What Pisses Me Off: Lack of seniors parking! 395

What pisses me off


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I will probably be accused of being a grumpy old man. I don’t mind because I am one!

Shopping centres are the places that bring out the worst in me, making my grumpiness rise to the top.

Why do the centres very ‘kindly’ provide car parking spaces near their entrances for mothers with prams? The bold signs me see red.

These people are mostly young and able-bodied and quite capable of walking long distances without any trouble.

Ever watched seniors, who don’t qualify for a disabled spot, pushing their stubborn trolleys to the farthest end of the car park? What with the camber, pot holes and wheels which have a mind of their own, it is quite a task.

Why don’t the Queensland centres follow New Zealand’s example (for once) and place senior parking spots next to disabled ones? This would make shopping much easier for my wife and I and many other seniors, too.

And another thing about shopping centres: why must there be play areas for screaming young children?

The mothers sit on benches quaffing their flat whites while their offspring exercise their lungs on slides and climbing frames. At times I am forced to switch off my hearing aids to prevent the blood curdling screams giving me a headache.

The centres might think the play areas bring families in to shop. But from what I have witnessed, many families especially on hot days, bring in food and drink and let the kids play, while they chat.

Well, the tinsel is up and the lights are flashing on the Christmas decorations, but what has happened to the nativity scenes? Missing this year is the large one which has been part of the festive season for many years at the large south-east shopping centre we attend.

Has its absence anything to do with not upsetting other people? It upsets me not to see it.

Do this piss you off too? Tell us your thoughts below.

Guest Contributor

  1. Totally agree about the spot for mother’s, should be for disabled or seniors and not for people who are fit and fully able to walk longer distances.

    17 REPLY
    • Bev I recently had to call my local council about the misuse of disabled parking and I’m glad I asked about all the parking available for PARENTS WITH PRAMS and they advised me that anyone can actually park in those spots as they can’t enforce that type of parking, the councils basically provide the spots out of curtesy only, however if you need to be close to the entrance you may certainly park in those spots, unfortunately for me I need the disabled spots so I can open my door fully to get in and out of my car so unless I can find one available on the end where I can achieve that I just have to continue my search until I find the appropriate space!

    • I was also told the same thing at a question / answer time with our local council ..ie disabled parking spots are the only ones enforced

    • At Greenhills East Maitland as you drive in on right hand side there is a large area for disabled parking and very easy access to the entrance.. Well planned out !!

    • Glad to hear these comments. I am disabled and couldn’t get a blue bay so parked in one for mums with prams. Some woman abused me, even though there were still some spots available for her. Some of these young mums think the world revolves around them. I survived without this and was a person with a disability. Get over it young mums!

      1 REPLY
      • Never enough disabled and senior parking and often in difficult to reach areas or blazing sun. Hornsby Wesrfield have made a token effort but Thornleigh Westfield have one undercover space only next to the cargo lift ! My husband has poor balance and was green and dizzy after one floor. I complained to management and was told to use pram spaces ( when not being used by maintenance vans – the worst offenders of misuse I find ) so have been waiting for complainees to ask them to please reinforce our complaints but no luck so far.
        But forget parking until next year now for either group. Our extended families will get a book and money this year. Am even thinking of ordering groceries on line meanwhile, but, Hornsby has NO National Broadband !!!! The excuse given was that our retirees are not computer savvy enough !! We actually have 3 grandchildren under our roof and help feed them and let’s forget the multitude of high rise residences near rail stations to encourage commuters and their families.

    • Found the same thing when I used to take my 95 year old Mum to shops 2 or 3 disabled bays and about 10 parents with prams bays.

    • I thought the spots for parents were a bit wider so they had more room for getting babies & toddlers out of their seats. Have seen many times the next car gets knocked with an open door. I agree they don’t need to be close to the entrance as usually they are more able-bodied than many seniors.

    • Susan Wright we survived without lots of things. Most of us take advantage of improvements where possible. Surely we shouldn’t just stop and not make any improvements!

    • I love improvements but feel more for elderly and disabled than young mums. Thats when i had all my energy and i needed it with 3 under 3 years.

    • Yes disabled are the only enforced ones people with disabled stickers can park in pram parking,so do it folks your allowed the more the merrier might get something done..l had 5 under 8.5 & managed very well without them & lots of other things you have energy when you are young old people don’t,we all get old unless you die young…

    • I’ve noticed these parks are near the shops and you don’t have to walk across the where cars drive. When my kids were toddlers, I used to always try and find a park where you didn’t have to walk where cars drive in case my young children with zero road sense wouldn’t run out of the car or shops in front of a car… I think it’s good to help keep little ones safe?

    • Ronda Holland yes these mums today expect everything they have it too easy when I was a young mum I didn’t even have a car Had to catch the bus or walk.

    • Anne Haffenden, are you serious? Mums today probably have the heaviest load. And if you had to struggle as a young mum, which BTW, I think most young mums do, will you only be happy if every person now and in the future has it as tough as you did? What a mean spirit.

    • Anne..you did amazing..not even having a car and you would have had as much as any young mum today to deal with…

  2. Couldn’t agree more. .I’ve watched the elderly do that a lot and have stated this same thing many times.

  3. NZ has parking for seniors? Never seen it in my city

    5 REPLY
    • I’ve seen one or two seniors parking spots at Rickerton Mall in Christchurch. Great but not many and not many disabled spots either from memory.

    • My partner’s mum (86) doesn’t have a car so no disability park card. When she stays with us in Tauranga it’s always hard to find somewhere close to the door so she doesn’t have far to walk. And she so loves shopping.

      1 REPLY
      • Karin, your mum can still get a disability permit without owning a car. My dear departed mum had one for many years, and she didn’t have a car.

        The permit is about being able to get around, not about having your own transport. She would be issued with a ‘passenger only’ permit if approved.

        I’d suggest you make enquiries at her local council.

    • Karin, in Australia, the card holder doesn’t have to be the driver. I’m surprised that’s the case in NZ. Surely the rule can be changed. Being a passenger doesn’t make it any easier to walk from car to shop.

    • Thanks Sue. Not sure of the rules here. But I do know you have to pay for the disability card. She only uses it when she’s on holiday with us 3 or 4 times a year so decided it wasn’t worth it

  4. Sorry as a grandma , over sixty and often look after our toddler grandkids, i try to get a parents with prams as they are a wider park to get kids in and out of the car. If i shop without the toddlers them i walk, it is good exercise and push a trolley. Have a nice day.

    23 REPLY
    • Glad to hear you are fit enough to do it. I am in constant pain but nothing shows on X-rays so not eligible for disabled but can’t walk that far

    • sorry but not as fit as you think, arthritis in both feet, ankles right knee, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis . Have the attitude, use it or lose it. Just work through the pain.

    • Rosie Bradford that is not nice to tell people to work through pain.

      2 REPLY
      • I am with you Rosie. I am in constant pain and just work through it. They could always put the mothers with prams in a different area of the cat park. Not necessary to have them at the front door. They have not want the right for special treatment yet.

      • I am with you Rosie. I am in constant pain and just work through it. They could always put the mothers with prams in a different area of the car park. Not necessary to have them at the front door. They have not earnt the right for special treatment yet. And if it is because you cannot juggle your children and a trolley maybe more discipline is required. Your mother’s managed. Age of entitlement!!!

    • A lot depends on weather too Rosie, if pouring rain, roads to walk are slippery, if hot was 42 here on Friday, you stick to tar

    • May be the sign should be changed to “parking for grandparents accompanied by small children” or something similar.
      I think, by the way, that Rosie was referring to herself as working through the pain, not suggesting others do it.

    • Not everyone is as fit as you obviously are Rosie. I know when I damaged my leg I suddenly realised how long that walk to the car is at the supermarket. Previously I valued the walk as good exercise!

    • If you are fit and able to walk good on you but what if you are riddled with arthritis and have other problems not so good. I do most of my shopping online now so am now a hermit and don’t get many pleasures

    • Well, my doctor told I would be in a wheel chair by the time I was 55 and now seven years later I am not. I have kept my self moving, the bad days are just that, and I keep smiling and remain happy. There is always someone worse off. Working through the pain is about managing your pain. Do what you can but keep moving. Joints will seize up if you don’t use them. Mild exercise is good for everyone. Walking is a good mild exercise. You dont have to walk a marathon. Just be happy

    • They can still put wider places further out.
      The Coles shopping centre in Yeppoon has seniors car parks next to disabled

    • Christa Caldecott I don’t think the parent parking is because they can’t walk the distance. It is for the safety of the little ones.

      1 REPLY
      • You have to be aware that not all elderly are sprightly and able to cope with longer distances and huge trolleys to reach into. They are not eligible for parking for those with a disability , but still need some recognition that they need to be closer to the shop. Many have pain and stiffness and are not as flexible. Why should that not be given some consideration?

    • Perhaps you should start a pertition to make ALL car parjs wider but i hadnt notice that pram parking was that much wider…in fact even the disabled car parks are getting smaller…makes it very difficult for a wheel chair user….hard to get the chair close to the door.

    • Rosie you are very lucky if you are a grandma and do not find it difficult. There are many seniors not so lucky and would love the option of seniors parking.

    • I pulled in to a seniors car park a few weeks ago, got out and was about to lock my car when a guy came over and told me to move as this was for seniors only. Okay, I colour my hair and usually dress okay and did have make-up on having just gone to the Dr. I told him thank-you for the compliment and showed him my licence and seniors card, I am 64 next year and after he apologised with a little blushing, I told him to go to Specsavers.

    • I’m a grandma too…but a young one at 58 and I have arthritis in my hips..but I go to the gym and keep slim and I still slog my way up hills and some mountains…we walk a lot and I never care how far I have to walk to the car..I am in a lot of pain in my back and hips sometimes too…but walking seems to make it better..sometimes after a long up hill walk I will suffer for a few days but I don’t care…

  5. I’ve written to my local shopping centre about senior spots n had no reply ..The parent spots are no wider n just as many as disabled ..why .. us seniors are having to park further away n manoeuvre trolleys down a hill and at night its badly lit and I feel unsafe ..am getting fed up with us seniors being 2nd class ..

    4 REPLY
  6. Young mothers could do with the exercise and dont need to be close. These parks should be for seniors. They can still have mothers parks, just put them further away. I never parked at the door with my children.

    12 REPLY
    • I strongly disagree! It is a safety issue. Juggling a trolly & small children. Are you so old & self centered that you have forgotten what it is like? It is easy to tell a parents car. It is the one that is not spotless, has at least one child seat & sticky handprints in it!

    • Linda Chaffey I agree. Parent parks are a safety issue and are well used. I would love a few seniors parks theough.

    • It would be okay if parents used these spots ‘safely’, but don’t! I just park in them, now. I used to park further away when the children where younger, it was just safer, not so many people and cars, just an idea ‘parents with prams’!

    • Linda Chaffey , i and all the other mums managed to park in normal spaces when shopping with our kids and I still do so with my grand kids . I think the “princess ” mummies need to stop being lazy and self absorbed these days .

    • Agree with you Linda Chaffey, it is definitely a safety issue, have you seen the way some people drive in these places.

    • Diane Jones there weren’t near as many cars around when our kids were young, it’s not all about us, this attitude gives older people a bad name. There is a real sense of entitlement here, why can’t we share the facility’s.

    • I think it is a good idea to have parking bays for mums , the disabled and seniors! The use of these should be controlled. I remember seeing a perfectly fit middle aged woman (no disability sticker) park in a disabled space. The woman in the space next to her asked why she was parking there. The middle aged woman told her to mind her business and said she was only going to be 10 minutes and flounced off.

      1 REPLY
      • Absolutely agree Nita, but what really gets my goat is when I go to the pool for my exercises and a bright young thing gets out of her car with a disabled sticker on the front and SPRINTS into the centre, taking up a disabled space that she is not entitled to. I believe that now they are bringing in a yearly medical test for people using a sticker to ascertain if that person is still suffering from the injury/condition that the sticker was given for in the first place. Unfortunately it won’t apply to current holders only to new applicants.

    • I agree with you Lee, parking lots when we were young were nothing compared how dangerous they can be today with the number of cars, I think oldies have forgotten what it’s like to go shopping with little ones, bags ect, it’s safety first for them that’s important.

    • Lyn Bradford When my grandchildren were young and I took them to shopping centres. I made them all put there hands on the car as soon as I got them out, until I had locked the car and could hold their hands. It worked.

    • Diane Jones did you not read Linda Chaffey’s post. It’s a safety issue! What’s wrong with a little bit of understanding and consideration?

  7. I get cranky over the width of car parking spaces. My husband and I don’t bend quite as well in all the places we once did. To slither between the parked cars, open the doors and hold them so they don’t hit the neighbouring car, and slide into the car can be quite a task. I get cranky over the placing of toilets down corridors out behind the shop fronts. In some centres it is quite a hike.

    2 REPLY
    • I totally agree about the toilets, Barbara. It seems the architects put them in the most inconvenient, far-away parts of the shopping centres.

  8. I agree on the parking spots but in reference to Christmas I was only thinking yesterday how Christmas has changed over the years, when I was young all shops were decorated and many had moving nativity scenes, where the dolls moved, all the kid’s and parent’s rushed to see them. At night time the main streets were full of children in their pyjamas strolling down the streets looking in shop windows. Houses were all lite up with Christmas lights, whole streets of them, today the high cost of electricity has stopped much of that. Santa came around around the streets on a fire engine handing out lollies to the children. Kids today are missing out on a lot of the joy we had sadly.

    11 REPLY
    • Gee I had forgotten about all of this, but I must admit I have changed all my Xmas lights to solar, one of our neighbours has had his lights up Since the 7th November, a bit early but still lovely, my first lot went up last weekend, think I’ll get the rest out and up in the next few days

    • I remember the Sally Army bands coming round the streets and all the neighbours standing around singing Christmas Carols.

    • It’s disappointing to see that we are bit by bit losing everything we once believed in, and your right Libbi the big losers are our grand children. We like other countries should be TRUE TO OUR OWN TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS above all else, those with different religious beliefs are not expected to participate in our Christmas celebrations anymore than we would in their special events, we must KEEP UP OUR TRADITIONS.

    • We still have the fire brigade do the rounds giving lollies to the kids with sirens blaring Christmas Eve all volunteers.

    • I am glad Enid, it has stopped where I am sadly, it just adds to the fun of Christmas for children

    • Many houses in Mudgee are wonderfully decorated. I think the local bus company runs a Christmas special bus which tours past the best.

    • I must admit that the CFA still go around giving kids lollies the week before Christmas, which the kids then follow the truck to the end of their streets.

  9. We have parking spots for Seniors in our local car park but I have never seen the spots vacant so I can park there as they are taken by people that if they are seniors I would like to know how much the plastic surgery cost. I generally park on the roof in full sun so I get a spot close to door and lift.

    2 REPLY
    • I pulled into a senior park about 18 months ago, and the woman who parked next to me was very rude……and told me I couldn’t park there……eg…..you are too young to park there…..you are not a senior or disabled
      I said I have a pension card…..negative response……until I said lets go to the management office and we can both prove our eligibility to park in a seniors spot……

    • I’m not talking about people like you Trish I do know lots of seniors that don’t look their age but the ones I meant I have known since they were in the same classes as my children at school. I would never do that either I would sooner park elsewhere than make a scene.

  10. I am 72 and always choose the spots as far as possible from the entrance. I do not want my car dented by runaway trolleys and inconsiderate people!

    14 REPLY

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