SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento veteran says the VA is not following the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA says that an accessible (disabled) parking spot must be clearly marked on the ground and up high to make sure it’s visible.
Earlier this year we were contacted by Air Force veteran Mark Blum, who said that the accessible parking spots at Mather Veteran Hospital were not clearly marked.
We brought the ADA requirements to the attention of the VA, they got busy, and now all the accessible parking spots at the hospital are in compliance.
The VA also dismissed Blum’s ticket, which is what he wanted.
We were told by the VA, if a patient feels like they’ve received a ticket because of the lack of proper signage, call up the Mather VA police, to appeal it.
Walking out from his medical appointment at the Mather Veteran Hospital, 22-year Air Force veteran Mark Blum found a parking ticket on his windshield. It was $380 for parking in a disabled spot, something he says he’d never do on purpose.
“I did not think it was a handicap spot,” said Blum.
We took a ride along with him to check it out. Pulling into the spot, we saw nothing from the driver’s view that visually distinguished it. Blum now realizes the ground was painted.
“It’s not properly marked,” said Blum.
We looked up federal law, and sure enough, it requires a clear marking on the pavement for each disabled spot, but it also requires a sign five feet above the ground. That was not present.
“It’s not OK, especially at the V.A.,” said Teresa Favuzzi, with the independent living center.
Favuzzi can’t believe the V.A.; a federal agency is not following federal law. She’s concerned that the mistake is forcing disabled patients to walk farther because a non-disabled veteran didn’t realize they were parking in an accessible parking spot.
“Every single step that they need to take to get to the doctor is a painful one,” she said.
We brought the sign issue to the attention of the V.A.
“We’ve re-looked at the ADA requirements, and there are some areas, where we can improve,” said Kevin Maxon the chief of engineering at Mather V.A.
Maxon admits since these became accessible parking spots three years ago, the appropriate signs have not been up.
“We do need to install the poles with the signs on them,” said Maxon.
We wanted to know about the folks who got cited?
“If a ticket was issued in error, we’ll review it,” he said.
Although Maxon says, you need to request a review for that citation.
Blum submitted his ticket, and he got exactly what he asked for: a dismissal.
“I just want them to acknowledge that and rip the ticket up and correct the problem,” said Blum.
We first notified the V.A. about this discrepancy in mid-January, but as of Friday, they still don’t have the proper signs up. The V.A. says part of the issue is the wet weather.
We asked how many tickets have been written in the last three years since the lot was reassigned from patient parking to accessible parking. The V.A. told us that they’d issued 12 to 15 per year.