I’ve commented on this before but I had a three martini lunch and don’t want to look for my comment but I’m pretty consistent on this so here it is. Pregnancy is not a handicap. I understand that in the later trimesters many women have problems getting around and frankly, I think they deserve preferential parking. Shopping center and the like should install spaces right next to the front door with little storks on the signs and women who are with child should be able to park there. But not for free. Unless everyone else parks for free.
Just like people who are handicapped, and who need access, super. Provide large spaces near the door. But not for free.
Why is this so hard to understand? The reason that handicapped parking placard are abused is because they allow people to park for free. Ask a handicapped person the question. “If I could guarantee that you would have a place to park that was easy, wide, and close or if I could simply say that you could park for free, which would you choose?” I would be amazed if any handicapped person would prefer free over a disabled space.
Let’s discuss pregnancy. OK , not how you get pregnant, we all know it’s the water, or usually what the water is mixed with at the bar…But you are now great with child. You may already have a few young ones at home or in the back seat, you can barely reach the steering wheel, and you have three more months of this. The supermarket, Costco, WalMart, or Riteaid have a couple of spaces right up front, a little wider than the rest. They are marked with cute little storks. We all know what that means. You park there, you shop, and you leave. I guarantee that you aren’t going to stay any longer than you have to. What you want is to get home and take off your shoes and sit down.
We need no special “doctor’s notes.” I know how to tell if you are pregnant. If you aren’t “showing” you may need something akin to a temporary handicapped sticker but my guess is that most women who are in that condition don’t need the special space. There doesn’t have to be a bureaucracy nor a set of laws. Just a sign.
First of all – no man would want to be seen parking there. Second, any woman who has been pregnant would not take that space if she weren’t. She knows what you are going through. Third, as I noted above, you aren’t going to stay any longer than necessary. It’s self-policing.
Many centers have these spaces. They work great. People smile when they see the storks. All is right with the world. New York and Los Angeles, and the rest of the cities who are thinking about “free” parking for pregnant woman and passing ordinances and the like merely need to send nice letters to shopping centers recommending that they reserve a few spaces for women who are with child.
I’ll bet that they will do it and will get a lot more business because of it. Even people who aren’t pregnant or who will never be pregnant will feel good about what they are doing. You can’t see a pregnant woman without positive thoughts. And that’s what businesses want, people roaming around with positive thoughts as they come in to buy things.