BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WXYZ) — Birmingham police told WXYZ this week they responded to crack down on a problem: People keep parking in handicapped spots and the unloading area next to them in downtown Birmingham. As WXYZ covered the story, we saw it happen.
This is something people who rely on handicapped spots say they see all too often. Drivers, often picking up carryout, park illegally in the handicapped spot or in the unloading area next to it.
“I kept calling the parking police saying you have to come tow this car, being like you have to tow this car. We literally watched a woman with a walker have to go out in the street to get on the sidewalk,” explained Alexandra Ayaub, a Birmingham resident.
Ayaub says she started keeping track. She shared pictures she took of vehicles she saw parked with no handicap permit displayed or plate.
She notices this because she knows what it is like. She was born with club feet, underwent numerous surgeries to gain mobility but still lives with pain. She says it is hard not to get mad when trying to park in downtown Birmingham.
“I have literally driven around the block a few times and then am like, I am going to go home and forget it. Because that might be a day when my mobility needs extra care and I am being blocked by someone who is illegally in that space,” said Ayaub.
She shared her frustrations about people parking not only in handicap spaces but in the unloading area next to the space and got a surprise.
Many people on social media said they didn’t know this space that accommodates people with wheelchairs and walkers was also illegal to park in. She says awareness is key so everyone can live lives with freedom, regardless of their physical abilities.
“The world is hard enough to navigate as someone with a disability and people make it so much harder by putting their convenience over someone else’s well-being. It is incredibly frustrating,” she said.
The fine for parking in a handicap spot is $100 dollars.