The Politics of The Parking Lot

One of my original ideas about this blog was to share a little of our lives as a family of five (soon to be six) in a two-bedroom condo.  Hence the e-family tagline: “1100 square feet and counting…”

I’ve been more concerned with the inhabitants of said square footage up until now, but last week, something happened that really got my goat.  It was the straw that broke this camel’s back, so to speak.

Since we live in a building complex made of one and two bedroom condos, we are clearly (CLEARLY) the largest population in any one unit.  Side note: God bless our neighbors.

Most of my neighbors are single professionals or older retired couples.  Because of the second category, there are several who (deservedly) have walking restrictions which have led to some handicapped signage in our parking lot.  It started last Fall.  A dear lady moved in upstairs and due to her walker, the association handicapped two spaces (one for her car and the cross hatched secondary space for room to move her walker – because yes, she still drives).  Okay, cool.  She’s really sweet.  Then, within a week or two, up went another handicapped sign for the couple that lives above me (I know this because they put up the sign and then put the condo number on it so everyone knows it’s only for specific people).  And then there was a new lady who moved in down the hall and she got her numbered space, and then an older couple on the third floor, and this last week, another couple on my floor.  This officially takes the reserved spaces up to SIX.  Also, my neighbor on one side just started walking with a cane and the neighbor on the other side has a handicapped thing he hangs on his mirror, so I don’t think we’re stopping at six.  Stay tuned …

Do I sound stingy?  I’m sure.  Probably because I am.  Let me be very clear: I have no problem with handicapped people.  I love them.  Why does this particular situation bother me?  For this reason: out of the five people who have handicapped spaces, only two have any appearance of handicapping in a way to demand building-side parking.  In fact, the couple who got a handicapped space last week were the same people who were beside me performing rather intense labor as we unburried cars after the blizzard this winter.  I really don’t want to judge my neighbors, there are plenty of things that could be wrong and just not be apparent, but let’s just say that I’m definitely confused.

Here’s my hypothesis: due to a massive parking problem (our building has 28 spaces and 56 cars), people are applying to their physicians for “handicapped access”.  And physicians, not realizing that there could be more at hand than a sweet parking spot at the mall are signing off.

Which is why I have to park here:  in front of a building that is not my own …and walk back at least a mile (up hill both ways) to my building.  [please note the super cool “mom mobile”] Okay, in all honesty, this isn’t bad, and it certainly isn’t a mile.  It only gets uncomfortable when I have groceries, or when it’s winter, or raining, or it’s late at night, or there is more than one child that needs to be carried.  And in truth, we are more blessed than many in regards to the groceries because being in the first floor means that I can often drop off bags on my porch.

Isn’t it pretty?  I’d like to take zero credit for the landscaping.

I never realized how utterly spoiled I was ’til this point in my driveway-rich life.  Those with driveways, I urge you enjoy them.  Revel in every shoveling, black-topping, general maintenance moment!  Those like me whose lives revolve around parking lot politics … I need some input.  Is this normal?  How far do you have to walk from your car to your dwelling?

Craving perspective,

The Self-Appointed Fairness Police

8 responses to “The Politics of The Parking Lot

  1. Ellie, while I am ecstatic to have a driveway, unfortunately, we can only fit one vehicle in it. So, since we have 2 we have to find parking on the street (sidenote: because there is no storage space in our house, we — along with almost every other person in our subdivision — use our garage for storage, so unfortunately, a vehicle does not fit). What irks me is those within our neighborhood who have long enough driveways to fit 2 (or more!) cars and they choose to park on the street! And it seems these same people have 3-4 cars belonging to the people living in those houses! OK… thanks for letting me vent… :)

    • Cathy, vent away! It’s always good for me to hear that I’m not the only one. :) And I could do a whole separate post on people who have more cars than they can drive. That’s part of the problem here too!

  2. Ha I sympathize, we used to live in a six flat with seven spaces for 12 cars and one neighbor who demanded his own space because he said he couldn’t back his Mountaineer out because there wasn’t enough room. (Lies. I’ve seen my other neighbor pull her van the size of a school bus out of there.)
    While I don’t have kids, which I’m sure exacerbates the irritation, I invite you to street park in the City of Chicago when it’s snowing. I used to laugh at those people who blocked their spaces with chairs. Until I spent two hours shoveling my car out only to find my spot not only gone, but marked with someone else’s lawn furniture. Character building, to say the least.

    • Court, we were down there the week after the January blizzard … yikes! I have NO idea how you guys survive! I need my nice little suburbia with it’s orderly snow plows! :)

  3. You have my full sympathy. Especially as a Mum with kids and prams and groceries and baby bags and, and, and… I think this is the very reason that many shopping centers in our area have started putting up “Parents with Prams Parking” spaces, right next to the disabled ones. It means I have to walk further but it reminds me to be grateful I don’t need those parking spaces.

  4. Yes, but did you read the comments? MANY of them are calilng the mail for what they are and even mothers with children admit that there are not enough disabled parking bays. Lets face it, the mail would print any old shite to create a story, and this is their attempt at a non-story which backfired on them. Hey! want to hear about one of the good guys? I pulled in to one of the Little Chefs on the Northbound carriageway on the A1 just north of Peterborough and parked my little white Citroen Berlingo van in one of their disabled bays. The manager actually came out to ask me to move OUT of it, just before he noticed me putting my blue badge in the windscreen! If only everyone was so concienscous.Also the bottom Tesco in Lincoln are wheelclamping anyone who illegally park in a disabled bay. (not that there are very many of them) Very good, I say!

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