A couple of months ago, I popped around to the local travel store, Changes in Latitude, looking for some luggage tags. (Complete non sequitur – the store has a URL I bet a Center for Independent Living would love to have.)
But the handicapped parking space that used to be in front of the store was gone. So I parked slantways across two regular spaces, got the chair out of the car, and that’s when I noticed the curb cut was gone, too.
I daredeviled it through the busy parking lot to get to another (remaining) curb cut. In the store, I asked what had happened to the parking space and curb cut. Blank stare. Nobody had ever noticed that there had ever been one, but the property owner was making some upgrades, and the store manager was sure that everything was on the up and up. She gave me the property owner’s phone number.
I called. Same blank stare (amazing how you can see that over the phone, isn’t it?). She wasn’t sure what the state of permit spaces/curb cuts was, but she was sure it was going to be fine, since the repaving and restriping were just about done. I allowed as to how if it was almost done, that was unfortunate, because now she had a parking lot with no curb access and no permit spaces. She said she’d check.
I called back a month later, and got a similar brushoff.
A couple of weeks ago, I managed to track down the name and phone number of Boulder’s new ADA Coordinator (Stewart Ellenberg, 303-441-3075, since it’s really hard to find and nobody you call in the Boulder government even knows they have an ADA coordinator). He called in whoever approves applications for renovations. She went and took a look at the parking lot, and called to tell me the property owner had filed an application which contained permit parking spots that didn’t exist in real life, and that based on this, the application would not be approved until the parking spaces and curb cut were reinstated.
So that’s nice, a win (maybe) for our side. But it only happened because I happened to call when the city had a convenient club to hold over the developer; no one would have checked to see if those spaces actually existed.
So get out there and be vigilant, people!
Edited 2007.09.05 to add:
I called the property representative again to follow up. She says that space will be restriped for 2 permit parking spots and that a ramp will be poured next week. She says that the omission of the parking spaces was not intentional, and thanked me for bringing it to her attention.
Good work! But yeah, infuriating that they were able to submit a plainly false application and almost go undetected. It’s the “get away with anything we can” approach to the legal requirements, and it’s ugly.
Wow, way to keep going to the very end – and way to make a difference, If I go through boulder, I will definately try and stop there to acknowledge what all the people with disabilites won’t know – the person who fought to get their curb cut and parking spaces back.