I’ll See That Wheelchair And Raise You One Prius

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.

phone 11-13 to 3-14 068

Advertisements

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
This entry was posted in General Ramblings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to I’ll See That Wheelchair And Raise You One Prius

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Are they trying to make a statement? Why don’t they just force all the SUV, gas-guzzlers to park in the lot filled with land mines? Sheesh. Then again, it infuriates me to see huge vehicles parked in the small compact car spaces. People flaunt that distinction all the time. We humans really can’t get along, can we? We seem to create more divisions among us rather than connections. The only humane thing to do in states like yours is to employ shuttle buses during the cold months.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      You’re right on both counts. I hate the big SUVs in the compact spots in a parking garage – you can’t get around the corners without locking bumpers!

      Like

  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Are you sure that sanctimonious is not a medical condition? I’m sure there is a prescription drug out there for it, if you don’t mind a few side effects…

    Like

  3. Ally Bean says:

    Amazing. Haven’t seen that yet around my part of the midwest, but I’m sure it’s coming. Once sanctimonious folks figure out a way to be pretentious, they exploit it for all its worth… says the true-blue midwesterner.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Couldn’t believe it. Seriously – the 28 closest spots. I actually counted as I schlepped from my (relatively) gas guzzling SUV, through the frozen tundra to the door. The thing is, most of those tiny cars wouldn’t be able to get up the steep hill leading to the college when it was icy.

      Like

  4. bwcarey says:

    the architect was living in another country and the county was in short supply of cash, amen

    Like

  5. I think someone should actually park a dog sled in one of those spots. That’s certainly “low emission.” Or maybe not, depending on what the dogs were fed that morning.

    Like

  6. seriously? ha. i would think those spots would be all the way in the back. more walking means even fewer emissions. 😉

    Like

  7. Even here, I have seen that only once before . . . as a joke. I liked it better as a joke. Oy.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I really couldn’t believe it, here is Podunk Nowhere. Now I’m curious if the board wanted it that way, or if the wealthy and influential local citizen who ponied up most of the money for the addition insisted. I suspect the latter.

      Like

      • Along that same line of thinking, I wonder if it was tied to (state or federal) funding of the project. RFPs have such bizarre questions and maybe the contractor went overboard to address a question about environmental standards.

        Does the college receive grants from Toyota, say for science programs, etc? It’s always about the money. Always.

        Although Thoughtsy and I live in the same state, we’re on opposite sides, and we do have those signs here. Some of the parking is reserved because there’s a charging station nearby for electric cars. So, there’s that.

        Neither here nor there. It’s still carrot-and-stick and that bugs me, too.

        Like

  8. Hahahaha, good Lord, I hate Prius drivers (sorry if you read this Dr. Rubin, of course you don’t count). Worst drivers in the universe are 1. Asian women (sorry, but it’s true) 2. Prius owners 3. Acura owners 4. Smokers 5. My neighbor’s wife, Gina. Not necessarily in that order.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin says:

      Yes, DOAT, we’ve discussed my disregard for sensible Prius driving before (what can I say? I like to drive a little fast…). Given I don’t slow everyone down and I’ve never encountered a special parking space for myself, I deserve to be exempted from this contempt. Plus, I’m forcing my son to drive my Prius, a car he calls “The Vagina Car.” If that’s not proper character-building for a teenage boy, I don’t know what is.

      Loved your post, Peg. Your parking conditions remind me of when I was a resident in Iowa City. We had to take a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the hospital. What fun I had waiting in the open parking lot in the bitter cold of winter for that every 10-15 minute shuttle.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        “the vagina car”??? You’re building his character for DAMN sure, Carrie.

        I didn’t know you went to U of Iowa Med. My oldest graduated from there (not med, though) 2 years ago. Her last apartment was about a block away from the medical school. Go Hawks!

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin says:

          We lived in an 800-square-foot apartment several miles away from the hospital during my residency. Then again, I was never home, so I guess size really didn’t matter in that case…

          Like

      • Elyse says:

        The vagina car is perfect. Do remember to ask him if he plans to take that in front of the parents of all would be dates!

        Like

  9. “Low” is a relative term. My small SUV is “low-emissions” compared to a hummer, so I’ll park there if I like. No court would rule against me. (And yes it would be fun to take it to small claims court if the campus rent-a-cops tried to give me a “ticket.”)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That’s what I said! I asked somebody and they said you had to apply at the admin dept and get a sticker to park there. Wonder what the criteria is for that. I bet the applicant is subject to the Spanish Inquisition about their emission intentions.

      Like

  10. Yeah, I’m with screaming mama. I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense to have the gas-guzzling Hummers up front and make the low-emissions Prius drive the longer distance to the back, hence less pollution? No, they want the Hummers to drive around in circles all day, choking up the atmosphere. This just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Also, I wish to god my campus would install a few of those “Middle Aged and Bitter Women Driving Loser Cruiser Minivans” spots.

    Like

  11. Marcia says:

    There is a classic South Park episode about this very subject. It really poked hoity-toity people in the eye. I had to laugh at it. I was a Prius owner at the time. It was my observation that nobody and I mean nobody could follow a Prius down the road. It didn’t matter if I was going the speed limit or even 5 miles over, they had to pass me. That makes me wonder who is “the worst driver” in those cases. Anyway, as a person with rheumatoid arthritis it makes me very angry that these very necessary parking spots are given to “green people” over those who need them. I’ll watch for those in parking lots going forward.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I put a picture of the lot at the end of the post (late) and the door to the building is directly to the left of the front car. The handicapped are in the back on the left. Honest to goodness, I think the handicapped spot is a smidge farther away than the Prius.

      Like

  12. The only ‘special’ spots I’ve seen here in any public parking lot, other than Handicapped, are for electric vehicles to recharge. And the worst drivers here are guys driving BMWs followed closely by young women in huge SUVs (usually texting as they drive) and young guys in honking big pickups (usually talking on their cell phones as they drive).

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That makes sense, I mean you have to have an outlet, right? My husband’s theory is that young girls in small red cars are the very worst drivers. But I have to go with octogenarians who can’t see over the wheel of their Studebakers.

      Like

  13. Al says:

    That architect. His last name wasn’t Gore was it?

    Like

  14. Oh, they do that here – supposedly to get more people to use electric cars. Surely “holier-than-thou” attitudes do handicap people in real life…..Have noticed that few will question a wheelchair bound person (who had to roll across multiple broken sidewalks and pot holes) repeatedly pounding an electric car that’s parked right up front.

    Like

  15. Blogdramedy says:

    Easy solution. The college should should step up and buy every medically-challenged, or expectant mom, or anyone entitled to the ease of a handicapped space, a Prius. That’s what we call a twofer.

    Like

  16. I’ve never heard of Low Emission Car Parking. That’s a new one to me. It’s a little more egalitarian here. There are hardly any parking lots or driveways. Everyone just parks curbside – Mercedes, Hummer, Prius – all in a row. It’s pretty straightforward. Until someone scratches the Mercedes.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I bet that heads roll when somebody scratches the Mercedes. If I owned one, I’d NEVER park out in public. Because I could afford to also have a chauffeur to drive my baby home and tuck it in its warm, safe garage.

      Like

  17. Elyse says:

    It’s new to me, too, Peg. If it is for electric vehicles it does make sense to have them near the building or everybody will trip oner the chord! But otherwise, let the folks who need them have them!

    My high school was a lot like your community college — lots of cool California style buildings and our classes were scattered. You were supposed to leave your coat in your locker …

    Like

  18. Ay, Dios Mio. Well, since I wrote that post about not judging handicapped drivers, I can’t exactly judge Prius drivers. But I will join the band wagon and blame the architect!!!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I was going to comment about my post when I read your excellent post but, although they both deal with parking, they’re not the same situation at all. You are RIGHT about not judging people who are handicapped. Come to think of it, you’re probably right about the Prius drivers – they have good intentions. It’s the architect (or the donor, probably) who is at fault.

      Like

  19. It’s typical of colleges to blaze new trails of political correctness and to feed people’s sense of entitlement. It’s also typical of the real world to squash the crap out of these same things once people graduate and have to survive out in the real world.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      You’re so right, Dave. My youngest is a senior in college and has forgotten all about that real world stuff. Either she’s in for a rude awakening or, I fear, she will have those PC thoughts cast in concrete if she goes on for an advanced degree.

      Like

      • When I went to grad school the first time, I recall the idealistic young students holding rallies and chanting “Free South Africa” over and over again. I couldn’t help but imagine them a few years down the road in a lather because there was a black family moving onto their cul de sac.

        Like

  20. Lot of Pretension! Hahaha! I love it.

    Like

  21. Dana says:

    Victoria has several dozen, prime parking spots throughout the downtown core that are reserved specifically for Smart cars and Mini Coopers. You can also park a motorbike there, but god forbid you drive a giant, emissions-spewing boat like a Honda Civic Hatchback! Heretics!!

    Like

  22. Parking can be a complex business, there seems to be an ever-increasing range of space allocations in various places. I don’t know if it’s the same there, but over here the main point of the mother and small child parking spaces isn’t so much about proximity to the entrance, but it’s about the spaces being wider so that the car doors can be swung wide without fear of hitting the car in the next parking space. I don’t know what to say about the low-emission vehicle parking spaces; I’m all for supporting things that help the environment, but I feel they’ve gone about it in the wrong way here, and will just annoy vast numbers of people which ends up being counterproductive if you’re trying to get support for a cause!

    Like

  23. We have some here that are for ‘fuel-efficient’ vehicles only. And you know what? I ALWAYS park my 2003 Dodge RAM pickup with the v8 engine in them. I can’t wait to finally get to argue with someone just so I can say that my truck is MORE efficient than their Prius because it burns fuel faster. There’s a logic in that that’s undeniable.

    Love the post – glad I started following you.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Good for you! And when you get clapped into PC jail for ignoring the signs, I’ll be sure to come and visit you, even if I have to walk miles in from the parking lot.

      Like

  24. Oh Peg. Another insightful commentary on the state of affairs we have to endure.
    I get to park close to my school, but the parking lot is not paved so guess who has to wear boots to wade through the mud and not ruin another pair of shoes. Yup. It just gets better and better!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      The side of the street in front of our office hasn’t been properly plowed since the first snow because of all the residents who park there. Now that the partial-thaw is underway, the puddles of slushy snow are practically ankle-deep; not exaggerating.

      We need to move to Hawaii!

      Like

  25. susielindau says:

    I noticed our mall parking lot took the signs down for low emission vehicles. It’s the only reason I bought I highlander hybrid! Kicks stones across street…. 🙂

    Like

  26. Yes, I am sure sanctimonious is a medical condition. It can only be treated by a Naturopath driving a Prius.

    Like

  27. I’ve never seen a sign that allows parking for low emission vehicles. Good thing we don’t have them…especially since we just bought a gas-guzzling SUV.

    Like

  28. pattisj says:

    I think I’ll just get a team of dogs.

    Like

  29. Clearly your architect wasn’t from Texas either, we regard those pretentious little cars Speed Bumps.

    😉

    Like

  30. List of X says:

    Peg, with your MS Paint skills it should not be a problem to make a “Low Emissions Vehicle” sticker to put on a back of your car.

    Like

  31. The hotel for which I work has power stations for electric cars to recharge .. but they are always filled with SUVs.

    Like

  32. TamrahJo says:

    Our local school district recently received a BEST grant to build a new school to replace the old-energy inefficient one that was built the year I was born (like, a thousand years ago – !)

    All the latest design and energy saving high-tech innovations were included – it’s a marvel of safety and beauty – –

    The parking lots were striped to fit some 50+ Prius cars in each lot –

    Sadly, we are a rural community and trying to get your long bed Ford F-250, your full size, 4×4 Ford Expedition or your Dodge dually pulling a six horse trailer navigated through the lot and into a parking space without hitting another car/pedestrian/xeriscaped tree/rock is a joke – –
    🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Isn’t it interesting that the BEST grant probably mandated that sort of insanity. I think the people who make the rules in the big cities have absolutely no idea how the rest of us live, how we HAVE to live, out here in the wide open spaces of the fly-over zone. If it weren’t for my hubby’s Dodge Ram, we wouldn’t have made it up our driveway most of the last winter.

      Like

      • TamrahJo says:

        🙂 Not sure if the grant or obliviousness of the general contractor or painting crews should shoulder the blame, but you’re right – so often what works in metropolia is ridiculous in our neck of the woods! 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s