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Why does the YMCA on Market Street have no unloading zones next to the handicapped parking spaces?

David Reynolds

Dick Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the Wilmington Family YMCA, says the facility has numerous handicapped spaces, and will make special accommodation for a handicapped person who can’t find room to park.

The YMCA on Market Street has handicapped parking in front of the building, as well as in lots beside the building, he said.

Laurel Wright, Chief Accessibility Code Consultant with the N.C. Department of Insurance, said regular handicapped parking-spaces must be 8 feet wide and have a 5-foot-wide access aisle.

But van-accessible spaces, one of which is required for every eight handicapped spaces, must have an access aisle that is eight-feet wide, according to U.S. Justice Department guidelines on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jones says many of the YMCA’s visitors require handicapped spaces, but that at peak times, they fill up. For that reason, he said, people who don’t need the spaces shouldn’t park in them.

Also, when the YMCA built a side-lot near its old entrance in 2007, it created two van-accessible spaces that meet current requirements, he said.

But Jones also says three of the six handicapped spaces in the front lot are positioned so there’s enough room a disabled person could unload a van.

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