Handicapped parking: There isn’t Enough

Photo+of+the+handicapped+parking+in+the+student+parking+lot.

Archer Hasson

Photo of the handicapped parking in the student parking lot.

Archer Hasson, News Reporter

California is home to over 39 million residents.  There are an estimated 703,800, roughly 1.3%, that have a physical or mental disability and 2% of people are blind, and yet there’s no hurry to install voice additions to crosswalks or longer timers to get across crosswalks at larger intersections. There is also a lack of handicapped parking spots. In Chino, for every twenty-five not handicapped parking spots there must be at least one handicapped’ parking spot.

“The people who don’t understand what disabilities are wouldn’t know how to demanding they are.” ”

— Ed Sprauge

One of the problems is that most public places only have the required amount. For example if a public lot has 85 parking spots, it would only be required to have 3 handicap spots. What exactly makes a parking spot handicap accessible, and what are the requirements? To meet the requirements for handicap parking are surprisingly easy, the parking spot needs to be at least 96 inches wide with a 60 inch accessible aisle width. For van accessible parking the spot has to be at 132 inches wide and a vertical clearance of 98 inches. That being said, many normal sized parking spots could very well be handicapped parking; they just refuse to change them to be considered handicapped parking by the government.

That’s not even the worst of it. Most intersections don’t have audio telling people that it is safe to cross the street. When people who are hard of seeing can not see if the light is green or red it could lead to issues such as traffic collision, a hit and run or even involuntary manslaughter. While the big intersections that have a heavy flow of traffic have the audio announcements, smaller intersections with less traffic do not have the audio. If people can fix the issue with audio at crosswalks then the numbers for traffic collisions, hit and runs, and involuntary manslaughter will go down. ValuePenguin researchers found that the number of fatal hit-and-runs rose from 1,342 in 2010 to 1,939 in 2019. They also found that in the 9 years that they collected data, 2016 had the most hit and runs with a high point of 2,012. 

If people can bring awareness to things as simple as parking, several other things can change as well. Things such as how they’re going to power electric cars if they tell people to turn off their power to conserve it, or how the gas prices now seem better but are still high compared to neighboring states. Something as simple as parking or audios fro crosswalks could set the stage for many other, less talked about topics.