When I was at Google HQ this past summer I was struck by a few parking signs that said: “Expecting Mothers.” For some reason, I read it as for being for people who were waiting to pick up their mothers. Maybe it’s because we have nothing of this sort in NYC (at least that I’ve seen).
In any case, I was reminded of this by a recent dispatch from Kentucky:
Should pregnant women and new parents be afforded the same parking privileges as those with disabilities? It’s an issue that is stirring up controversy in the Commonwealth.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed a bill that would allow pregnant women and parents with children under the age of one year the opportunity to utilize the same parking spaces as those with physical disabilities.
The idea does not sit well with the Baker family of Paris. They have a son with cerebral palsy and they rely on handicapped parking spaces, especially since they need room to operate a wheelchair lift. They say it’s already difficult to find available parking spaces. Furthermore, they’re not convinced that all pregnant women and new moms are in need of such accommodations.
Karen Baker says she does not have a problem with women who have been labeled as having high-risk pregnancies or those who have limited mobility gaining access to handicapped spaces. However, she does not feel that pregnancy is a true handicap.
“The (parking spaces) were designed for people with disabilities and for the safe entry and exit of their vehicle,” she said.
The Baker’s say they would be a little more open to the idea if more spots were created to accommodate new moms and moms-to-be. However, at this point, the bill does not include such a measure.
Is it me, or is this more than just a bit silly? Before you accuse me of insensitivity, my wife is well into her pregnancy and routinely walking fairly good distances around the city (longer than your average schlep in the Trader Joe’s parking lot). Most parking lots have too much capacity to begin with, and so adding extra spaces that will likely sit empty much of the time (except maybe at Pea in the Pod or some such) for a marginal social benefit seems highly inefficient.
This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 3:50 pm and is filed under Parking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.