October 17, 2008. Location: Millville, New Jersey. State Assemblyman Matt Milam illegally parks his 2006 GMC Yukon (presumably white) in the access aisle adjacent to a van accessible parking space. Here are the facts and just the facts:
The lawmaker’s large sport-utility vehicle was allegedly parked partially in the handicapped space, according to the summons.
The extra-wide space is designed to accommodate vans with hydraulic lifts for wheelchairs.
Milam said he parked in a space between the handicapped spot and a curb, and had no idea he might have crossed the line.
Milam has vowed to fight this windmill….er….ticket on the grounds that he has relatives with disabilities and that he doesn’t want to pay the $250.00 fine.
In his defense, this is a common parking violation that architects can help prevent by using Better Design. First let’s recreate the crime using the CSI Advanced Specualanalytical Conjectograph (TM).
The accessible parking space is 8′-0″ minimum in width and, because it is a van accessible space, the adjacent access aisle is 8′-0″ minimum. The space is properly designated by a vertically mounted sign; the specific location of the vertical sign is not defined by the ADAAG. The access aisle is properly marked.
Assuming that the Assemblyman “accidentally” parked in the access aisle because the striping was faded, how could better design have prevented this?
Take a look at this enhanced image of the recreated crime scene.
Although this accessible parking space fully complies with the ADAAG, the 9′-0″ wide access aisle is a tempting parking space, especially if the striping is faded or obscured by snow. Note: The minimum width is 8′-0″ but 9′-0″ is used in the example because it is common for spaces to be made wider to accommodate the huge SUVs driven by scoff-law politicians.
If the “universal” design was used for the van accessible parking space, instead of an 8′-0″ min space with an 8′-0″ min access aisle, the accessible parking space would be 11′-0″ min and the access aisle would be 5′-0″ min. Unless he traded his Yukon in for a SmartCar, Mr. Milam would not have been able to accidently park in the access aisle.
Although it is permissable to use the 8′ + 8′ design, the 11′ + 5′ is now the recommended layout.
It is my belief that Mr. Milam did accidently block the access aisle and he should not have to pay the $250 fine, but I would recommend the 90 days of community service. He could use that time to evaluate all of the other poorly designed accessible parking in his town.