Fairmont Hotel Decides That Handicap Spot Is Really Intended For Taxi Cabs

Imagine you have a handicap parking placard on your vehicle, but when you pull up to a hotel, the handicap accessible spot is taken by a taxi that is just idling in case someone needs a ride. You’d expect the hotel to ask the cab to move out of the way, yes? Apparenty not at one Fairmont hotel in California.

Consumerist reader Gabriel says he and his family — which includes one disabled person — went to the San Jose, Calif., hotel on Father’s Day for a family meal. But when they pulled up to the one handicap spot in front of the hotel, the spot was taken up by a taxi.

“The valet confirmed the taxi was just waiting there in case able-bodied guests needed it, yet he refused to ask the taxi to move,” writes Gabriel. “He said it was private property and the Fairmont was not obligated to honor handicapped signage.”

In a letter to Fairmont, Gabriel says the hotel’s general manager told him the hotel had decided that the handicap spot is a “loading zone” and not a “parking space.”

“She informs me it is common practice at Fairmont Hotels for non-handicapped vehicles to use the handicapped loading zone, which she states is the industry standard practice,” he writes, adding that the manager “also states that my disabled companion should be happy because she was given the opportunity to get out by the valet station — a section of the driveway which contains a lot of foot traffic, uneven ground, and numerous obstacles.”

Gabriel claims the manager told him the valet acted properly in allowing the taxi to remain in the spot.

“She asked what I wanted in order to be satisfied and I replied for starters my satisfaction would begin by her pledge to respect the handicapped loading zones in the future,” he writes. “She indicated that was off the table as the hotel needs the handicapped zone for taxis and other able bodied people.”

The manager replied to his letter:

In follow up to our dialogue last night, please know that I sincerely regret any perception that has been created implying that we do not care or understand the legalities of compliance for accessibility. We aim to provide every one of our guests with respect, courtesy and convenience. As I explained, our team has recently completed sensitivity training with an ADA specialist and as such have been positively recognized for supporting recent ADA law changes relative to access to our leisure facilities.

While we are fortunate that the hotel’s entire driveway is considered ADA accessible (all one level with no obstructions) the hotel chose to designate a “loading and unloading” spot for the added convenience of our disabled guests. Please see the (attached) photo.

We do our utmost to keep this designated area clear as I also explained, however there are times when it will be temporarily occupied. I believe our doorman, who is there to assist in situations such as these, did the right thing in providing you with an even closer and safer entrance to the hotel and was trying to be helpful. If he did not interact with you appropriately, then I most sincerely apologize.

As we certainly want to do the “right thing” I have asked our legal counsel to review the pertinent regulations about this courtesy loading zone and should any changes be required, rest assured that I will implement them immediately.

The e-mail also included the a closer shot of the parking space showing a sign that says “passenger loading only; no parking.”

Gabriel’s reply to the manager:

The picture you provided does indeed indicate that the space taken up by the taxi is designated for “handicapped passenger loading only, no parking”. Unfortunately the Fairmont must consider that sign meaningless, it the space was not being used for “handicapped passenger loading only” but as a waiting pen for a taxi. Even this may have been a forgivable oversight if no handicapped people were around but our explicit request to use the space for its labeled purpose was unlawfully refused.

Additionally, I disagree with your assertion that a busy hotel doorman is qualified to determine what is a safe alternative unloading zone for a disabled person with complex medical issues.

The bottom line is that my family member was legally entitled to the designated space and it was denied to her even after our request. And no matter what excuse for this injustice is offered by the Fairmont, the picture I have of a taxi being allowed to sit in the handicapped space denied to a handicapped person will speak volumes to potential customers who will want to stand in solidarity for the rights of disabled people.

We agree with Gabriel that the signage only states that the spot is intended for the loading and unloading of cars displaying a handicap parking placard. And even if the hotel takes that to mean unloading and loading of all guests, we don’t see how it’s acceptable to allow an idling taxi to remain in the spot while those who need it are directed to a different area.

Comments

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  1. gman863 says:

    Watch for lawsuit based on ADA in three…two…one…

  2. theconversationalist says:

    There are legions of scummy lawyers in CA that would be ALL OVER this event. They sue businesses all day long for not being up-to-the-minute ADA compliant. All Gabriel has to do is pick up the phone and this hotel will become very sorry…

    • Costner says:

      This depends. The hotel is legally required to provide handicap parking spaces, but I’m not sure they are legally required to provide a designated loading / unloading space. Even further complicating matters, they claim their entire loading area shouldn’t present any troubles.

      I hate to say it, but the OP seems almost offended that he wasn’t able to park in that space when they went to dinner. Surely they could have pulled closer to the door to help the disabled member of the family enter the eatery – but it seems he was more concerned with parking there and not just unloading. The added statements about the valet area containing added foot traffic and numerous obstacles is almost comical since we all know the same entrance would be used regardless of whether they parked in that space, or pulled up closer to the door.

      It might be in poor taste for the hotel to label the space as handicapped when in reality that isn’t what they use it for, but I’m not sure they are violating any laws.

      • Sudonum says:

        I’ve run the engineering department of two very large hotels in southern CA and I agree. What’s left out is if the hotel had other handicapped spaces available that this guy passed by thinking he could park right by the door. And I can just about guarantee that the hotel would not have received a Certificate of Occupancy with only ONE ADA space. Unless it had less than 25 rooms.

        • Gilgiovine says:

          I am “this guy”, Gabriel. Your reply demonstrates the arrogance of the hotel industry.

          Stop implying that handicapped people are arrogant for wanting to use handicapped spaces.

          THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR A TAXI IN A HANDICAPPED SPACE. PERIOD.

      • Darsynia says:

        The point of mentioning the uneven ground and foot traffic, etc. was to illustrate how the offered space was not ideal and possibly unsafe for a disabled person.

      • Gilgiovine says:

        Gabriel here- I am indeed “offended” when my disabled family member’s legal rights are violated. Call me crazy. You must be a very cold person if you wouldn’t feel the same way about your own family being marginalized. Being told that a taxi’s convenience is more important than a person’s legal and human rights is very degrading.

        Your response is not grounded in any laws and your making things up about our motivations- there seem to be some people who really resent handicapped people using handicapped spaces and attirubute all kinds of eveil motifs to them- just like racism.

        THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR TAXIS IN HANDICAPPED SPACES. PERIOD.

    • DFManno says:

      [citation badly needed]

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    I like this handicap loading zone idea…. get rid of parking and have handicap loading zone.
    and I”m not talking a little sign that say handicap loading zone. I mean an actually zone that make it easier for handicap to get out of the car and into a business.

  4. Torchwood says:

    Ignorance is not a handicap. The hotel will find a way to make the Taxi company responsible.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Well, the taxi driver is responsible. He is parking in a location clearly marked for handicapped use. Using the defense that the doorman said it was okay is like me saying “Well, yeah, I robbed the bank, but the branch manager said it was okay.” I still would be in trouble, because robbing a bank is against the law.

      • Gilgiovine says:

        I am Gabriel- The valet physically stopped me from asking the taxi to move by running in between me and the taxi. He then ordered me away from it. He and the hotel are at fault

  5. DanKelley98 says:

    Let me see. Handicapped folks can get out of their car there, but they can’t park their car there. This makes no sense and there’s plenty of organizations willing to make a big stink over this. Go for it Gabriel!

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    “our team has recently completed sensitivity training with an ADA specialist”

    Why do you need to do training, why can’t you just follow the law since it’s not a particularly hard one to understand? If it’s a handicapped spot, tell taxis they can’t park there.

    I’ll be sending you a bill (I’m a common sense specialist) for the training I just provided you.

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      Whoa now. Just whoa. The Fairmont has only had 22 very short years to contemplate the staggering complexities of spraying blue and white paint onto an asphalt surface and to come to grips with the repercussions once done. One shouldn’t expect miracles overnight.

      Maybe you fancy east-coast-scholar types with your imported silk trousers and niche training cartels see this kind of thing every day. But in California hotels are still struggling to get over the Gold Rush slump.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I am an East coast scholar type and I do wear silk trousers (have you been peeking in my window again?) and I also wish there was a way to make your avatar bigger, sugarplum.

  7. dush says:

    I would have just pulled into the “no parking” section and unloaded. After all the signage doesn’t mean much to the hotel anyway.

  8. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    From their web site:

    Guest Comments and Customer Feedback
    Please specify the hotel name if applicable.
    Tel: 1 (866) 233-8133
    Fax: (416) 874-2601
    Email: comments@fairmont.com

  9. bhr says:

    Look, it sucks that the hotel allowed a taxi to idle in the spot if you had a passenger that wanted to unload, they could have at least told the Taxi to make a loop or something.

    But it appears that the OP wanted to park in the loading zone, which is obnoxious and entitled. This is clearly not a parking space, and since you were able to unload your passenger in front of the restaurant I don’t see the problem. When my mother had a HC placard and was riding in my car I often deposited her in the front of businesses, then parked in a regular space, since the person parking wasn’t handicapped. I don’t see the inconvenience here.

    I get quite pissed about people parking in the handicap spots at stores without a placard/plate, but I have a couple friends who think that just because they have the placard it entitles them to park w/e they want, regardless of spaces available, and it drives me nuts.

    • Misha says:

      Where does it say they wanted to park there?

    • RandomHookup says:

      Actually, you can park in a handicap space as long as the person is with you with you arrive or depart (according to a former colleague whose daughter is a dwarf and requires the permit and some extra help). Not that picking up/dropping off your mother isn’t a better option.

      • bhr says:

        Oh, I know. I was just using that to illustrate the value of an actual handicap loading zone spot. It would be nice if more malls/businesses had a place to let customers out in front who can’t do so quickly. The lazy fat fucks (I am one) who get dropped off in front only take seconds, but if I need to take 2 minutes to help a disabled passenger out I get honked/cussed at by impatient people.

    • who? says:

      Actually, in a lot of locations, California included, having the handicapped placard *does* entitle them to park pretty much wherever they want. From the California DMV website:

      With your disabled placard (temporary or permanent) or your permanent disabled license plates, you may park :

      - In any parking space with the International Symbol of Access. (wheelchair symbol)
      - Next to a blue curb authorized for handicap parking.
      - Next to a green curb (green curbs indicate limited-time parking) for as long as you like.
      - In a metered parking space on the street at no charge.
      - In an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit.

      Check public arenas, like sports stadiums, to see if they offer free disabled parking. Many do.

      Do not park in the areas marked with white hatch marks (near the disabled parking spots), any red (no stopping), yellow (commercial vehicles only), or white (passenger loading and unloading only) curbs.

    • who? says:

      California law requires a business to have certain number of handicapped spaces, depending on the number of total parking spaces they have. I suspect that this is actually a legally required handicapped parking space. The signage saying that it’s a van accesible handicapped space is permanent. The sign saying that it’s a loading zone is a temporary sign. Somebody probably decided that the handicapped space would make a better loading zone, and put out the loading zone sign without checking the law.

    • Gilgiovine says:

      Gabriel here- Actually handicapped people are “entitled” to handicapped spots. That is the whole point. And BTW, we would have been happy to unload there and park elsewhere if the space was needed for other handicapped people to unload there. But using it for a taxi is unacceptable.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Oh, call the cops. If someone is parked in a handicapped space and there’s an available officer, that’s 100% free money for the city.

  10. HPCommando says:

    Sorry, Fairmont…you’re busted! Especially with the very last paragraph.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=82359523688+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

    California Vehicle Code Section 22507.8. (a) It is unlawful for any person to park or leave
    standing any vehicle in a stall or space designated for disabled
    persons and disabled veterans pursuant to Section 22511.7 or 22511.8
    of this code or Section 14679 of the Government Code, unless the
    vehicle displays either a special identification license plate issued
    pursuant to Section 5007 or a distinguishing placard issued pursuant
    to Section 22511.55 or 22511.59.
    (b) It is unlawful for any person to obstruct, block, or otherwise
    bar access to those parking stalls or spaces except as provided in
    subdivision (a).
    (c) It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing any
    vehicle, including a vehicle displaying a special identification
    license plate issued pursuant to Section 5007 or a distinguishing
    placard issued pursuant to Section 22511.55 or 22511.59, in either of
    the following places:
    (1) On the lines marking the boundaries of a parking stall or
    space designated for disabled persons or disabled veterans.
    (2) In any area of the pavement adjacent to a parking stall or
    space designated for disabled persons or disabled veterans that is
    marked by crosshatched lines and is thereby designated, pursuant to
    any local ordinance, for the loading and unloading of vehicles parked
    in the stall or space.
    (d) Subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) apply to all offstreet parking
    facilities owned or operated by the state, and to all offstreet
    parking facilities owned or operated by a local authority.
    Subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) also apply to any privately owned and
    maintained offstreet parking facility.

    • bhr says:

      But this isn’t a parking facility or zone. It’s the aisle right in front of the building, where there is no parking of any sort.

      • hymie! says:

        Depending on how long that taxi is allowed to stay there, they may have inadvertantly re-designated it as a parking space.

      • Gilgiovine says:

        Gabriel here again- It doesn’t matter if it was parking or loading or whatever. The law citied above says any car “left stading” in any “space or stall” marked for the handicapped is in violation. And that is just this one law. The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) is much more comprehensive and there are additional federal, state, and local laws on top of that.

        I actually called the police a few days later on. They confirmed the situation was illegal. I’m looking into filing a formal police report now.

      • Gilgiovine says:

        That interpretation would be EVEN WORSE on the hotel’s part because all buildings are required to have handicapped accessible parking permenently installed by their entrace. If you argue there is no parking at all there, then you are arguing the hotel did not even bother to follow the law in its construction and design.

    • blueman says:

      Uh, that might be applicable if this were a parking space. But it’s not.

      But thanks for playing!

      • ChuckECheese says:

        The rule also prohibits “standing” in a handicapped area. The taxi is standing, which is also not allowed. The main point being that the area is designated for handicapped un/loading or parking, not for taxis.

      • who? says:

        I suspect it actually *is* a legally mandated handicapped parking space. The sign saying it’s a handicapped space is permanent. The sign saying it’s a loading zone is temporary. California law mandates that a business have a certain number of handicapped parking spaces, and I’m guessing that someone at the hotel thought that this one was in an inconvenient spot, so they repurposed it without checking whether they could legally do that.

  11. Blue Moonlight says:

    Bigger question – would they allow a blind person to enter their establishment with a guide dog? We already know a certain *other* business’ answer to that!

  12. KenZ says:

    Well, it is a valet stand so in practive, a disabled person could leave their car with the valet.

    • Tijil says:

      A valet could easily park my handicapped plate vehicle, all normal controls work just fine.

      My ex-brother-in-law’s car did not have operable foot pedals.

      A good friend’s vehicle does not even have a driver’s seat: His power wheelchair locks into place and acts as the driver’s seat.

      Neither of those is safely parked by the average mouth-breather acting as “valet.”

  13. blueman says:

    Folks, it’s NOT a parking space. It’s a loading zone. That is a fair and legal distinction, so drop all your knee-jerk lawsuit rhetoric.

    What I don’t understand is why the hotel is willing to go to the mat on this. Make the taxi move, let the customer use the space and be done with it. Otherwise the OP is right: Why have the space at all?

    • dragonvpm says:

      Actually, unless they have other handicap spaces, it would be safe to say that the hotel is lying about what this area is officially designated as. Since the manager didn’t say “well you could have parked in this handicap spot over here” I suspect this was their one and only handicap spot. The ADA is pretty clear on the need to have X number of handicap spots (with a minimum of 1) for all public establishments. Given that their loading sign is portable I suspect they decided to do what they wanted to and they haven’t actually checked on whether it’s legal or not.

      I’m pretty sure as soon as the proper authorities become aware of this they’ll be having a talk with the hotel and that policy will be getting changed right quick.

      • taaurrus says:

        Oh, and while you’re going back to look at the picture of the PERMANENT handicap parking sign and the TEMPORARY loading zone sign – check out the pic the OP took of the taxicab sitting in the handicap PARKING SPOT – look through the cab’s windows – right where the temporary sign-on-a-stand is shown to be on the pic the manager sent. What do you see?? NOTHING. There is NO sign there saying it’s a loading zone. There is no sign there AT ALL. This sign was put there, by the manager or whoever the manager told to do it, AFTER THE FACT – in, like I said, an effort to cover their a@@. I hope the OP notices that there was NO sign there previously and now there is. The hotel purposefully posting this sign after the fact and trying to act like it was there all along? That shows intent to deceive and to intent to purposefully NOT abide by ADA laws. I hope the OP sues them and I hope more news media calls them out on this! That manager should be ashamed of herself & also FIRED.

    • taaurrus says:

      Actually it IS a parking space and NOT a loading zone. If you actually LOOK at the picture; you will see that the handicap sign stating the space is for handicap PARKING is a PERMANENT sign and the “passenger loading only no parking” sign is a TEMPORARY sign, on a STAND, that looks like they set it there AFTER THE FACT to, oh idk, COVER THEIR A@@?? Further – even the temporary attempt to cover their a@@ sign clearly displays that the space is intended for HANDICAP use only! Regardless, neither the permanent sign nor the temporary “oh-crap-we-need-to-make-a-sign-stating-the-spot-isn’t-for-parking-so-we-don’t-get-sued” give a taxi cab or any other vehicle w/o a handicap person any right to park/sit/idle at ANY time. Seriously – look at tihe picture! Which sign looks to be permanent to you?? And if this spot was REALLY just a loading zone for handicap then WHY is there a permanent handicap parking sign on the wall? Uh, maybe cuz it WASN’T a loading zone until the manager had this temporary, movable sign put there? Yeah?

    • Gilgiovine says:

      Please cite your source about “a fair a legal distincition”- every law cited here makes no such mention.

  14. BMR777 says:

    Anyone else notice that the sign that says it is a handicapped loading zone is a portable sign that can be moved? The photos the hotel sent with this sign in place can’t be trusted as they could have just easily put this sign there after the fact. It probably wasn’t there the day the cab was parked there. Also, I can’t tell if this is a parking space or loading zone. The photo looks like it has a white line in front of the cab, such as to complete the parking space, which if that is the case it makes it hard to argue this is a loading zone only, especially as the sign affixed to the building makes no mention of it being a loading zone, just that the spot is van accessible.

  15. Lucky225 says:

    I suppose it depends on the definition of “space”.

    California Vehicle Code

    22507.8. (a) It is unlawful for any person to park or leave
    standing any vehicle in a stall or space designated for disabled
    persons and disabled veterans pursuant to Section 22511.7 or 22511.8
    of this code or Section 14679 of the Government Code, unless the
    vehicle displays either a special identification license plate issued
    pursuant to Section 5007 or a distinguishing placard issued pursuant
    to Section 22511.55 or 22511.59.
    (b) It is unlawful for any person to obstruct, block, or otherwise
    bar access to those parking stalls or spaces except as provided in
    subdivision (a).
    (c) It is unlawful for any person to park or leave standing any
    vehicle, including a vehicle displaying a special identification
    license plate issued pursuant to Section 5007 or a distinguishing
    placard issued pursuant to Section 22511.55 or 22511.59, in either of
    the following places:
    (1) On the lines marking the boundaries of a parking stall or
    space designated for disabled persons or disabled veterans.
    (2) In any area of the pavement adjacent to a parking stall or
    space designated for disabled persons or disabled veterans that is
    marked by crosshatched lines and is thereby designated, pursuant to
    any local ordinance, for the loading and unloading of vehicles parked
    in the stall or space.
    (d) Subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) apply to all offstreet parking
    facilities owned or operated by the state, and to all offstreet
    parking facilities owned or operated by a local authority.
    Subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) also apply to any privately owned and
    maintained offstreet parking facility.

    • Lucky225 says:

      Oh looky here:

      California Vehicle Code

      22511.7. (a) In addition to Section 22511.8 for offstreet parking,
      a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, designate onstreet
      parking spaces for the exclusive use of a vehicle that displays
      either a special identification license plate issued pursuant to
      Section 5007 or a distinguishing placard issued pursuant to Section
      22511.55 or 22511.59.
      (b) (1) Whenever a local authority so designates a parking space,
      it shall be indicated by blue paint on the curb or edge of the paved
      portion of the street adjacent to the space. In addition, the local
      authority shall post immediately adjacent to and visible from the
      space a sign consisting of a profile view of a wheelchair with
      occupant in white on a blue background.
      (2) The sign required pursuant to paragraph (1) shall clearly and
      conspicuously state the following: “Minimum Fine $250.” This
      paragraph applies only to signs for parking spaces constructed on or
      after July 1, 2008, and signs that are replaced on or after July 1,
      2008.
      (3) If the loading and unloading area of the pavement adjacent to
      a parking stall or space designated for disabled persons or disabled
      veterans is to be marked by a border and hatched lines, the border
      shall be painted blue and the hatched lines shall be painted a
      suitable contrasting color to the parking space. Blue or white paint
      is preferred. In addition, within the border the words “No Parking”
      shall be painted in white letters no less than 12 inches high. This
      paragraph applies only to parking spaces constructed on or after July
      1, 2008, and painting that is done on or after July 1, 2008.
      (c) This section does not restrict the privilege granted to
      disabled persons and disabled veterans by Section 22511.5.

      • HPCommando says:

        Section 22511.7 refers specifically to local government controlled areas.

        Section 22507.8(d) is more inclusive, as it also specifically includes private property under its umbrella, whether space, stall or parking facility.

        The taxi driver/company is subject to the $250 parking fine. The Fairmont is likely subject to that and much, much more for “re-imagining” the terms of the law for their own purposes.

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Get the city inspector down there to make a ruling.

  17. oldwiz65 says:

    Wonder how far away the “real” HP parking spaces are? Probably way back on a different level with no elevator access. Hotels tend to thumb their noses at the ADA anyway, but I would think a high end like the Fairmont would be better. Full ADA compliance is very difficult anyway, but I would think that an HP parking space would be easy enough.

  18. dragonvpm says:

    Based on their response, I think this is in fact a parking space that they illegally re-designated as a loading zone. The ADA is very clear about the need to provide a certain number of handicap spaces if you are providing parking for your customers. A restaurant/hotel would clearly need to provide some sort of handicap parking and I’m really quite surprised that they didn’t simply point the OP to another handicap space on site. While a handicap loading/unloading area could be a nice extra feature for a hotel to have, not directing a customer to an acceptable handicap parking area seems highly unusual and it makes me wonder if that loading area wasn’t one of the few handicap spaces the hotel was required to have.

    Regardless of that though letting a taxi park there completely negates the point to having it in the first place (would it really be that hard to repaint the spot so that it clearly stated “taxi parking only”?) and it would certainly make me think twice about staying someplace that appears to be happy to be rude to a handicap customer and break the law at the hotel’s convenience.

    f they d Honestly I’d be surprised if the hotel was only required to have one handicap parking space, but perhaps the other handicap spaces have also been re-designated (perhaps the manager has a nice spot right by the door now).

  19. AnonymousCitizen says:

    One solution would be to take your business elsewhere.

  20. Pete the Geek says:

    I’m interested to know what the taxi company has to say about their taxi #7045 parking in a designated handicapped spot.

  21. herblock says:

    If you ever noticed a small business with a lot of handicapped spots, it’s because they get a tax write-off. You can bet Fairmount took theirs. So they could be guilty of tax fraud.

  22. melanie95 says:

    Exactly. Despite public perception, there are handicapped people who can and do drive themselves (Iike me, a paraplegic for 17 years) and would like a place to park their freaking cars. It isn’t so much about parking up close for me; it’s more about having a space where no one can park too close to me on the driver’s side and keep me from getting into my own car. Is that too much to ask?

    • Gilgiovine says:

      Gabriel here- Malanie, please email fairmont corporate and cc the manager to show your solidaridy. I hope you tell your friends and family to do the same.

  23. shepd says:

    If the driver remains in the cab, then it’s just stopping, not parking, and thus (depending on your handicap parking laws) not illegal.

    If he gets out to help passengers, it’s standing, and probably also not illegal.

    Of course, once he leaves the vicinity of the cab, it’s different.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Untrue. The rule expressly prohibits non-handicapped vehicles from standing (parked while idling or while occupying the car) as well as actual parking in handicapped areas. You do not get a pass because you are inside your illegally stopped car under California’s rules.

    • Gilgiovine says:

      shepd- cite your source. Your statement is counter to all the laws cited here.

  24. taaurrus says:

    LOOK through the cabs windows in the pic the OP took – the loading zone sign, that is a temporary sign on a stand, is NOT visible though the windows. The sign is NOT where the pic the manager shows it was to be. The sign was put there AFTER THE FACT. It was NOT there before. The hotel is trying to cover their a@@.

  25. ectreece says:

    I work in a Veteran’s Administration facility. The entire row of parking close to the doors is set for handicapped parking. This is about a third of the parking for patients. My shift ends about 2 hours after the outpatient clinics close. A visitor was circling looking for a parking spot. Since the outpatient clinics were closed the lot was mostly empty and I pointed to the second and third rows. What she wanted was a spot close to the doors. She was offended when I told her that yes it was all handicapped parking. I wondered who she thought we treated. I was parked in a side lot about a block away.

  26. Crusso says:

    What everyone seems to be missing and what he CA laws quoted above make clear, is that the fact that the spot has a blue background with a wheelchair painted on it designates this as a handicap PARKING SPOT. There is no such designation in CA code as a “handicap loading zone” . Thus, regardless of what the hotel decided to use it as, unless they totally paint over the pavement markings it is a Handicap Parking Spot and can be nothing else.
    However, I don’t know about CA and couldn’t find it in the code, but in NY, having a handicap placard or plate on the car DOES NOT entitle that car to be parked in a handicap spot UNLESS the driver is the person to whom the plate/placard was issued. So parking there just because you are driving someone who is handicapped is NOT permissible. You need to unload the person then go park in a regular spot and then come back later and pick them up at the entrance. It may be different in CA, but the OP may in fact not have been entitled to park in that spot anyway since he was driving and is not handicapped, placard not withstanding.
    He should however been allowed to use the spot to unload and both the hotel and cab co. should be fined.

    • Tijil says:

      In Washington state it can be the driver OR passenger being transported who is allowed the right to use a handicapped spot. Whoever it is has an ID card keyed to the plate or placard that shows they have the right to the spot. It’s in the RCWs – I’ll dig it up if need be…

  27. JenK says:

    Those signs are confusing and misleading. In Ontario you see a handicapped parking sign, it’s a spot to park in. Period. $350 fine if you don’t have a proper permit. Customer loading/unloading zones in hotels are used for everyone. It’s the parking spot that needs to be labelled and accessible. Makes things much simpler.

    • Gilgiovine says:

      Gabriel here- it’s just as simple in California. The hotel is making up this imagined difference and they think it excuses them from having to follow the law.

  28. Tijil says:

    If that Fairmont were in Washington state I’d take them on with no qualms: Here it is unlawful for the person owning or controlling the property with a marked handicap spot to allow it to be blocked AND there are actually fines applicable to them. See: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.581

    (I’ve had the police respond to businesses repeatedly allowing handicapped spots to be blocked, and fine the property owner.)
    ________

    “A parking space or stall for a person with a disability shall be indicated by a vertical sign with the international symbol of access, whose colors are white on a blue background, described under RCW 70.92.120. The sign may include additional language such as, but not limited to, an indication of the amount of the monetary penalty defined in RCW 46.19.050 for parking in the space without a valid permit.

    “Failure of the person owning or controlling the property where required parking spaces are located to erect and maintain the sign is a class 2 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW for each parking space that should be so designated. The person owning or controlling the property where the required parking spaces are located shall ensure that the parking spaces are not blocked or made inaccessible, and failure to do so is a class 2 civil infraction.”
    ________

  29. elangomatt says:

    I wonder if the manager had to ask the taxi to move to snap that picture of the permanently attached sign and temporary sign. It is also a bit interesting that the manager didn’t bother to take a picture with the wheelchair symbol on the brick driveway (visible in the OPs picture). Perhaps (s)he realized that it wouldn’t help the hotel’s case at all.

    I think that an ADA lawsuit would probably be a slam dunk here, and I actually agree with it for once. The worst part of it is that if the valet had just asked the taxi to move, then it would probably have been a non issue for the OP.

  30. dullard says:

    While it can be discussed back and forth as to how the OP should have handled this matter, the fact remains that it is a space designated for the handicapped. A taxicab cannot legally park there. The hotel should have asked the driver to move.

  31. Pete the Geek says:

    “I sincerely regret any perception that has been created implying that we do not care or understand the legalities of compliance for accessibility”. They are defending the use of a designated handicapped loading zone by a taxicab while a handicapped person was directed to a different, less accessible loading zone. OF COURSE they do not care or understand the legalities.

    The signage and pavement markings were almost certainly painted to comply with some federal, state or municipal laws. Hotel management has openly and unapologetically decided to reinterpret them to mean “taxicab stand”. I’m surprised that this story has not reached the national media.

    • Firethorn6 says:

      You know, I think that it would be very NICE to have more loading/unloading/taxi parking spots? A spot where the UPS/FEDEX truck can legally park to unload?

      Instead so many of such spots are taken up by handicapped spots that are hardly used, at least in my area. I’ve also been in areas where it at least seems that there are more handicap placarded vehicles than not.

      • Gilgiovine says:

        Wow. You are saying handicapped people have it too good? You’d rather have spots where FedEx can be 10 feet closer to your door than if they stopped on the street when they deliver your Amazon.com packages so you get them 30 seconds faster?

        You’re probably one of those people who think minorities have it too goo also. You are the definition of selfish and you should be ashamed.

  32. Diamondfan1957 says:

    I would have immediately called the SJ Police Department parking enforcement and waited for them to arrive. The Taxi would have gotten a ticket (which is pretty steep) and the hotel maybe a fine. They take handicapped parking very seriously, even places like Costco.

  33. mcgyver210 says:

    Not sure but I have never heard of any law saying a business has to provide a Handicapped Loading Zone so this OP is really wrong in their assertion they are entitled to this loading zone for parking.

    Now if the Hotel isn’t really going to honor this Loading Zone maybe they should remove the sign or modify it.

    While we are at it why not make Handicapped people personally responsible for abuse of their placards which prevents other truly Handicapped people from using the designated spots. Funny how they never complain or threaten to sue over this.

    Handicapped placards should only be issued to people who truly need them. They are so abused now days for FREE parking which is unfair IMO, requiring even more spots because of the blatant abuse etc etc….

    • Gilgiovine says:

      McGyver, do you work for the Fairmont? Hard to believe a regular person could be so ignorant. Yes, all business are required to provide designated handicapped parking close to the door. The fact that Fairmont calls their legally mandated space a loading zone does not exempt them from the law. The law makes no such distinction and reserves all spaces of any kind marked with the symbol of access (person in a wheelchair) for vehicles displaying a disabled placard.

      And the part about some handicapped people not being handicapped enough for your standards is just bizarre.