People often park in disability parking spots without the proper placard (permit). With the cold and rain, those close spots can seem especially attractive. However, if someone who does not need a disability parking spot takes one, it can block those who need them from getting to their destination.
This week is “Walk the Block” Parking Enforcement Week, created by the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities in co-ordination with local law enforcement. We encourage drivers to park a bit further away and enjoy the walk. Saving the disability parking spot for someone who really needs it allows everyone to fully participate in city life.
We are also increasing our accessible parking patrols. The fine for parking in a disability parking spot without a proper placard is $450. That $450 could have bought quite a lot of gas, groceries, textbooks, or even a plane ticket somewhere warm and dry.
People have disability parking permits for a reason, whether their disability is visible or not. A lack of disability parking is more than just an inconvenience. For individuals with disabilities, these parking spots are vital.
Please, walk a little further so that everyone can arrive at their destination.
(Nyland is vice chairman of the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities.)