Letters to the Editor

Columnist’s parking tag attitude disrespectful to disabled

Wade K. Baird

Re: “Parking Tag for Handicapped Getting a Makeover,” by Bob Bestler, which ran in Saturday’s paper:

The article contains some drivel regarding handicapped parking signs being changed. However, Mr. Bestler’s attitude in this article is appalling. Mr. Bestler describes his disability, and his need, during recovery, for a handicapped parking placard. No problem.

Then in a “self-incriminating” fashion, he clearly states that he no longer needs it. He is, however, “unapologetic” regarding his intention to use the placard for the next “four years.” It’s much more convenient for Mr. Bestler when he goes shopping. He doesn’t have to walk so far.

Mr. Bestler should be grateful for the fact that he can walk. Is Mr. Bestler aware that there are thousands of people in the United States who are not able-bodied enough to walk? These “zones” are reserved for those people who require these parking areas to have accessibility to the stores mentioned by Mr. Bestler. They are not for his convenience. This is a cavalier, condescending and disrespectful attitude directed toward Americans with disabilities.

I am not a spokesperson for any organization or group of individuals. I am an able-bodied person in my seventies. My wife, however, is not. She can not walk, and spends her life in bed or in a wheelchair. We do require these parking zones for her to enjoy an outing. We drive a ramped vehicle, and I do not park in these zones unless she is with me. We can personally attest to the “misuse” of these parking zones. Is Mr. Bestler aware that he has condoned this “misuse” in his article, and that now he is a part of the problem?

The writer lives in Conway and is a distinguished professor emeritus in psychology at Coastal Carolina University.