Letter: Are Handicapped People Not Welcome at Weddings Anymore?

I am the family member of a handicapped individual, for whom going anywhere takes tremendous effort and willpower. When situations arise where this family member needs to go somewhere, the handicapped parking spots are not only welcome, they are necessary. However, infuriatingly, there appears to be a massive problem in Lakewood in enforcing the handicapped parking spots rules.

Last week, I attempted to bring this family member of mine to a wedding at a local hall. Upon arrival, I headed to the area where there are handicapped parking spots, yet they were blocked off. Volunteers were helping to conduct traffic at the hall, and I asked them to help open up a handicapped spot for me, but they gave me the cold shoulder, essentially saying that there was nothing they could do.

So a member of my family was not able to go to this wedding because of the insensitivity of others.

And it’s not just at wedding halls, either.

All over town, handicapped spot signage is completely disregarded. People just take the spots, apparently thinking that it’s just a formality, and stores often park their trucks there, using them as open space to take care of business.

This has to stop. There are more people than you might think that really need those spots. There is a reason handicapped parking spots exist, and it insensitive and even cruel for you to park in them or allow them to not be available for those who need them.

Do better.

Sincerely,

A Troubled and Infuriated Resident

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35 COMMENTS

  1. I do not like the fact that (moderated) has at least 4 prime spots in front of their store for their delivery trucks. Why can’t they load their trucks from the back of the store and let more customers park in front of the store? There definitely should be more spots for handicapped people that are accessible to them and callous people who are able bodied should not be parking in those spots even for just a minute.

  2. I believe many people are not sensitive to handicap spots because we’ve all witnessed people abusing a handicap or other permit and using the spot even when the permit was not intended for them.

  3. Maybe there should be a way that any person (not a police officer) can take a video of the car making sure to get that it was illegally in a handicap spot and send it in to the police department so they can issue a ticket via mail.

  4. I heard in the name of a contemporary Gadol, that those who take handicapped spots unlawfully, will come to need them one day! Please respect the people they were designated for!

  5. it’s actually a mishnah at the end of maseches Pe’ah. Perek 8 mishnah 9 says: “Someone who is not lame or crippled … and makes himself as if he is one of them (in order to gain the benefits accorded to them), he will not die of old age before becoming one himself, as the passuk says tzedek tzedek tirdof”.

  6. I used to park there all the time, read one of these letters and I have since stopped.
    I’m assuming the same outcome will come from this letter for other people.
    Keep writing, people listen!!
    Hatzlacha!!

    • I’m impressed that you improved due to a letter your read. But, may I ask, how were you able to do that to begin with? What went through your mind then? Did the signs mean nothing to you? Just curious.

  7. Wow,I feel like I could have written this letter! I am new to Lakewood and drive a handicapped accessible van, and this is something I have struggled with since I arrived. I am constantly trying to find accessible parking, and so often the handicapped parking spots are taken. Please realize that when you park in a handicapped spot and run into a store for “just one minute”, you might be making the life of someone who already struggles to do things you take for granted that much more difficult! Please think twice!

  8. Thank you for this important letter!!
    As someone with a disability, and eligible for a parking permit. Since I Baruch Hashem can get around independently (with pain), I have opted to not apply for the permit, so that I won’t be tempted to use the handicap spot when there are others available…. So as to leave it available for others who would need it even more than I do. That being said, if you want my spot first take my handicap!

  9. Article States: couldn’t attend a Wedding because the were no blue Spots in front doesn’t make sense!
    Handicapped people need fresh air and exercise too, if their able to go places, parking further away won’t harm them.
    I’m in the healthcare industry for over 40 years and standing on my feet 10 hours a day is starting to catch up to me, I suffered with a heel spur for the past 8 months, I occasionally get gout flare ups, but no matter easy or difficult I still limp to work & stop in to all weddings which I’m invited to.
    For example the New Cheder hall: myself and other older people arrive, they send us to park .15 miles away and no one complains, I enjoy the fresh air. Calling the cops or complaining about it is pure מסירה, which is a terrible aveira.

    • you sound like a complete fool. there are people with REAL DISABILITIES around. i dont know if you know any, but i do. telling someone that can barely walk (no, having some pain in your foot is not what i am talking about)that excersize is good for them is flat out disgusting.

    • @mutty- can not be your in the healthcare industry – as you would have to have a little rachamim and understanding of those who need the spots- i myself look healthy but cannot walk far and have serious chronic conditions,easily fatigue and my drs has issued me a disabled placard. We have to sleep before even attempting to go out and then stay a short time if we ar elucky to find a spot and hopefully get back home. GOUT is not a disability.

      Families with children with disabilities have been complaining for years of the lack of access and ability to shop local. Many of the halls and stores do NOT maintain as required the markings and signage as required by law.

      Contrary to some ASKANIM signs and spots cannot simply be removed.

      To to those who say moser: i have in writing from R Chaim Kanievsky thats its NOT MOSER to call authorities.Other poskim say its Gezayla to use a disabled parking spot AND ONE IS ALLOWED TO CALL POLICE. only when the disabled person is in the vehicle may it be used. AND THE BLUE STRIPPED LINES IS NOT A PARKING SPOT EITHER FOR ANYONE.

      NOTE THIS IS NOT JUST IN LAKEWOOD. ITS RAMPANT THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF NJ

  10. 1. Glad that you can walk and get fresh air. Bh you don’t know the suffering of those who may look fine but have disabilities that make.every step a huge effort.
    2. It isn’t mesirah at all..at least according to one of the foremost respected and machmir posek in town.

  11. @mutty. Not every handicapped person is able to walk and get exercise! The handicapped spots are also for people like me confined to a motorized wheelchair that can’t necessarily maneuver between cars to get to a curb cut. Which is why the handicapped spots are there in the first place! I’m glad you can still walk and get exercise but not every handicapped person can. It’s time to remember that we are a nation of rachmanim who are also obligated to follow the law.

  12. Yes, it IS infuriating when obviously able bodied people use the handicapped spots & ‘hop’ out of their cars & ‘dash’ into stores! I have a placard because I have difficulty with mobility—not because I want the luxury of convenient parking. When you take one of these precious few available spaces at a store, shul, or simcha hall – you are being selfish and causing unknown harm to someone who really needs it.
    No amount of tefilla in the shul you just ran into, or amount of tzedaka you give, can erase the pain you have caused someone who is already suffering daily. Even if you think it’s only for a few minutes, it’s unacceptable to block its use!

    And this brings us to a related problem: how is it possible for large & very busy supermarkets to have only 2-3 handicapped spots (& in one case, only 1 spot!)? And who in there right mind decided to place handicapped spots smack in the middle of vary large parking lots — nowhere near the entrance to the store, requiring a significant walk —(a) to retrieve a wagon, and (b) to cross a busy two-way traffic lane to reach the store entrance???!!!
    Maybe it’s time for us who are affected by these issues to organize & present sensible solutions to the Township. There seems to be a dearth of understanding.
    Teaching individuals sensitivity & menchlichkeit is another story altogether 🙁

  13. When I see someone parked in a handicapped spot without a handicapped sticker I feel like leaving a note on their windshield saying just “Have a refuah sheleimah”

  14. While it is bad that people are taking the handicapped spots, that is a tiny part of the much larger problem.
    Why are we letting zoning boards approve schools and halls without enough spots??

  15. practically speaking , if the handicapped individual is not the driver – than you drop your passenger by the hall entrance and then go park as many do for elderly parents
    miss the wedding after you got dressed and out ??? i’m missing something

    • An individual using a wheelchair needs the extra space on the side of the vehicle to pull out a ramp and get out. That’s what the blue stripes next to the handicapped spots are for. Just ‘getting dropped off’ isn’t practical.

  16. I don’t know what goes on at wedding halls
    As I do not go often to weddings
    However I drive around town to many stores and building throughout the day and most if not all the Handicap parking spaces are almost allways empty

    As for the most part Lakewood has a young healthy Population

    So I do not believe your statement that it is a common occurrence for people that are not handicaped to take up handicap spaces

    To the contrary it would be extremely rare if it even happens at all

    Every time I go to Gourmet Glatt on a busy Thursday or Friday when all the Parking spaces are filled up with hundreds of cars
    The Six Handicap parking spots in front of the store are allways vacant
    It is very rare to see even one handicap car there
    (I never saw one)

    There certainly are no non handicap vehicles there

  17. I remember years ago somewhere in TX where they had this problem.they deputized the handicapped vets and they patroled the parking lots in wheelchairs and wrote tickets to all those who parked in handicapped spots

  18. I’ve been living in this town for over 25 years, and I don’t understand what all the fuss is about! Even on Sunday or end of the week I see most of the handicap spots completely empty! Last week, I took a handicapped relative to the store and all the spots were empty – this whole post is a lie to say the least…

  19. If your wife cannot park as there was no parkinh so you can not go into the hall as she could not wait as lcsw was more worried about traffic instead of allowing disabled people to even get out. And then she could not circle back around as the entrance was 1 way. And the 2 lane in front of the hall was coned off so disabled people couldn’t be dropped off at close to the door as possible.

    To David. If you haven’t seen a disabled parking spot full, you need to get glasses. And maybe the disabled community has given up to travel 20 minutes to a store to find out there is no parking. Forget about an electric scooter. That’s not usual in our stores. There us an unfortunate reason we have organizations like bikur cholim, schi, cha lifeline, chai4ever, rccs, zichron refuah, special center, hatzala, urgent cares and Dr’s offices. Yes we iyj should all be healthy. But for now open your eyes

  20. The wedding halls can get those sticky stickers and post a notice that if someone parks in the handicapped without the approved tag, they will be “stickered” Trust me- the stickers are no fun to remove.
    If you need the spot, remember to display the tag. May everyone be Gezunt!

  21. I’ve been to Neemas Hachaim hall about 5 times in the past 2 weeks and I have noticed each time that ALL the handicapped parking spots were taken up by non-handicapped cars!

  22. As someone who has a handicap placard and agrees with the letter written here I do say that I take umbrage with these type of titles. More and more often perfectly fine articles and letters are tuined with really bad or dumb titles. Does anyone honestly believe that someone is actually going to answer yes to this question? Why write such inflammatory or obviously dumb rhetorical questions?

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