Handicap parking spaces under fire | News
OKLAHOMA CITY — Richard O’Quinn is mad about how far the handicap parking spots are to the front door at Landmark Towers.
He became disabled after severe nerve damage and comes to the facility often for rehabilitation.
“This really bothered me the other day when an elderly woman using a walker had to walk the entire distance to the door. But yet there are people who work here who get to park a few feet away, it didn’t seem fair,” he said.
He’s talking about premium parking spots right in front of the door.
O’Quinn believes his handicap parking tag means prior claim.
The Americans with Disability Act has specific guidelines for parking lots.
One of the requirements is handicapped parking spots should be the closest to the door.
“I wasn’t given the handicap sticker because I just didn’t feel like walking or because I don’t like the Oklahoma heat. I was given it because I have back issues and it takes me longer to walk places and hurts more to get there,” O’Quinn said.
We wanted to find out how many feet a disabled person would have to take from the farthest handicapped spot all the way to the door.
According to the measuring wheel we used, it took 227 feet; it’s only 29 feet to the door from the closest reserved parking.
“They need to understand that there are federal laws that apply and that business should comply with that,” Oklahoma Disability Law Center’s Joy Turner said.
She also said the rules are not always blue and white.
“If there is some reason the business owners would say it’s not feasible for those parking spots to be as close to the entry way as possible, then there could be an exception,” Turner said.
By phone, management told us they believe they are in compliance and are working with their legal team, among other agencies, to make sure they are doing everything the by the book.
We also talked to a few employees who use those prime spots to see if they were willing to share with the disabled.
Most of them said yes but didn’t want to comment on camera.