Medical parking permits missing on campus

Hastily sipping iced coffee from the reusable straw, you rush down the stairs. You’re exhausted but in a hurry to get to your fourth class of the day. You can’t be late, because the professor docks your final grade for tardiness. Just as you’ve reached the ground floor, your ankle twists uncomfortably, and BAM! Suddenly you’re face down on the floor.  

Later, after wrapping your ankle in gauze, the health services nurse hands you a pair of crutches with the recommendation to lay off your feet for a few weeks. 

Last year you may have also been handed a medical parking permit. With the permit, students have access to the gray “medical parking” spots scattered around campus. 

This summer, a decision was made and access to those passes was suddenly withdrawn. 

Medical permit parking allowed students in need easier access to parking around campus.
(Christina Manuel | The Poly Post)

I have a mobility disability, and so the medical space helped me get from one class to the next. It is easier to get than an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) parking permit, because one needs approval from a physician with records and paperwork. I was between insurance for some time, so that was not an option for me. Plus, it didn’t require that I go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which we all know is a drag in California. 

I was one of the first to discover the policy change. This semester, I unintentionally became a liaison of information as I was ping-ponged between offices. 

After going to the Health Services Center, Parking  & Transportation Services and calling the Disability Resource Center (DRC), everyone I spoke with was completely confused and I was soon passed to a higher up. The citation and processing coordinator explained that the spaces are possibly being made into certified ADA parking spots.

Just when I thought I had something figured out, BAM! I landed flat on my face. I proceeded to beg for a temporary permit until I could figure something out.

I want to know why the health service department, the DRC and the student body were not informed of these changes before fall semester. There still has not been anything said to update the students, staff and faculty on this matter. The ease of the medical parking permits allowed the DRC to allocate their resources to people who may need them more consistently. 

Now, the DRC is scrambling to figure out what to do with the influx of people whose only option is to use its ride services to get around the hilly campus. This is an ever-fluctuating pool of people, as people get hurt all the time, every day. 

If the DRC had been informed, it could have taken steps to have a third or even fourth cart. The DRC is also, understandably, running behind on pick-up and drop-off times.

Recently, I watched a person dangerously use crutches to walk down a steep hill. I noticed when another person couldn’t figure out how to get onto the Bronco Shuttle with his crutches. 

I’ve heard of students getting parking tickets for using the medical spaces without a medical parking pass. Since none are being given out, some argue that the spaces are fair game. 

The actions by administration have made an already stressful situation into an even more difficult problem. This could have been entirely avoided had there been an announcement of some kind. 

The way that the change is being handled is inconsiderate and I, with my mobility issues, am literally left to do the legwork. The least that could have been done was a communication between departments. The blatant disregard for the Cal Poly Pomona community is punctuated by the lack of transparency. No one should have to jump through hoops to get assistance, aid or information.

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