Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:39 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some just don't get parking issue

Well, summer's here and as the song goes: some things change and some remain the same. In this case I'm referring to the businesses of Homer who just don't get it. Businesses, as well as government entities and schools, are required to provide accessible parking for people with disabilities. There are specific guidelines as to how many spaces are required based on the size of the parking lot. There are specific guidelines for the signs that must be posted (painting the pavement is not adequate signs must be posted where drivers can see them). If someone parks in a reserved space and they don't have valid ID there are fines first offenses can be $250 in Alaska.

For a little hamlet that prides itself on its tourism draw (19 cruise ships this summer and myriad campers, RVs and visiting relatives) and its value of family and lifestyle and creative and artistic sensitivity, I've never been able to figure out the disconnect. Do businesses not realize that people with disabilities spend money, too? Do they not realize that if a person with mobility issues can't access their premises that they will go elsewhere?

I work at the Independent Living Center and this week alone I've received three phone calls regarding illegal parking in designated spaces. Come on, Homer, wake up. If you are a driver, please respect the spaces reserved for your neighbors who need accessible parking. If you are a business, please remind your clients that those spaces are reserved and that there's a pretty hefty fine for violators encourage them to move.

Patti Boily

ADA/IL Advocate

Independent Living Center