UW-W needs more handicap parking available

Oct. 15 2014

Have you ever been running late for class and get to campus and the worst-case scenario happens…no parking.  You find yourself driving around for an extended period of time looking for a spot.  The only spot available is the one in the very back corner of the last row.  You park your car and run to your class.  You arrive to your class just in the nick of time sweating, heart racing, and worn out.  This is a situation that most students have experienced.  Think it was stressful?  Put yourself in the shoes of an individual that requires handicap parking and must deal with this same situation.  Those individuals look for handicap parking but it’s not available because the one or two designated spaces are already taken.  The UW-Whitewater campus does an exceptional job at making this campus handicap accessible, except when it comes to parking.  According to UW-Whitewater Parking Services there are only 185 handicap parking spaces on the entire campus.  After interviewing a current Whitewater student, who requires handicap parking, it is obvious that there are not enough handicap parking spaces on campus.  The student stated that she must arrive hours early to secure a handicap parking space.  The student said, “I feel like it’s a constant competition for the designated handicap spaces.”  The winter months pose additional challenges for those who require handicap parking but cannot find an available parking space.  Another current Whitewater student who requires handicap parking said that, “ it takes me twice as long to get from my car to my class in the winter months if I am forced to park further away from campus.”  The Americans with Disability Act prohibits discrimination in both public accommodation and transportation.  In today’s society there accommodations such as buses with ramps, wider doorways, and accessible restrooms etc…Is it too much to ask to add additional front row parking for those who need it most?  This is an issue that can be addressed with little effort.  A problem like this may seem so small to most, but or those that it effects it is far from small.  So the next time you think you’re in the worst-case scenario…think again!

– Rachel Sanderson

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