I just went to the new library yesterday for the first time and I was baffled by the “Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking” signs reserving the spaces right in front of the door. There were
about 3 or 4 6 of them (in addition to the 3 or 4 5 handicapped spaces). What’s up with that?
When I went inside and asked about it at the front desk, I was told it was because the buildings were “green”. I asked who qualified to park there…she said she wasn’t sure herself. People who drive “fuel efficient vehicles” would know if they qualify.
What about moms carrying a van (or minivan) load of kids? Or very pregnant women who have great difficulty getting in and out of their cars?
When I was coming out yesterday, my husband was inside checking out books and I was trying to get my 18 month old in his car seat while my 3 and 5 year old were supposed to be standing on the grass, but they were running back and forth next to the edge of the lot. Meanwhile there was another woman also parked across the lot toting a baby carrier and I thought I saw another child or two milling around her. I couldn’t tell if she was coming or going. All the “FEVP” spots were open so cars coming in drove right up to the front (thinking there were available spots, I suppose), but when they saw that they didn’t qualify to park there, they proceeded to find a spot around the other side of the building. Maybe it’s just me but I perceived this to be a safety concern.
To me this concept is absurd. This is a public facility and the idea that many men, women and children are being discriminated against because they don’t drive/ride in a “fuel efficient vehicle” and have to park at the back of the bus, uh, I mean lot, is wrong. It discourages non-fuel efficient vehicle owners from coming to the library. Is that the kind of message we want to send to our community?
What do you think?
UPDATE 01/15/09: I received a phone call this evening from the fellow who heads up the Department of Public Works. It seems a letter I wrote last night concerning this issue raised some eyebrows and folks are re-thinking the use of these parking spaces. I was told a formal written response may be forthcoming. I’ll keep you updated as to what I hear.
UPDATE 01/21/09: I received the following email this morning:
Dear Mrs. Wigal,
After conferring with John Robins, Dir. Of Public Works; Garland Nuckols, Dir. Of Buildings and Grounds; and Cyndi Hoffman, Library Manager, we have decided to leave two parking spots for energy efficient vehicles and label them as being for cars having over 30 mpg, to reduce confusion.Â The other four parking spots will have new signs.Â Â One will be labeled “Senior Parking,” two will be labeled “Reserved for parents with small children,” the final one will be labeled “For Expectant Mothers”.Â These four new signs will replace the signs directly adjacent to the uncovered sidewalk extending from the Library entrance.Â Until the new signs can be ordered and put in place, the present signs will remain in place.Â
I hope that this will be more in line with the needs of the citizens of Fluvanna County.
Buildings and Grounds Deparment
P. O. Box 540
Palmyra, VA 22963
There has also been a healthy discussion on this subject concerning this issue at FluvannaOnline. It’s nice to see the County respond to input from her citizens. Now, if we can just get more citizens to share their input on various issues (such as out-of-control spending) in a respectful and responsible manner and have other factions of our County Government listen to her citizens, sincerely considering their concerns and responding in a swift and appropriate manner…