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Handicapped-Only Handicapped Parking

Because it's the only way to keep the assholes out
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

I'm not sure how it works in other countries, but in the US a handicapped-parking permit is a tag that hangs from the center mirror of your car (in some states, Maine included, permanently disabled folks can get a special license plate with the handicapped logo).

Unfortunately, as we all know, this does not stop those without permits from parking in the reserved spaces. The only way to keep them out for sure is with a gate. It doesn't have to be anything heavy duty, just a lightweight aluminium frame with a small electric motor to open and close it and a solenoid-activated latch. The only way to open the gate is with an RFID embedded in the mirror tag or the special plate. Obviously, somebody could bust the latch with a crowbar, or ram the gate (but not without messing up their car), or they could steal the chip from granny's permit tag--but they won't. Assholes who park in reserved spaces do it because they're lazy.

The only problems with this concept are the usual three: setup cost, added maintenance cost, and unnecessary meddling with something that bugs the $#!t out of most of us but isn't really that big a deal.

This post is an offshoot, so:

Alterother, Oct 07 2011

Disabled parking line [Akimbmidget] Disabled_20parking_20line
Credit where due [Alterother, Oct 07 2011]


       This would need to have zero-downtime (or fail to an open state) or the handicapped person will be walking from the back of the lot. [+]   

       (But I see the bigger issue as people who coerce their doctors into giving them handicap tags when they don't really need them. See, for example, my neighbor who would be happy to have the luxury of a gated parking place wherever he goes.)
swimswim, Oct 07 2011

       Agreed, but that's already kind of an issue. This could make it worse, maybe.   

       I like the open-state failsafe, but the failure likely to occur most often would probably be the solenoid, which means the latch would not open to let the gate go into failsafe.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011

       I'm tempted to fishbone this because businesses would inevitably be required to pay for it, or be taken to court for discrimination. Should businesses have to pay for an elaborate gate system, when it is only neccessary because of a few assholes who are breaking the law anyway?   

       Besides, there are usually way more handicapped spaces at the mall than there are handicapped people in the city.
DIYMatt, Oct 07 2011

       // Should businesses have to pay for an elaborate gate system, when it is only neccessary because of a few assholes who are breaking the law anyway? //   

       No. But they can choose to pay for it. I never said this was mandatory.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011

       That is why I didn't fishbone it. However, even if it didn't start out as being mandatory it would most likely end up that way.
DIYMatt, Oct 07 2011

       Shock collars.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011

       It doesn't need to be 100% effective in keeping out freeloaders: it just has to be an improvement on the present system. It should also be no worse than the present system at letting in legitimate users, and there, too, the present system is probably less than 100% effective.   

       [DIYMatt] An alternative system would be to charge for parking -- price set at market rates, which should ensure there are always just barely enough open spaces to meet demand -- and give the handicapped money, rather than RFID chips. They can decide for themselves whether to spend it on parking or beer.   

       But this would require that prices for individual parking spaces vary independently of each other. Maybe issue Lovely Rita with an auctioneer's gavel?
mouseposture, Oct 07 2011

       Cheaper, more efficient and more fun to simply mail rolls of "Please don't park in disabled spaces, shithead. Thank you." stickers to disabled drivers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2011

       // or the handicapped person will be walking from the back of the lot //   

       Well actually no they won't, because they either can't walk that far, or are running on radials ...   

       // what is then needed is a way to keep grandma's perfectly healthy kids from using her disabled parking permit //   

       What is then needed is a way to keep grandma's perfectly healthy kids from picking her up from her residence despite the fact that she doesn't actually want to go out at all, and driving somewhere they want to go where parking is difficult, then using her disabled parking permit quite legitimately so as to secure a convenient parking spot, but then leaving her in the car while they go off to transact whatever business they are intent on.   

       This actually happens.   

       The said aged relative has also been repeatedly used as a "free pass" to get into expensive attractions at a substantial discount, the offspring pushing her wheelchair representing themselves, somewhat mendaciously, as her "carer". Which is true; they care a lot that they can get away with not paying to go in.   

       The technique has been further extended to allow the "retired person's discount", offered in good faith by many retailers, to be used to allow the purchase of building materials, groceries and domestic furnishings in industrial quantities.
8th of 7, Oct 07 2011

       //If the person says he/she is waiting for someone, then the parking enforcement agent tells the driver he/she needs to move//   

       If the person says they were just in the store, but got back to their car first and are now waiting for the rest of their party, the agent then has to check parking lot camera footage to verify the story? It's slippery down the slope of increasingly complex regulations and their enforcement...
swimswim, Oct 08 2011

       Wait! Surely there is an opportunity here, rather than a problem.   

       There are many old or otherwise disabled people who sit at home all day, bored out of their diminishing minds. I foresee the rise of a highly successful agency which will allow subscribers to pair up with the disabled, precisely in order to obtain free or convenient parking, discounts and so forth.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011

       What if the handicapped person was driven there and doesn't have their own drivers license? (I'm not certain about this, but I think those tags aren't contingent on the person actually driving.) The agent couldn't make them move the car in these cases.   

       And what if they bought a drink and finished it in the store? There is no requirement that they keep the receipt or the empty drink cup as proof, and the agent therefore couldn't verify this purchase.   

       I'm just saying that some rules don't exist, not because they're bad, but because the costs of enforcement are too high.
swimswim, Oct 08 2011

       The loss agent's wages come from the reduction in revenue loss that theft would have caused. The shopping cart cowboys similarly contribute to revenues by having carts ready so that customers don't get slowed down on their way in to buy products. How does this mysterious "parking lot attendant" contribute to revenue in a way that will make up his/her paycheck? Or are these wages largely an additional expense that the business either generously pays or is required by law to pay?   

       The photo ID handicapped tag is a good idea, but the attendant wouldn't happen.
swimswim, Oct 09 2011

       Pointing out bugs in software isn't "wanting it to fail," is it? If you make the cart herders do additional jobs, it takes away from their primary job and is therefore an additional expense. Bug in the software. Are you like some big software corporations that would rather ignore or cover up software bugs and security holes rather than fix them?
swimswim, Oct 09 2011

       Reduction in productivity (wrangling carts at a slower rate) *is* an additional cost because they need more time or more people to perform the same task. Giving tech support agents the additional role of sales representative is a cost/benefit decision based on how it impacts revenue. It potentially increases revenue. Giving cart cowboys the additional task of enforcing handicap parking stalls in order to comply with a government regulation would only be cost effective if they were to be fined for not complying.
swimswim, Oct 09 2011


       Why would a store care one way or the other who's parking in the handicapped spot ? as long as it's a customer.
FlyingToaster, Oct 09 2011

       //a store can be sued for not providing disability access to disabled//   

       In the U.S. this is true of any building or facility, according to the ADA. But "provision" of sufficient spaces is different from policing customer use of the provided spaces. Provision can be formulaic and easily enforcable (by fines), while customer misuse of the provided spaces is a law enforcement responsibility, not that of the building owner/tenant.
swimswim, Oct 09 2011

       // a law enforcement responsibility //   

       In many jurisdictions, it's not that simple.   

       Car parks are not the public highway; they are private land to which the public have access, subject to the terms and conditions set out by the owner - and the law also imposes reciprocal liabilities on the owner of the land.   

       If the car park owner (which is presumed to include "renter", "lessee", "landlord", etc. etc according to the Party of the First Part) puts up a sign that says "disabled parking only" then if a customer does not comply then the owner may (1) commence a civil case against the driver for damages, and (2) move the vehicle - as long as they do not damage it, which would render them and/or their servants or agents liable for prosecution for criminal damage.   

       But it is NOT a criminal offence to park in a disabled parking bay in a PRIVATE car park.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2011

       I love it when this happens.
Alterother, Oct 09 2011

       Quite possibly true, [8th]. And the important word there is "may". At least in the U.S. (again), the ADA sets the law requiring disabled parking in publicly accessible places, but it does not set up the requirement that the owner/landlord/lessee patrol and enforce its appropriate use.
swimswim, Oct 09 2011

       //a civil case against the driver for damages// The owner needs to prove damages, for a civl suit, no? What's the loss, to the owner, if an able bodied person parks in a handicapped space?
mouseposture, Oct 09 2011

       In Maine, according to the state DMV website, nothing; the business or shared residence "provides" (by legal obligation) the reserved spaces as a "courtesy" to "disabled persons" but is not responsible for the public use (or misuse, or abuse) of said spaces. The job of enforcing handicapped- parking "accessibility" falls to the municipality in the case of public and public access parking, or to the state in the case of parking lots at state government buildings.   

       Owners of private parking areas are not obligated to "provide" reserved parking spaces of any kind in Maine.
Alterother, Oct 09 2011

       Yes, sorry, I failed to point out that the "legal obligation" mentioned by the DMV website is from a federal law. I just re-read my anno and I see how it could have been confusing.
Alterother, Oct 09 2011

       To clarify, for posterity's sake, the //federal law// known as the //Americans with Disabilities Act// is also called the ADA. And with that, we may bid this thread adieu.
swimswim, Oct 09 2011

       Sp: have. Here's a tissue.   

       If this requires much more clarification we're going to need a bottle of windex.
Alterother, Oct 09 2011

       You're welcobe.
Alterother, Oct 10 2011

       Enough alreaby.
swimswim, Oct 10 2011

       Stop giving the handicapped the most desirable parking bays! This would greatly decrease the amount of "normal" people parking in the bays, if not eliminating it entirely.   

       It gets my goat to see the best spots go to people that, more often than not, get into another set of wheels to enter the store. I have to walk there, Goddammit! These people have clearly forgotten how difficult it is to actually walk. Rolling their merry way through life. I even use their toilets, and let me tell you they have it WAAAY better than us.   

       Let them whinge, I don't think they have a leg to stand on.
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       I love the fire, the passion!
Alterother, Oct 10 2011

       ... and he called you an a**hole, told you to f*ck off, slammed the phone down... and spent all day today composing an entirely fanciful account of his service call, which your boss will tell you about the day after you've forgotten all the details.
FlyingToaster, Oct 10 2011

       Oh, well [21Q...], that's a bit offsides. I mean, I don't mind ripping the ring out of those paras or quads, that "may", or "may NOT", have given a limb or three to uphold my constitutional right to be a prick. Or may have been debilitated by my DUI, court case pending (hold thumbs for me). But picking on blind folk, on mobile phone accessibility? Not even those that pickpocket dwarves, stoop that low.
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       Sorry to be insensitive, I didn't mean to say dwarves, I meant "little people".
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       Wow [21], I never saw that one coming.
swimswim, Oct 10 2011

       I guess you didn't see eye to eye....baddum tish.
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       Sorry, couldn't get cornea than that.
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       "Will [4whom], the last remaining unboarded passenger on the direct non-stop super-express to Hell, please go Immediately, repeat IMMEDIATELY, to the departure gate, where his transportation is waiting ..."
8th of 7, Oct 10 2011

       Spare the rods, I suppose...
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       You're right, I acquiesce humour is not my strong point.
4whom, Oct 10 2011

       A much easier solution is a tiny camera embedded in the sidewalk. Sends image of approaching license plate. In 2002 I was working adjacent to a company that developed LPR (licence plate recognition) systems.   

       With today's low cost of high resolution cameras, embedded computers and communications, you could probably mass produce a product like that for a few dollars each. Would be easily paid back by the fines.   

       End of laziness. And a good lesson for the young generation (who are only at the beginning of the process of growing their brains back).
pashute, Oct 30 2012


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