© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Striped areas of disabled parking spaces need to be kept clear

Striped area of a disabled parking space
Isak Dinesen
WAOW Television
Striped area of a disabled parking space

For those who need to park in handicapped spots, there's a striped area right next to those spots that are vital for getting in and out of cars.

However, as Brian Ortner and his family saw firsthand, some people end up parking on top of those stripes.

"This has happened more, more times than I can count, and it's just getting unbelievably frustrating," Ortner said, who is paralyzed and requires multiple machines attached to his truck to get into and out of his wheelchair.

He was at a soccer tournament in Wausau supporting his son last weekend, but noticed someone parked on the striped area next to his truck as they were gearing up to leave.

"Somebody had pulled into the white hash marked lines in between me and another handicapped vehicle. So there was no way I was getting to my truck to load and leave," Ortner said.

He recalled it only took about 15 minutes to resolve the issue, but says any person parked in that area for any amount of time is unacceptable.

His wife Amy posted this picture on Facebook documenting the encounter.

The Ortners claim they saw five people in total parked this way during their time at the event.

Lieutenant Brad Burris of the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department says this type of parking behavior often happens when there are large concentrations of drivers in one area, and that motorcycles are more often seen parking in this manner.

"When they're clearly marked as disabled parking areas, most of the vehicles are not parking there, it's usually the motorcycles," Burris said.

"If a vehicle is parked there, they often can't get the wheelchair ramp down out of the vehicle, they can't unload from the vehicle appropriately, which is what the space is there for," Burris added.

People found parking in those areas can face a $150 citation in Wisconsin Rapids, regardless of how many available parking spots are nearby.

"If I could walk ten miles, I would walk ten miles from a parking spot, but unfortunately that choice has been taken away from me," Ortner said.

He and Amy say if anyone spots people parked illegally in the hash mark areas, they can send a report to police.

"You might not think of it at the time, but there's more people that utilize that spot and need that spot more than what you'd ever think," Ortner said.

Ortner was injured while working as a lineman in 2019 during severe weather and has been paralyzed since.

Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content