New Handicap Parking Signs Putting a Face to the Space
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Often, the only thing keeping people from parking illegally in a handicap spot is the fear of getting a ticket. But, some new signs in Downtown Sioux Falls are putting a face to an important lesson for drivers.
There are now signs at some handicap parking spaces downtown of a woman in a wheelchair. The signs say, “Think of me, keep it free.” City officials hope people will realize just how important the locations of these parking spots really are.
“Handicap accessible spots you know, be in areas that are next to curb cuts, be close to where you’re trying to access the buildings,” says Assistant City Attorney Daniel Haggar.
Officials want people to remember that some need the spots… instead of being selfish.
“Ohh, I’m just gonna park there for 5 minutes and run in, but the reality is, that’s a spot that if you take that up, that person physically can’t go to the mall,” says Kendra Gottsleben.
The signs do something important.
They make drivers think about the person who needs the spot… Like Kendra Gottsleben. Kendra has a rare genetic condition known as MPS. She hopes the new signs will bring awareness to the obstacles people with disabilities deal with.
“They’re putting a face, like an actual face, to the sign, where right now, typically, the signs just have that little blue guy,” adds Kendra.
She says something as simple as keeping the handicap spots available will make the community more inclusive.
“People who have disabilities, like myself, we are everywhere. we wanna be in this, going to the mall, going to concerts, going to all the events that are happening around town.”
So far the cities “Disability Awareness Commission” has put the signs at three spots downtown. They will check in with law enforcement to see if the signs are decreasing parking violations.
And in the future… they may put more of them around the city.