Mike usually doesn’t like to use disabled parking spaces. There are different types of disabled parking spaces: regular and van-accessible. I’ve learned being with Mike that you really shouldn’t use the van-accessible parking unless you drive a van.
It's frustrating when people abuse the system
However, we experience people doing it all the time! It’s surprising that so many people, even those with disabled parking permits, abuse this system. It’s human nature I guess.
The van-accessible spots are rarely available and it’s usually because they’re being taken up by a four-door car. On occasion, we have experienced people parking their cars on the lines so you can’t use the space anyway.
It’s so frustrating! It defeats the purpose of these things even existing.
Parking in a disabled parking spot
Non-disabled drivers might think this seems like a small thing. It’s definitely not. When Mike used to drive himself, if someone blocked his entry to the van, there was nothing he could do.
He was stuck waiting sometimes for hours! Now I can just move the van for him. It can still be an inconvenience, especially in rainy weather. It would be nice if people left them for the people who actually really need them.
Now everyone should know that parking in a disabled parking spot is wrong if you’re not disabled. But like any crime, I think there are varying degrees of offenses.
For example, if it’s a rainy Sunday night and the grocery store is about to close in 15 minutes. You pull into the lot and there are 20 open disabled parking spots, it’s still wrong, but I would say this is a minor infraction.
On the other hand, if it’s a sunny Saturday afternoon the parking lot is packed and half the disabled parking spots are already taken this would be a major infraction.
Needing to park in a van-accessible spot
Mike doesn’t even let me park in a non-van parking spot in busy lots. He makes me park at the back of the lot because it is easier to not have to move the van if someone were to block the ramp.
He’s right, especially when you think that disabled parking is close to the entrance. This is usually a busy area of a parking lot.
It takes us a few minutes to get Mike out of his scooter and into the passenger seat. Then I need to deploy the ramp and get the scooter in.
What really irks me is when every single disabled parking spot is available and the only van spot is taken by a sedan!
Trying to be better
That really blows my mind because they should know better as a person living with a disability. I guess that goes to show we are all human and make mistakes.
I am by no means a perfect person. There’s no such thing. However, I am trying to become better and this is one thing that being in a relationship with someone with a severe disability has taught me.
In the past, I might not have cared about this kind of thing. If it’s available that means no one is using it, right?
I am really trying to break away from that type of thinking because when you absolutely need these things, it’s very frustrating to see them being taken by someone who does not really need them.
Which emotional aspect of SMA do you find most difficult?