Friday, October 2, 2015

Some Things Should Be Easy To Fix

Photo of a disability parking space, focused on the painted wheelchair symbol and lines
Amy Packman, Huffington Post UK - October 2, 2015

So much stupid ...

If we take this Geoff Pearson at his word, his whole objective is to get his council government to stop being sloppy with local codes, like how to mark a disability parking space properly. Now, he may be using this technicality as an excuse, but have a hunch that he isn’t. There’s someone like him buzzing around every municipality ... obsessively concerned with procedure, and sort of oblivious to practical outcomes and how they affect actual people.

Of course, none of this would be an issue at all if the local council would get its act together and repaint the parking space the proper way. Public officials don't like admitting mistakes though.

There’s not much you can say about the Wallaces. Not being able to park in that space clearly causes a problem for them. At first I didn’t understand how a school could have so little parking, but I live in a small US town where schools sit on extensive grounds and have dedicated parking lots. Edinburgh is a centuries-old city, where I guess at least some schools have only street parking.

I usually advocate dealing with these kinds of disability issues systematically, through official channels, formal complaints, and policy analysis. In this case, though, it seems like what’s missing is some basic human decency and one-on-one communication:
Mr. Wallace: “I know you have a beef with the council over that parking space, and I sort of agree with you. But could you just not park there? I really need the space so its easier to take my son to school."
Mr. Pearson: “Sure, okay. Sorry."
Or how about this:
Council Executive: "We won’t be taking up new parking issues until January …"
Mr. Wallace: “It’s just a mistake in how it was laid out and painted. Can’t you just fix it now?"
Council Executive: “Well, okay, I guess we can.”
Mr. Wallace: Ta!
Kind of a Kumbiaya scenario, but is it really all that unrealistic? We get so caught up in processes and making points that I think we sometimes pass up opportunities to just solve stuff like human beings.