Today's earlier post about preferential parking for hybrids got me to thinking: I have another preferential parking setup that pisses me off even more. "Reserved for Senior Citizens" parking. Here in Madison, WI it mostly is at grocery stores. You have the typical handicap spaces, but the most prime non-handicap spaces all have stupid Seniors Only signs on them. I'll be driving thru a parking lot, get past the handicap spaces, see a bunch of nice open spots, then DAMMIT IT'S A SENIOR CITIZEN SPACE.
These signs piss me off, because at any of these stores I've NEVER seen the handicapped parking spaces filled up. If you're old and frail and need to park right by the front of the store, you can get a handicapped parking permit with a quick doctor's note. It's easy.
But instead, you have a bunch of old people who for whatever reason don't get themselves handicap parking permits, so to keep the old farts happy the grocery stores have old fart parking next to the handicap parking.
Who are these old people? For one, my 90 year-old grandma who lives in Chicago and thanks to rheumatoid arthritis and bunions older than I am, can't walk for shit. She shuffles along at a snail's pace, constantly grasping for anything to hold on to—because using a cane would be admitting defeat—needs help crossing the street, and blames her inability to walk on some combination of the wind, the ground being uneven, or my legs being longer than hers.
Whenever I drive her someplace, typically in downtown Chicago, I have to drop her off by the door of where we're going, have her hang out waiting for me while I park in outer Mongolia after driving past 30 perfectly empty handicap spaces, and hoof it back to her.
Her responses when I or any other family member suggest handicap parking are:
A) "I'm not handicapped."
B) "I read in the Chicago Tribune that if you use someone else's handicap parking permit, even while driving the permit-holder around, you can get a ticket."
Does she get one? Of course not! Because she doesn't want to admit anything's wrong with her and she would have to give actual medical reasons (like say, rheumatoid arthritis and 30 year-old bunions) on the form to get the permit.
If only her and all the other old people who can't walk for shit would just go get handicap parking permits, we could escape from the scourge of seniors-only parking spaces!