Winter is always a challenging time of year; this year
perhaps more than normal, with the unique combination of extreme temperatures,
snow, and wind chills. What has not changed is our seemingly endless need to
seek parking as we arrive for work or class.
In fact, it has become more
pronounced, perhaps, as more of us drive to work or class in these extreme
conditions. It is with this in mind that we write to you.
If those of us who are “able bodied” are stressed by the current
weather circumstances noted, such conditions are even more challenging for
students with mobility concerns and ongoing medical/physical conditions. Among
the challenges can be securing a “handicapped” or accessible parking spot. If
the weather is dangerous for those of us who can move freely or (fairly)
quickly, it may be more dangerous for students needing a designated parking
spot. With this in mind, we request that you be even more vigilant about not
parking in a “handicapped” parking space.
Irrespective of weather, “handicapped/accessible” parking
spaces are supposed to be used by students/employees/visitors who have a state
handicapped parking placard –or—a short term IUP “handicapped parking” placard.
Persons who are eligible to use these spaces have had to provide documentation
of need. The need is legitimate. Recently, in this bad weather, there have been
multiple cases of students/employees arriving at IUP and seeking a
“handicapped” parking place, only to find the car of a person without the
placard in the space. With limited mobility and/or health issues, and in
extreme weather, not only is it inconvenient/wrong to have the student or
employee have to move; it can be dangerous. We write to seek your assistance
with this. Please do not park in a “handicapped” parking space yourself; please
discourage others from doing so as well.
(And, of course,
please consider this message as applicable to good weather as well; recent
conditions have just exacerbated a perpetual problem.)