Sunday, July 10, 2011

wheelchair accessible van parking

Wheelchair accessible van parking usually is somewhere between what ‘should be’ and the reality of what is.

According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Handicap Accessible Parking Regulations:
Van Accessible Spaces must provide an access aisle that is at least 8 feet wide next to the van parking space to permit a person using a wheelchair or scooter to exit or enter a van with a side-mounted lift.
That access space is always clearly marked with boldly striped markings on the ground.

Yet too often we will find another vehicle with a disability parking plate or placard squeezed into that loading space.

While not a problem for us, as I can always climb in and maneuver the van to deploy the ramp - however a wheelchair user / driver is screwed having no choice but to wait for the other driver to return and move their vehicle.

So I must give a blogosphere shout out to Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course! I was stunned to see such a completely sensitive, low tech, ingenious and effective solution to the problem when we visited Friday evening.
By simply drilling a couple holes in concrete and adding a plastic pole with reflectors they have made that adjacent loading space impossible for cars to park in yet leaving it completely functional for deploying a ramp or a lift.

It may be worth a pilgrimage just to see what is possible when a facility actually ‘tries’ to be accessible rather than ‘complies’. The ingenuity and simplicity leaves me in awe. 

“don’t forget the cannoli!” …
     Fugetabout a MS unfriendly forecast of hot and humid with showers. Instead we spent about 3 hours in a fun air conditioned environment with the freedom to choose to smoke or not smoke. Appealing physical therapy for Patti alternating right and left arms pulling slot machine handles. Watched horses race in the mud and people whoop and holler playing dice. Enjoyed some cannoli and lost a total of $2.50 playing slots. – What’s not to like when you can spend an evening out for under $10 anywhere anyhow?
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
web site:  


  1. that is a very clever way to keep that spot clear! Kudos to them!! and what a delightful way to spend time together with Patti! The cannoli alone wins points in my book!!

    stay cool if you guys can!!


  2. Sounds like a wonderful day and under $10.00 who can beat that. Hi to Patti.

  3. Wow, what an excellent, simple solution on the parking!

    A pal drove me to the doc's the other day. As we approached the disability parking in the garage, there were two spots open. One tiny spot wedged in by a pole but right next to the elevator and an easy to get into wheelchair van spot. He of course, zipped right into the van spot. I explained to him that we should use the other spot and leave this one for the vans since we have a choice. And, especially since it's a hospital.

    Even though my friend is a smart guy, it took quite a while for him to understand the difference between the two disability parking spots. He honestly noted, "It would never occur to me." Now for the disability placard holders to not observe this difference in spots or to think of the ramp area as a parking spot ... well ... what can I say?

  4. I’m glad that there are establishments that put some time and effort to care for the handicapped and people with disability. Simple measures like providing a mobility vehicle parking space for them is a big help. I hope other establishments would follow what the Penn National Race Course did. Two thumbs up for them!


Blog Archive