Handicapped Parking Is NOT For Everyone
By Yehudit Garmaise
“When you see a handicapped parking spot,” Rabbi Paysach Krohn said recently, before quoting a Mishna, “anyone able-bodied should keep away from what is poison to you.”
“Please, for your own benefit, never, ever park in a handicapped spot,” says Rabbi Krohn, who has launched a campaign to raise awareness for the disabled.
“People need more awareness about what it means to be handicapped, cv"s,” BoroPark24’s Heshy Rubinstein says. “Obviously, it is harder for handicapped people to walk farther into stores.”
After noticing a driver without a handicapped placard parking in a handicapped spot in front of a Boro Park supermarket, Rubinstein asked Mr. Yosef Neiman to weigh in.
“Handicapped parking is a very important issue for seniors and people who are handicapped,” said Mr. Neiman, who was walking down 46th Street between 13th and 14th Avenues. “The spots are designated for [disabled and elderly people] because they need the [closer spots.] “We should not need handicapped spots, but if you do need them, the spots should be available for you.”
When Rubinstein asked Yisroel Goldstein whether he would ever park in a handicapped spot, Goldstein said, “BH, no, I never have had to do that.”
“My father has diabetes, and his legs don’t work properly," says Goldstein, "so if we go somewhere, and all the handicapped parking spots are taken, I have to drop off my father, and he has to stand there all by himself and wait for me.”
When Goldstein takes his father to daven in Manchester’s central shul, which has several extra parking spots right in front of the door, he reported having to park far away before seeing yingermen who were not disabled coming out to their cars in the handicapped spots without shreds of guilt or shame.
“I tried to explain to one yingerman, ‘You aren’t disabled, but look at my father: he is all hunched up, and he can’t walk properly. We had to walk a long way, and I have to hold on to him.
“People don’t see the harm of taking spots from disabled people who actually need them.”
Rabbi Krohn spoke of a woman who had to carry her teenage daughter who could not walk across a parking lot to a doctor’s office because all the handicapped spots were taken.
“Be concerned for someone who is challenged,” Rabbi Krohn urged. “You don’t want to be that way, and you certainly don’t want anyone in your family to be challenged that way.”