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This article was published 7/11/2010 (2419 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Is it too much to ask, says Brian Peters, for a designated handicapped parking stall close to a school's entrance?
Only 17 of Winnipeg School Division's 77 schools have designated handicapped spots.
Many schools across the city don't have any space for visitors at all, and a few older schools don't even have parking lots.
"I'm physically challenged, I have terminal cancer," said Peters, who says he should have access when he goes to nearby Tyndall Park Community School and other schools in the city. "They don't have a stall -- they refused to put one up."
City election officials arranged to have a designated spot at Tyndall Park so Peters could vote last week, but that was just for one day.
Peters said he went to Seven Oaks school board last year to ask for designated parking stalls, and two weeks later, every school with a parking lot had one.
But WSD trustees have referred his request to budget talks in February. A WSD official said school parking lots did not come along until the late 1950s. They were considered employee parking lots, constructed and maintained on a cost-recovery basis from parking fees paid by teachers and other school staff.
"The majority of these parking lots were constructed prior to the implementation of City of Winnipeg bylaws requiring the provision of handicap accessible parking staff. City bylaws do not require visitor parking be provided in school parking lots," said the division official.
When school parking lots get a major refurbishing, or new ones are built, they include handicapped accessible stalls. But there are only 21 spots in 17 WSD schools.
Officials across the city said they accommodate teachers who ask for a designated handicapped spot.
"We have very few visitor parking spots at schools in the Louis Riel School Division," said superintendent Terry Borys.
"At the time of construction of many of our buildings, we were only required to have parking for staff.
"In some school locations with smaller staffs, schools have designated visitor parking stalls. On a case-by-case basis, where a request is made for handicapped parking stalls for visitors, we have tried to accommodate people," Borys said.
Seven Oaks superintendent Brian O'Leary said trustees responded quickly after Peters appealed to them.
River East Transcona schools have at least one parking spot for those with disabilities, said a division official.