Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The good parking

Well we're back from vacation. In fact, we've been back for over a week. But you know how it is when you return from a trip. It takes a while just to get back into the swing of things. Chores to catch up on around the house. The day job to readjust too.

So that's why I haven't been blogging. On the other hand, I'm back fresh from a trip so I think I've got a bit of material to share.

First up, we travel by van in the tradition of the good old American car trip. With three children, ages 15, 13 and 5 people think we are nuts, but the driving is often the most relaxing part. That's right I said the most relaxing part. We're blessed with good travelers true. But while we're making miles on the highway we're together as a family and there is little else anyone has to focus on. It's nice.

driving means you have to park once in a while. A good chunk of our miles this year from Wisconsin to Washington DC and then to New York City and then back to WI were on the Indiana and then the Ohio and then the Penn tollroads or turnpikes. Pretty easy and convenient traveling. The tollroads are really their own little world. Self contained. No trying to figure out where you might get off the interstate to eat or make a bathroom stop. They have those service plazas every 25 to 30 miles with gas and food and plentiful restrooms. In general, these buildings are made to handle crowds and be convenient to maintain, so they are pretty accessible too. Open hallways, no stairs, the etc. Funny how that works isn't it?

Off the tollroads, it wasn't long before we saw the first of a couple examples of senseless abuse of disabled parking. At a truckstop in Breezewood, PA we got out for food and other necessities. Couldn't find a spot at first that could accommodate our lift. No problem, we're used to improvising in these cases. We parked in a more remote area of the lot so there was a space next to us. Hopefully it would remain open when we needed it. Then I noticed that there was a van pulled lengthwise across two van accessible parking spots. What was up with that? Surely that wasn't a legit user of the parking. I can't imagine why you would need to do that. Maybe it was a delivery. Someone just running in and then out. That would be wrong, but perhaps someone thought they wouldn't be causing a problem for long. I staked out the van the whole time we were on the stop, perhaps 20 minutes. As we were leaving, I figured out it belonged to some workman, working on a sign on the building. What I couldn't figure out was why they thought they needed to take up two spots designed for a very specialized purpose. And why did they have to add insult to injury and park across two?

I use those spots when I have my son in the van so I can get him in and out. Workman, you use it why? 'Cause it's close? Think about it next time.


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