SPEEDWAY, Ind.-- Finding parking can be hard enough when you’re in a rush and it’s only made worse when people ignore the lines.
That problem can be amplified when you’re disabled. That’s why a new type of parking is popping up to make you think twice.
You know you’re not supposed to park in the reserved accessible parking spaces, but some people do when they are in a hurry. These spots are reserved for people like Darius Hall, who has been paralyzed since he was 16 years old.
“It can be a little frustrating,” said Hall. “I was walking home from the school bus and I was approached by somebody who picked me up and slammed me on my head.”
The traumatic injury changed his life. With everything else he has to deal with, Hall shouldn’t have to worry about where to park.
That’s why Indianapolis company, BraunAbility, created a 3D accessible parking access aisle.
“It’s more lack of education than intentional misuse,” said Emily Sander, the director of brand management for Drive for Inclusion.
BraunAbility says they're launching Drive for Inclusion to ensure these challenges are heard, shared and used. Sander said when BraunAbility surveyed their customers, they found some alarming information.
“Eighty-six percent said that parking was one of the number one issues that they dealt with on a daily basis. This is an everyday challenge for them,” said Sander.
The optical illusion of a raised barrier is supposed to stop other drivers from parking over the faded, thin blue lines. BraunAbility says while progress is being made in several areas around diversity and inclusion, many of the daily obstacles that prevent inclusion for people with mobility disabilities are largely ignored.
“It makes me feel more included and that people without an injury or disability are stepping up and taking an initiative for others,” said Hall.
Hall is not alone. In fact, according to BraunAbility, one in eight people will have a mobility challenge in their lifetime. Natalie Russo has used a wheelchair her entire life. At times, she’s had to wait for more than an hour to get in and out of her vehicle just because someone was parked too close to an access aisle.
“A lot of times people will give the excuse, I’m just going in for a second I’m just going to grab something really quick, I’ll be right back,” explained Russo. “But them needing to do that, is putting my life on hold.”
According to BraunAbility, 74 percent of people have witnessed abuse of accessible parking. So, the hope is this design will leave space for parking but also open a conversation about inclusion.
“This is really the kick-off of starting a conversation,” said Sanders. “Giving people a reason to pause and think about this a little bit more.”
Right now, this is a test design for BraunAbility. The company wants to encourage other businesses to use the 3D access aisles in their parking lots. They will test the 3D aisles later this year, before plans to expand across the country.
To learn more about BraunAbility and their efforts, click here to visit their website.