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Handicap-Parking Crackdown on Target

September 22, 2002

Re "Irvine Stalks Parking Spot Scofflaws," Sept. 16:

I can relate. Twenty months ago, I had a near-fatal ski accident. Since then, I have been confined to a wheelchair or crutches. If I have to go any distance, I am forced to use the wheelchair, and if it is something I can get to close by--by using these wonderfully close handicapped parking stalls--I can use my crutches.

Before the accident, I am sure I was among the millions of Americans who felt put out, unfairly inconvenienced and perhaps even unreasonably jealous of those who got to use these primo spaces.

Let me tell you, after 20 months, five surgeries and one more surgery to go in a couple of months, I have learned that these spaces provide an invaluable accommodation to those who need them.

I only wish for a day when I can again park elsewhere and walk a long distance to the store that I need to reach.

Mel Malkoff

Villa Park

*

With both my mother and mother-in-law in their 80s and handicapped, I was glad to see this story about Irvine's stepped-up enforcement. Shows that a law is no good unless it's enforced. All cities should take a lesson from this.

However, there is another issue related to this that does not seem to draw much attention, nor has it been addressed in any law that I'm aware of. It is the situation where grocery store shopping carts are discarded in parking lots without concern for people's property and convenience.

Most stores and shopping centers have designated places for placing shopping carts after their use. However, our lazy society just leaves them wherever it pleases.

George E. Shyavitze

Cypress

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Kudos to the Irvine Police Department for the crackdown.

My brother is quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair, and has a special apparatus on his hands in order to drive. His van is equipped so he can commute, despite his physical condition. We have often found it difficult to get handicapped spaces in our city.

However, while attending the David Bowie concert at Verizon Amphitheater last August, a friendly police officer wanted to make sure he had the right to park in a handicapped space and that "his placard belonged to him," by requesting verification.

Enforcement is appreciated, but ignorance of my brother's obvious physical impairment in a zealous effort to crack down is a waste of the officer's time and taxpayers' money.

David Singer

Costa Mesa

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I guess Irvine must need some extra money, and cracking down on handicap parking violators is a good way to go about getting some. Now if the state would just follow suit and reform the handicap system, we'll be getting somewhere.

The state grants handicap placards to anyone who has an infirmity which "inhibits their mobility." Like what? An ingrown toenail? Old age? Being overweight?

Handicap parking should be available for those who require the use of a wheelchair. Period.

If you want to, throw in those who use a cane, crutches or a walker, but that's it. I'm sick of seeing people park in the handicap spot and then spend the next two hours walking around the mall.

Reduce the rolls of those eligible for these placards and then start giving out the tickets. Maybe then the people who really need these parking spaces will be able to find one available.

Hal Summers

La Quinta

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