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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Flouting handicapped parking

Star power triumphed over common sense for some Rowan University students in Glassboro this week. A group of them protested outside municipal court against Maryann Cottrell's crusade to have police write tickets for the owners of vehicles parked illegally in handicapped parking spaces. The attraction Wednesday: two Philadelphia Eagles football players, Donovan McNabb and Jeremiah Trotter, were in court. They were fined for their vehicles' wayward parking, even though neither was driving at the time.

The students wore T-shirts with the message: "Thank you, Maryann Cottrell, for wasting my tax dollar$.'' There's no need for the sarcasm, regardless of how persistent this activist may be. These students don't get it. They should recognize what Cottrell is doing: merely demanding that the law be enforced, on behalf of her handicapped daughter and all other disabled people.

Handicapped parking spaces are there for good reason. These students should walk in Cottrell's shoes and feel her daughter's pain. Then they might realize that this is not something to belittle but rather to praise. It's a lesson you don't have to go to college to learn.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:00 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger TeK said...

Clearly, it is socially unacceptable to defend those who illegally park in these spots, however, I'm tired about hearing how heartless and inconsiderate these folks are because they seek to deprive the physically less fortunate from their designated parking spots. Who can blame them? That choice spot is just sitting there going unsused, sometimes for hours, even days at time - and that really is the crux of the matter: it's not that anyone wants to deprive someone who is disabled from the spot, it just seems like such a waste when it's the only available spot and it's not being used.

My solution: Require the proprietor of the establishment to make available a pager similar to the ones used at casual dining restaurants. If a non-disabled person happens upon an empty handicapped spot, they can use the spot on condition they obtain and carry the pager with them in the store. If a disabled patron arrives while the spot is in use, they can call the pager number which will be prominently displayed on the handicapped parking sign. If the spot is not vacated within a reasonable amount of time, the non-disabled driver will be subject to a summons.

Then maybe we can all get off our high horses on this issue, including Ms. Cottrell.

(Excerpted from "The Longshore Current" 3/26/06)

2:30 PM, April 08, 2006  

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