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Today I took mom for her eye dr apt, and something I have noticed before really got me thinking. Her eye dr is a huge freestanding building along with several other businesses, and the handicapped parking is not close to the doors at all. But right in front of the door are 4 spaces labeld Private parking for XXX Vascular center, violators will be towed. Just crossed my mind that if I pulled into one of those suckers and hung the handicapped pass, could I really be towed? After all, I can park at any meter in MD and hang that pass and be free and clear, don't even need to pay the meter. And how does the vascular center get these spaces, when the other Drs do not and have plenty of elderly patients? I asked the staff at the eye dr, and they said they sort of wondered about that too. I thought handicapped parking was regulated? Sort of makes me want to call the local police station and ask about this. Has anyone else had this happen? Any thoughts? BTW my DD goes to this vascular center at 31, and she is much more able to trot across the parking lot than my 89 YO rollator bound mother, or the wheelchair bound I see in the eye drs! BTW these spaces used to be handicapped a few years ago.

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Thank you all for the thoughts. I wasn't really planning to park in one, I was just wondering. I have dropped mom off at the main door and unloaded her stuff. But I have to chuckle.. there is a Dunkin Doughnuts, a liquor store ( handicapped space right outside of that!) a ceramic workshop, several mental health counslers, an FBI unit and the human resource for the local hospital! Most of the people at moms eye dr are elderly ( he is a specialist) and in wheelchairs, and I know we go every 3 months so I suspect most of them do also. When I went to the vascular center with my DD ( who was there for blood clots) many seemed to be there for vein issues.. lots of wrapped legs.. and youngish.. So I understand they may have walking issues. This was mostly just a pondering.. But I do like the VAs pick up and delivery!
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In the US you aren’t sure to get towed if you park in those type of spots CM. It’s really only a risk if you park in a private lot and walk away. If you are a patron, most places won’t have you towed and most places won’t even know you parked in their spot unless they have a parking
lot attendant & most attendants will say something if you park in a designated spot and then head to a different business. Each state has laws for private property tows and you can’t just be towed away.
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FF, good points in raising the zoning issues, which really factor into the underlying agreements addressing the number of parking spaces, issues which as I wrote are addressed in configuring and planning buildings sharing parking areas.

I've noticed that new medical buildings in this area are avoiding ground parking space limitations by creating multi-structured parking lots.  These aren't new by any standards, but previously had been used more for multi story hospitals with adjacent medical facilities.

One advantage is that patients can transfer from their vehicles to elevators, which open directly on a first floor of the building or hospital.    So they avoid exposure to inclement weather.  

The AA VA has the best solution:   a driver who makes the rounds in the parking structure, picking up patients (and wheelchairs, rollators and walkers and caregivers) and delivering them directly to the building entrance of the medical center.
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Why don't you write a polite letter to the vascular centre people and ask them to justify their requisitioning of these spaces?

But if it's a private car park, I really wouldn't try cocking a snook at the rules - you're sure to get towed, yes (there's a huge, profitable racket going on in private parking enforcement services) and it won't be worth the fight.

You could also try to find out who manages the whole facility, and propose that they construct a drop off & collection point. Then patients can be driven right up to the door and taken into reception before their escorts go and park the car.

This isn't going to help people who are disabled but drive themselves to appointments, of course. Ummmm... Again, get the facility managers onto that one. They should be able to set up some kind of scheme for frequent visitors.
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Pam, I had the same issue with the eye doctor that my parents were using. Also in the same free standing building was a vascular center, along with sport injury doctors. I realize zoning only requires so many spaces per building, but did zoning ever think what would happen if all the suites were rented by medical doctors, especially sport injury.

Any time my folks had an eye doctor appointment, I would have to leave them off at the door, thus get out Dad's rolling walker, and hope my parents would go inside the lobby to sit down to wait while I look for parking in the back north 40.

And why do Staff park in the up close spaces?? Come on now, parking a few spaces over to leave some open spaces for clients would be a better idea. We do that at my building which has retail on the main level.
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I worked in various medical buildings for for more than 20 years. In Canada, not the US. In each one a % of the parking was dedicated to patient use and a % of those were marked handicapped. The problem is that on any given day a larger % of the people visiting the buildings were disabled. The work around was to have a drop off area, so family members could drop off the patient and go park elsewhere.

I know that is not a solution for all situations, sometimes it is not possible for a variety of reasons to drop off the patient and leave them on their own.

I would guess in OP's example, the vascular surgeons, knowing that their patients will have strictly limited mobility, have arranged with the owners of the building, or they could be the owners, to have those spots reserved for their patients.
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My chiropractor's building was owned by his brother in law. They agreed to have the 5 spots in front of the strip center office signed "x office only, towing enforced" (and spaces painted) for the chiro and towing allowed for an extra rent fee so it would hold up in court. Brother sold the mall, leasing company renewed leases with the same terms and a % increase on rates. My chiro has people towed from his lot weekly but only after coming out and verbally warning the drivers. So there can be private parking in the parking lot.
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The Vascular office needs those parking spots. Maybe you just came across the spots when they didn’t have a day of procedures scheduled.
Call your local police and ask them if you would get towed using a handicapped placard when you chose to park in what is essentially a private parking area reserved for a specific office’s patients.
I myself see plenty of handicapped parking everywhere I go including in a large MD office building.
Those vascular patients could have a very difficult time walking which is why the specialist took the time to arrange for those 4 dedicated slots. It’s only f.o.u.r. spaces!
IMO it’s unreasonable to pursue a discussion with building management at all- just honor their space.
Those spots aren’t for the staff of the vascular office either. They are for the patients of that office.
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It’s highly unlikely the top brass have their own car park. What is actually common here is that employees including top brass can’t park in the parking lots and have to find street parking. It’s also the property owner that would need to be contacted.
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The vascular centre probably has a list of staff, most important at the top. Write a letter to that person, and another to the boss at the place you are visiting. Say that this is causing bad feeling and there are discussions about it between strangers in the car park. There is a good chance that the top brass have their own park and have no idea about the problem. It’s cheap and easy as a first try – cheaper than risking the tow-away!
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Pam, this is a supposition based on commercial real estate transactions.   For shopping centers, business/medical centers (other than those owned by hospitals or their parent companies), and strip malls, the developer typically will require that all companies leasing space in the complex enter into  a Reciprocal Easement Agreement, or something similarly described.

An REA establishes rental terms, number of parking spaces, maintenance and snow removal of the common areas, proportionate real estate tax payments, and all other terms of the developer's operation of the mall, and the tenants use of the facilities leased.

I don't recall the ratios, but in smaller malls, such as strip malls, communities required specific numbers of spaces allocated, which varied by the tenant and type of business.  E.g., fast food companies which typically purchased an "outlot" would be allocated a certain number of parking spaces, as would a larger eat-in restaurant, or another type of business.  

This was done in the planning stage.

I don't recall addressing how many of those spaces would be allocated for each tenant, or how the tenant would be able to use them.   I'm guessing though that each lease addresses this and it varies by tenant.    It may also be that each tenant has the choice in how to allocate the spaces, reserving some for big wigs and hot shots, and the remainder for the clientele (patients).

That's my best guess; I haven't read any REAs since the early 1990s, and things may have changed, especially allocation of parking spaces to general public vs. handicapped.

I do recall that in some instances allocated parking spaces didn't meet community building department requirements, so the buildings and outbuildings sometimes had to be reconfigured to add enough spaces to meet standards.  
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I know that in CA, you can park in those spots with a handicap placard and not get towed. You can also park in timed spaces for why amount of time or in metered spaces without paying. I have run in to a similar problem at my daughters orthodontist, not for handicap parking but not being able to find any parking except spots designated for another business. It’s a free standing building that is shared with a bank and Curves for woman and a Verizon store. It’s also next to a free standing restaurant and during certain times of the day, the entire lot will be full except for 4 or 5 spaces that are marking for bank customers only. I had to park in one of those spots at her last appointment. I figured if they were gonna tow me, we would probably be done before the tow truck even got there. While we were waiting to see the ortho, another parent came in a bit agitated because there was no parking and he said he parked in one of the bank spots and wanted to know if he would be towed and the receptionist said it was fine, that patients park there all the time.
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I think you should speak to the office of the vascular place. What has occurred to me is that it may be for their elderly patients. I would also see if you could find a company name that might be in charge of the parking lot.

One particular doctor I take my mother to has a large parking lot and there has never been an available handicap parking spot when I have been there with her. I always have to drop her off in the front with her walker and then park. My mother is also 89. The whole building is medically related and there are a number of handicap spaces but they are always taken.

I think you should find someone to address this to. There at times can be a sense of worth to complaining even if it makes you feel better by making a valid point.
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