Nowadays you have to be a member of a special interest group to park in the same county as your final destination.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the bits of concrete reserved for people with physical problems. But the concept has been expanded to the point of absurdity. This was brought home to me spectacularly at the local community college.
The college just finished construction of a state-of-the-art addition. Even more exciting than the new building is the fact that it has its own parking lot, right next-door. That’s a rarity here.
Whoever designed our community college was obviously not from our community. If the architect had ever experienced a Midwestern winter, with its bone-chilling winds sweeping mountains of snow across miles of fields, he would never have set it up the way he did.
The campus is located in the middle of acres and acres of Illinois cornfield. Long, low buildings are scattered artfully among the gently rolling hills, said hills courtesy of a fleet of bulldozers. We don’t do rolling hills here, we do flat. The parking lots are sprinkled even more artfully than the buildings, and they are nowhere near one another. In the winter, the journey from car to building is usually best accomplished via dog sled. Is it any wonder I was eager to see the new and improved design?
Now I know for sure that the architect is not from around here.
There were plenty of open parking spots right up front, I saw as I drove into the new lot. When I got closer, I noticed the first 7 parking spots in the first 4 rows had “reserved” signs.
“This school must have more than its share of physically challenged students,” I mused. Then I cruised close enough to read the signs.
These spots are not reserved for the Handicapped. Nor are they for Expectant Mothers. They are reserved for neither Mothers With Young Children, nor Senior Citizens. Not the College President, not even the Employee of the Month. None of these worthies is allowed to park in the hallowed spaces.
Who gets to keep their tootsies warm and dry on the short hop to the building? Who is allowed to park in the 30 closest spots?
Reserved For Low Emission Vehicles Only
You will be relieved to know that they have a row of handicapped parking spots shunted over to the side of the building. I didn’t measure, but it looks like the first Prius spot is closer to the door.
I guess this makes sense to some folks. That kind of thinking is not the norm here in small-town, middle America. We think close-in parking spaces should be reserved for those with medical issues. And we regard being sanctimonious as more a character flaw than a genuine medical condition.