Well that doesn’t look good…

A photo of a London Police Officer parked in a handicapped parking spot
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do...?

In case you missed it, a few months back my life long dream of catching a police car parked in a handicapped parking zone came true: it wouldn’t have been so funny if it wasn’t so sad and absurd at the same time.

Absurdity has struck again in London, as yesterday on my walk to work I snapped this gem with my iPhone: a London Parks and Rec truck parked in the same handicapped parking spot as the police officer a few months ago.

Yikes, that doesn’t really send the right message to the public, does it Parks and Rec?

A London Parks and Rec truck illegally parked in a wheelchair parking spot
Maybe the wheelchair goes in the back of the truck?

It shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently does, that these accessible spots are designated ONLY for people who have accessible parking permits. The reason for this is because some people, particularly those with physical limitations, aren’t able to walk across large parking lots and require the closer space. For me, accessible spaces are important because they provide me a large enough space to safely deploy my lift so I can get out of the vehicle. These spots are not about convenience or privilege–without accessible parking spots we could not drive ourselves and we all know the LTC (and by extension, Paratransit) aren’t getting us anywhere. It should also be noted that leaving accessible spaces isn’t just a nice thing to do–parking in one without a visible permit could cost you over $300 in fines.

Aside from the fact that this individual has broken the law while representing the City, and will possibly be receiving a large fine for his or her ignorance, I think there is more to this story. In fact, I think this photo is a perfect metaphor to express how disability and accessibility is thought about by leaders in London–their unawareness of our needs is literally blocking us from accessing the city.


  1. This is ridiculous. If I were you, or had the time, I would sit and wait for the city employee to come back and give them what for. You should also be taking pictures of the license plates of these vehicles and taking this to your councillor and the Mayor.

  2. something like this happened in toronto and there the zone has to have Not Only a posted sign but the pavement has to be marked as well
    did you check with city hall on the bylaws for london I think just a sign should do if they were fined would the city pay??
    michael concannon
    ward 13 for city councillor

  3. The signs make it obvious that the space is designated for hadicapped parking. This gives the city a bad name. The employee should be disciplined and if a ticket is given it should come out of their own pocket. They should not be so lazy, they should be thankful that they don’t require such a space.

  4. glad you had a phone handy to snap a pic. Unless the park and rec worker was fixing the sidewalk in fron, that’s just wrong. Ironically if that address is 388 Dundas, the building is used for non-profit groups(some of which work with the disabled)

  5. This is totally absurd ,there is no excuse for this . I’m sure there will be a memo posted to all city departments . I understand your frustration . I have seen fully capable people park their cars in handicapped zones at Whiteoaks mall. The excuse being ,”I’ll only be a minute ” THIS IS WRONG . Perhaps a tow truck would smarten these people up . If elected ,that will be one of my pet peeves. Raymond Day

  6. This is so irresponsible, but I know it happens!! A City employee, a Police Officer, the same spot!!! You couldn’t get much worse. I hope you got the licence plate #!

  7. Jeff
    The police officer and city worker will appreciate that you brought this to their attention. Hopefully this will not happen again. Handicapped parking violations is an issue across this city. Many people have mentioned it at the doors. We need to step up awareness and enforcement.

  8. Too bad these people counldn’t spend a day in a wheel chair to realize who important it is to have a parking spot reserved for wheelchairs. How frustrating it must be for the haddicap people to see this, especially when it’s suppose to be someone that should be enforcing this spot.
    The other day I also saw a police officer in his car and on his own personal cell phone…what a joke.

  9. Jeff,
    Glad this hit the Free Press. I left a comment there as well.
    Sadly, there is a lot of work to do in London to educate those who park illegally in the handicapped stalls. I frequently get left in the vehicle, because we can’t get my chair out due to selfish people parking in the stalls with no permit.
    Furthermore, I see a lot of people with permits using it as a family pass.
    Healthy young people using Grandma’s permit, jumping out of the car and dashing across into a store.
    I love the idea of spending a day in a wheelchair for those who don’t understand.
    I have a spare, if anyone wants to really understand, borrow my manual wheelchair. Find out all the places that are supposedly accessible that I can’t move myself into or over.
    It is about time the selfishness and laziness are addressed, and this is an effective method to bring awareness.
    Way to go Jeff!

  10. Peace officers risk and sacrifice often in the line of duty I am hesitant to question method. With that said vehicles parked in tow-away zones can be towed

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