exit the vehicles.
That’s why parking in a blue-striped area is illegal, even for cars and drivers/passengers who have accessible parking placards.
In its ongoing effort to raise awareness of the function and importance of honoring those blue stripes, BraunAbility recently partnered with Speedway, Ind., to develop and trial a three-dimensional parking design at the front door of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The “optical illusion” design (above) was created by artist Tracy Lee Stum.
Staci Kroon, CEO of BraunAbility, said of the project, “The purpose of creating a 3D accessible parking design is to bring attention to just one of the many everyday issues faced by people who use wheelchairs that goes largely unnoticed by the general public. People with mobility challenges deserve to live in a society that is inclusive of every mobility level, yet today, more than one in three people show an unconscious bias against those with a disability. That’s higher than levels of bias on the basis of gender or race.”
For more information on accessibility issues, or to join The Driving Force Community started by BraunAbility, visit tinyurl.com/drivingforceaccess.