Disability awareness parking signs in Downtown Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new campaign born out of the Disability Awareness Commission is looking to send a message. 

And that message is: ‘Think of me. Keep it free.’

Finding a spot to park Downtown can be troubling enough, but for Tana Zwart it can have more than its fair share of challenges. 

“It’s frustrating because we already have barriers that we deal with on a daily basis,” Zwart said.

Even more so when that spot is taken by someone without a disability.

“I think people tend to think that since they don’t see people parking there, they can just quick do it for five minutes or whatever,” Zwart said.

“Certainly, we see people who are just popping into the spots thinking, ‘Well, I’m just going to take a couple of minutes, run in and get a coffee or run in and pay this bill,’ all over town. It’s, unfortunately, a common problem,” ADA Coordinator for Sioux Falls Daniel Haggar said.

New signs in Downtown Sioux Falls are looking to put a face to the space.

“They’ve kind of been in the pipeline on our commission for a while now, so it’s really exciting to see them come to fruition,” Zwart said.

All three signs downtown have Zwart’s face right now. Eventually, they’re looking to include others with similar disabilities.

As a reminder to folks that five minutes takes up more than they realize.

“When someone needs that space right now, that five minutes means nothing and it literally determines whether some of us will be getting out of our vehicles and getting to where we need to go,” Zwart said.

“We’d like to move them around and see if they’re effective in preventing people from taking those spots,” Haggar said

“Just trying to put a face to it. Make people realize that this is who they might be taking that space from and just be considerate,” Zwart said.

Haggar says that they’ll be talking to law enforcement to see if they notice any increases or decreases in the amount of parking tickets being handed out.

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