I cannot possibly count the number of times I have parked in a van accessible parking space only to find that when I go to leave, someone has parked in the access aisle next to me and is blocking my ramp from deploying so I can get back into my wheelchair accessible conversion van.
To make matters worse, I drive my van from my power chair and use very high tech adaptive driving equipment, so I can't even ask someone to move my van to a space where there is room for my ramp to come down! Not only would they not know how to use the equipment, but they wouldn't even have a seat to sit in.
My days of feeling helpless for what to do in situations like these are over. I have finally found a way to do something about accessible parking abuse, and I'm so excited to share it with you. It's an app called Parking Mobility. If you are a smart phone or tablet user, you can make a difference for yourself and others simply by using this app. Parking Mobility is a citizen enforcement and education program founded and operated by the disability community, with a mission to improve everyday access for persons with disabilities.
1. Download the Parking Mobility App to your device using Google Play or the Apple App Store
2. Complete the setup and registration by following prompts
3. You will receive a verification email with a link you must click to verify your account
4. Read up on the information, examples, and images provided in regards to accessible parking violations such as "blocking"
1. Open the Parking Mobility application using your iPhone or android device
2. A map will appear showing your approximate location
3. Press the + symbol to add a violation (this symbol is located at the top of the screen for iPhones, and the bottom of the screen for android devices)
4. The violation screen will appear
5. Take the three required pictures: one from behind the vehicle showing the license plate, one from in front of the vehicle showing that there is no accessible parking placard in the windshield, and the third showing the parking violation (i.e., showing the vehicle, parking space, and the vertical accessible parking space sign)
6. Without closing the application, leave the area of the violation and finish your report from a safe area such as your personal vehicle, your destination, etc.
7. Choose a violation type
8. View the map that appears on the screen
10. The application will record audio while you are making a report to record any comment you might have
11. Click Submit
Your reports are important even if your community has not partnered with Parking Mobility! The data gathered by your reports can still be used to educate community leaders on issues relating to the availability of accessible parking in your city.
Is accessible parking abuse ever an issue for you in your state or local community? Comment below to join the conversation!