You know who you are! Yesterday, January 26, 2020, at approximately 2:00 PM at the parking lot at 14th St. and Market Street at least until approximately 5:30 PM.
It may very well be that such language in the title of this blog is unbecoming of the Legal Program Director of a statewide well-established and highly regarded disability rights organization, but, frankly, OSK 069, I don’t give a damn. In this day and age, this seems to be the way people communicate.
So what part of the driver’s exam did you not understand? Yellow crosshatched areas mean, “NO PARKING!”
“It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to park in any area designated for loading and unloading of a vehicle designed for the mobility impaired by pavement markings such as cross-hatching or by other indication. These areas are access aisles and parking by any vehicle is prohibited at all times.”
Denv. Mun. Ord. § 54-485(i).
For those of us who use wheelchairs and who drive vans with sideloading wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps, this has become an increasingly common problem: crosshatched access aisles are there for a reason. You know it. Stop acting stupid. This is not motorcycle parking. This is not an accessible parking space. This is an access aisle adjacent to and accessible parking space that is required by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as state law and Denver ordinances. It is there for a purpose. It allows those of us who use wheelchairs who must strive vehicles with wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps to have enough space to get in and out of our vehicles.
You knew when you parked your motorcycle in that crosshatched aisle that it was not a parking space. You knew when you parked your motorcycle and that crosshatched aisle that it was illegal. You knew when you parked your motorcycle in that crosshatched aisle you were going to deny somebody who uses a wheelchair access to parking in downtown Denver. You just didn’t care! What kind of person are you? Why is your life more important than mine? Why do you get to enjoy the company of your friends downtown and I don’t? You blocked access to the only place I had anywhere close to where I wanted to go to be able to park. Do you hate people who use wheelchairs? Or are you just an a**hole? You are lucky that people wheelchairs are strong enough to knock your stupid motorcycle over.
Although I was just trying to spend a little time with some friends downtown probably just like you, you made it extremely difficult to do so. Parking for those of us who drive vehicles with sideloading wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps is extremely limited. Especially downtown. With the advent of bike lanes that make it virtually impossible to park on the right side of the road (which is absolutely necessary for these kinds of vans) on many of Denver’s streets (an issue that we will be taking on as well because we have no choice), street parking has become almost nonexistent. For many of us, parking garages are very difficult to use because you have to be able to reach out of your vehicle and grab a ticket out of a machine that most of us cannot reach. Therefore, parking garages are off-limits. Surface level parking lots are disappearing as more and more buildings are being constructed. That means all that is left are the handful of surface-level parking lots that still exist. But because you are more important than me, I guess you are entitled to completely disregard the civil rights of people with disabilities.
Oh sure. The Denver ordinances give me options for addressing the issue. For example, I could have spent the couple of hours I had to spend with my friends I had not seen in a long time calling the Denver police. Then I could’ve waited for the Denver police to show up. Then we would’ve had to talk over what the problem was. Then, as usually happens, I would have to show them that they do, in fact, have the right to enforce parking violations on private property. Then, they might issue a ticket or tow you out of the space, but how much of the few hours that I had to spend my friends with this have consumed? Is this the way you wanted to spend your day in downtown Denver? Why should I have to?
But why should you care? You don’t have a disability. You don’t have to drive all over downtown circling the place it is you want to go to over and over again to try to find someplace to let your wheelchair lift or wheelchair ramp down.
No. You just hop on your motorcycle and ride baby ride! And apparently you park wherever you damned well feel like it.
Truth be told, you might have a much better understanding of this issue in the not-to-distant future. In a 2014 study published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motorcycle accidents were the fifth leading cause of spinal court injury. So, who knows? You might have a much clearer understanding of the issue sometime in the near future. Maybe then you’ll care. Until then, kindly please stop screwing up my weekends. I really appreciate it.
And finally, was that a parking ticket I noticed on your motorcycle when I left? I wonder how that happened.
Kindly please, think before you park, A**hole!
As you will see above, the Denver Municipal Ordinances specifically prohibit vehicles from parking in crosshatched areas. This one is really amazing! (1) it is a Denver police car in the crosshatched zone; (2) it is at CCDC’s office building; (3) that is my van immediately to the left of it, and my ramp unfolds exactly where that police car is parked. The municipal ordinances require calling the police when people park in the spaces. The problem is, of course, very few of us have time to wait for the police to come and deal with the issue. My van cannot be driven by someone else. There is no driver seat, and I have very expensive and technical equipment that I would only want someone who was specifically trained on it to drive it. Therefore, simply backing it out is not an option although everyone always asks me this rather than moving the car out of the illegally parked loading zone.
I had lengthy discussions with our management company to request that they install appropriate accessible parking throughout our building complex and install signs that are also referenced in the Denver Municipal Ordinances that say that there should be a sign posted at the front of the access aisle stating exactly what the sign states.
There is a “loading zone” directly on the other side of the overhang to the entrance of the building. When you look at the picture, you’ll notice that no one is parked there. When I use the seemingly unlawyerly language in the caption of my post, I never thought I would have to apply it to those who are supposed to be enforcing the law I was complaining about.
I guess the guy on the motorcycle was just following an example.
“Our goal is to provide safe, efficient and comfortable service to all of our passengers. We are pleased to provide additional services to passengers with disabilities, and we have worked to make our facilities more accessible to customers with disabilities.”
The above is a direct quote from the Amtrack website on the Accessible Travel Services page.
The following article is what that reality looked like for two passengers are reported on January 17, 2020, by Joseph Shapiro, Correspondent, NPR Investigations.
“It costs just $16 to buy a one-way ticket on the Amtrak train from Chicago to Bloomington, Ill., unless you’re the two people who use wheelchairs and tried to buy tickets recently. They were told their tickets will cost not $16 — but $25,000.” (Click to read the full NPR article.)
By Michelle McHenry-Edrington, Non-Attorney Advocacy Coordinator
So you have a disability, and you want to remain or become as independent as you can. Maybe you want to go to school and get a job that turns into a career.
First of all, I can imagine that most people in your life have taken away or diminished your hopes and dreams regarding work and independence. Your dreams of living how you choose and being the best you can be are still yours to hope for and dream. Continue reading “The Road to Work and Independence”
By Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, CCDC
Program: The Medicaid Buy-In for Working Adults with Disabilities (Buy-In) has been a path out of poverty for people with disabilities since 2014. By allowing people who have a disability and a job to buy into Medicaid and, if needed, long-term services and supports, individuals can earn up to 450% of the Federal Poverty Level while only counting 50% of their earned income. Best of all, there is no asset test. ALL OTHER paths into Medicaid carry a $2000 asset limit and strict earnings limits. Continue reading “Action Needed! SB 20-033: Allow Medicaid Buy-in Program After Age 65”
Each year, the staff and many of our amazing volunteers at CCDC keep the office doors open and work on this very important holiday, a day dedicated to this true leader in the civil rights movement. Why? This movement has inspired and driven so much of what the disability rights community has done. The author of this blog has devoted a great amount of time studying Dr. King and the civil rights movement and the lawyers who were involved with that movement in order to build CCDC’s Civil Rights Legal Program. To pay tribute to Dr. King, CCDC always works on Martin Luther King Day. We believe the best way to honor this great civil rights hero is to continue championing the causes of people with disabilities by working on this day. Continue reading “Why CCDC Always Remains Working on Martin Luther King Day”
CCDC is pleased to announce that in July 2020, there will be changes to two of the Single Entry Point Agencies (SEP). The Single Entry Point System is a collection of more than 20 state-wide SEPs that provide eligibility determinations and case management for particular Home and Community Based Services Waiver programs. Continue reading “Changes coming to two of the Single Entry Point Agencies (SEP)”
By Timothy Postlewaite
Healthcare is crucial to prosperity in America, as it assists in the facilitation, participation, and productivity in a multitude of aspects from the standpoint of those whom the rest of society would categorize as “underdogs,” individuals who require more assistance to find their version of “normalcy.” Medicaid is a prime example of a program that attempts to assist with this, as it assists the impoverished and the disabled by allowing them to have the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life. From an early age, I have experienced the pros and cons of Medicaid. The program allocated funds toward my first electric wheelchair, which allowed me to enter Kindergarten with the ability to participate with a diverse group of kids. Moreover, not only did this experience begin the process of acclimating me to social expectations, but it also assisted me in terms of forming my identity, providing me with a steadfast foundation of freedom and independence, two characteristics that have remained with me to this day. Continue reading “Healthcare and Prosperity in America”
Tennessee has submitted an application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking to convert the bulk of funding for its TennCare Medicaid program to a modified block grant, along with numerous other changes that threaten both TennCare and the Medicaid program nationally. Continue reading “Tennessee Set to Become the First State to Adopt Block Grants (TennCare Waiver Amendment 42)”
The mission of the task force is to evaluate and set the roadmap to improve the current behavioral health system in the state. This includes developing Colorado’s “Behavioral Health Blueprint” by June 2020, with the anticipated implementation of recommendations starting in July 2020. Continue reading “Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force”
The Hospital Transformation Program (HTP) aims to improve outcomes and reduce costs by attaching quality and value metrics to the Hospital Provider Fee. For information about the program, its committees, upcoming processes, and sign up for alerts and information, follow this link: Colorado Hospital Transformation Program.
The public comment period closed on December 15, 2019. However, if you would like to read the published summary requesting comments, you can access the Notice of Public Comment Process: Transformation Program: Delivery System Incentive Payment Demonstration pdf for more information.