The Big Snowfall of 2022!
The big snowfall!
I have lived through many a snow storm. The really big snowfalls were always around 10 inches or more. These days if we get 3 to 5 inches we think we’ve got a big snowstorm on our hands. We’ve forgotten how to prepare for a huge snowfall. And it doesn’t help that the weather people aren’t always accurate when predicting how many inches of snow we’re going to get.
As usual, the biggest issues I run into are curb cuts clogged with snow and access aisles of the disability parking spots not shoveled out completely.
There’s truly a lack of awareness about the access aisle in the disability parking area. Minnesota Building Code requires a 10-foot access in the disability parking area. This means the entire parking area must be cleared of snow and ice!
My most recent experience occurred when I pulled into the parking lot at a medical clinic. The disability parking spot itself was cleared, but the access aisle still had about 8 inches of clumpy snow that I had to go through after I drop down the ramp. I have to be able to get out of the car via a drop down ramp that extends 3 to 4 feet. The ramp needs the 10-foot access aisle just for me to get in and out of my vehicle.
As I said, it is not unusual that the access aisle is misunderstood , especially by those removing the snow. Many parking lot maintenance crews use those wonderfully versatile machines called bobcats with a front-end loader. Bobcats are able to scoop up and remove snow and ice. But if the operator isn’t aware of access parameters, they don’t clear the entire access area.
I think all snow plow drivers and people that use those bobcats to scoop out the snow on the sidewalks and the streets need to be given information about disability parking and why it’s so important for people with disabilities and seniors.
I have often thought I should just put a little snow plow in front of my scooter so I can scoop my way out of the snow and not have to worry about some of these instances that I run into. That day may come yet! But in the meantime, people need to get out there and shovel sidewalks and parking access aisles. And the bobcat operators need to make sure they clear the entire disability parking areas.