Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Handicap Parking

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


How come handicap parking is not enforced here in Lakewood? I live here, my wife is disabled, and all the spots are always taken by non-tagged persons. I’ve confronted them quite a few times and we’re laughed at. It’s quite difficult for my wife to go out shopping with 2 kids ages 4 and 2 and walking with a crutch, having to park a distance from the store when the assigned spots are taken by inconsiderate people. When I spoke to one store owner and said I’m calling the police, they said don’t do that.

Also, another store owner told me that it’s there only for legal reasons, but they tell customers they can park there even though they don’t have permits.

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning,

That is unacceptable. I will ask the Chief to step up Handicap parking enforcement around town. Handicap spots are not for “legal” reasons. They are required to ensure that everyone has access to public spaces. If you can let me know which store owner told you that, I will be happy to educate them about the reasons for handicap spots.

Thank you,


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  1. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I agree 100% with the question however I see people that are NOT handicapped that have the handicap hanging or sticker in their car and they take advantage to park in the handicap spots.
    Do u ever do that when your wife is not in the car????

    • Unless you personally know they are not handicapped, how do you know they are not. What does a handicapped person look like?

  2. I want to point out, that being handicapped doesn’t mean that you have a right to park and others don’t. It means that if there are two spots the handicapped person should get the closer spot. However, if there is on 1 spot left in a parking lot it makes no sense that a non-handicapped person can’t park there.

  3. 100% right my sister is handicapped and has similar issue in a different town. This is unacceptable. I recently saw a great bumper sticker, it read, YOU CAN HAVE MY PARKING SPOT IF YOU TAKE MY SICKNESS TOO!

    • My sister too. Agree. My sister couldn’t walk. If she could, she would have walked miles. Count your blessings. You never know what’s ahead of you or your loved ones. You may need that parking space in the future because you may really need it. I pray you never have to go through what she did.

  4. It’s not true!
    I rarely see any non-handicapped people parking in handicapped spots.

    Honestly, I don’t know where you are shopping.
    You most probably saw this in 1 parking lot and think this happens everywhere.
    99% of this town obeys this law.

  5. firstly, just because someone doesn’t “appear” handicapped, doesn’t take away the fact that they have physical/medical limitations. And don’t get started on storeowners.. Unfortunately the majority are arrogant regarding this i.e. putting deliveries there, parking their trucks there. And if you dare say something to them…..A well known posek in town says that if you need to park there and it is taken, you should call the police. As a spouse of someone who is unwell, I NEVER would park in such a spot unless my spouse was in the car.

  6. In many of our housing developments there are handicap parking spots although no one living in the area is handicapped. This causes undue hardship for those that live there and park there regularly. It would make sense not to enforce the law on those spots as they are only there as a legality.

  7. I’m horrified!!!!! I am from the class of handicapped due to catastrophic injuries from a car accident that happened a while ago in Lakewood. Seeing me you would never know! I walk with a slight limp but other than that I look fine!!! I do have a handicapped tag which I use all the time (when the spot isn’t taken but other unentitled people). I am always in pain! The more I am on my feet the more pain I will be in the rest of the day. By untagged people taking my spot they are either taking me away from being able to properly take care of my kids or else I drive home without shopping. I personally have told people off for taking a spot when they shouldn’t, and have gotten yelled at in return. When I get desperate, at the Co-op they are great, I block the untagged guy in, and when the guy comes out they have to go to the manager who knows where to find me and gets my key to move the car.
    It would be a dream come true if it were more enforced!
    P.S. Don’t jump to conclusions that someone is not handicapped just because they look basically fine!

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