A nice gentleman from our downtown loft complex writes to the homeowners email list regarding the handicapped parking in our garage. My reply to the list follows.
I hope we would all respect the intended use of those spaces.
I wonder if "respect" is the right word. Isn’t "submit" more accurate?
"I hope we would all submit to the intended use of those spaces."
If we, as owners-in-common, had voluntarily decided to donate the — what, $100k or so? — value of those spaces out of our own pockets to handicap use, or whatever use, the "respect" that would come into play would be the that of our property rights — the right to see to our own affairs for our own purposes.
Is that what we did, or does the city compel us, by force, into having those spaces?
We can, of course, blissfully congratulate ourselves on our
"compassion" for the handicapped, feeling all morally superior; but it
seems to me that the possibility for compassion was thrown out the
window once we were compelled to do it rather than doing it out of the
goodness of our hearts or whatever might motivate us to voluntarily
undertake to help others.
But I rather suspect that unless we were compelled (i.e., under
threat of fine, vehicle seizure, impound, and even misdemeanor
prosecution and potential jail time for continued refusal to comply),
we probably would put those spaces to other uses — such as daily, for guests and whatnot, while in the 18 months+ I’ve lived here I’ve yet to witness their use by the truly handicapped.
So, let’s go ahead and have our handicapped spaces, because we’ll get really hammered by the city — not to mention HUGE
lawsuits under the ADA if we don’t. I just think we ought to just be
honest about it and characterize it as something we probably wouldn’t
bother about unless so forced; and because of that, we don’t get to steal notions like respect and compassion and so forth because the possibility of such virtue in voluntary action has been forevermore foreclosed.
Oh, hey, Penn & Teller had a funny and insightful piece on
Showtime just last week or so about handicapped parking, the ADA and
all that stuff. It’s about 25 minutes in three parts.
Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.