Why was snow plowed into handicap spaces at Virginia Beach shopping center?

Virginia Beach, Va. – A NewsChannel 3 viewer wanted to know why snow was plowed into handicap parking spaces at Loehmann’s Plaza on Virginia Beach Boulevard.

When our news crew went to check it out we found dozens of handicap spots with snow; meanwhile, all the other spots in the lot were clear.

“It is not acceptable, there is public law for handicap and those with disabilities and they need to be fined if they are not clearing it and making it accessible,” said Annette Mand.

Mand drives her husband Alan around almost everywhere they go. Alan is wheelchair bound and only has one leg.

“I had infections and they had to amputate it twice,” said Alan Mand.

Loehmann’s Plaza is home to more than 30 restaurants and shops, and it managed by S.L. Nusbaum Realty Company. The maintenance crews with the company told Newschannel 3 it was an honest mistake by the company they contract the snow plow work to. They said a new employee did not know where to pile the snow, but would be moving it before 8 a.m. Monday.

“They need to be out here supervising, it is not acceptable, you have to think of the handicap people, or someone trying to bring someone in who is handicap,” said Annette.

Here is a statement from Rob Stanton, Senior VP/Director of the shopping center. He says, “It’s not our practice to block handicap spaces – the driver/contractor made a mistake. We were made aware of it and addressed it as quickly as possible. We’ve spoken with the contractor and have taken steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused anyone.”

18 comments

  • John Smith

    James River Grounds is the company responsible for the maintenance and snow removal of this property. As a formal employee this does not surprise me the least. Their idea of snow plowing training is sitting you in front of a tv for a 30 minute video then throwing you a set of keys.

    • sdW

      It should not take training to understand not to put snow into a HC spot. I bet this occurred because of someone just trying to get away with something and thinking no one would complain.

  • Teresa

    Snow does not fall often in Hampton Roads. It is unreasonable for people to think we have “expert” snow removers everywhere. People should be thankful the parking lot was cleared to begin with! Once the people in charge of the parking lot were made aware of the issue, they made arrangements to clear further.
    I am all about being mindful of “handicap” parking spots (my Mother is in need of one) but, looking at the footage, the parking lot was almost empty!!! There was an OVER ABUNDANCE of close parking spots! Get real people! Stop complaining!

    • Suzanne Morton (@suz_mort)

      People who use wheelchairs need wider parking spaces. If they park in narrow spaces and someone parks next to them, they will not be able to get to their car.

      Please have some consideration before you criticize others.

    • Earl Sharpe

      Obviously your handicap is mental, cannot think. Try living in a wheelchair for once, you may learn a bit. It’s not as easy as you think.

    • Roberts

      Well said Theresa. It doesn’t happen that often in this area so why not just adjust for one day? What would that person do if all the spots were filled by other handicap people? Go home and try again later???…NO….they would park elsewhere. And besides, the handicap person was in a wheelchair that was being pushed by someone who’s not handicap. So walking another 5-10 feet to get in the store was so traumatic they had to involve the news? Can we say “entitlement attitude”? Of course it’s ignorant to block the HC spaces, but I’m sure it wasn’t malicious on the plow drivers part and to complain to the point of the news…too much.

  • Jason Bradtke

    Common Sense. One does not have to be an expert to know handicap spaces should be as clear as all others.

  • Jason Bradtke

    Additional point: what happens when they reduce the amount of disabled spaces but keep piling snow there?

  • Boo Hoo

    Cry me a river. The scream for equal rights well there you go park in the same spots. Personally I am tired of seeing cars with handicap tags parking in not handicap spots. Those aren’t for you.

    • Rob M.

      Obviously you misunderstand the equal rights movement by people with disabilities. I mean by your way of thinking, you may as well tell blacks to continue going out back behind a restaurant to eat even though the law was written that gives blacks the right to enter and eat inside the establishment’s (front) main dining area. The disabled make up the world’s largest minority group, yet we still are “not equal” under the law. We don’t advocate for our rights just to hear ourselves or to inconvenience you. We point out any and every injustice that we face, because we deserve the exact same amenities in the community as you. Why, because we are people too! Personally, I would’ve parked in any available parking space and handled my business but…. I still would demand answers as to why the Handicapped Parking places were blocked off by big snow piles. I wish the shoe could be on the other foot long enough for you to understand why this matters to us. For example, have a parking lot full of handicap parking and just 10 or 20 general use parking places that are filled by people with disabilities. We know the spots are designated for the able bodied and we are violating the law, but we are only going to use the parking spot to run in the store long enough to conduct business then leave or we are going to take off our handicap license plates or placards and sit in our vehicles listening to the radio while waiting for someone to get off work, return a movie, etc. Regardless of the reason, we are going to make things “extremely” inconvenient for you! When you experience this feeling, then and only then will you understand why this topic matters so much to us. Just open your mind and look at this situation from the point of if it was you with the need for the parking space every single time you go shopping, out to eat, to the doctors, etc. and try understanding how frustrating we feel when there is nowhere accessible to park or somebody who has no valid reason to be occupying the space is using it for a matter of convenience. I think if you would do this experiment for me, for all people with disabilities, then and only then you will realize this isn’t a “Boo Hoo” topic! Roll on.

  • Bill

    Well this one is rather straightforward: (1)contract snow removal to cheapest company available, (2)cheapest company available takes some shortcuts, (3)if the fines / increased workload for dealing with whatever complaints arise is less than the cost to truck out all the snow from all the parking lots, profit!

  • dcy

    The company apologized. Why is it we can no longer lodge a complaint, have it dealt with, apology issued and move on. Why does every issue have to be beat to death, offender sued, fined or penalized in some other way. Let’s learn to accept apologies with grace and move forward.

  • Amy

    As a Canadian, I am finding these comments utterly hilarious. How can anyone here *seriously* think it’s ok to pile the snow in handicapped parking spots while you report the rest of the lot was empty? PILE IT IN THE REST OF THE LOT. That’s what happens in Alberta – it’s pushed off to the furthest point, blocking only the furthest parking stalls. In the age of the internet & readily available information on HOW TO DEAL WITH SNOW, there are exactly zero excuses.

  • Eviljack

    99% of the people I see using handicap spaces have no handicap at all. They are using granny’s tag to get the close parking. Does a Target really need 50 handicapable parking spaces? The ADA was just a way to facilitate law suits.

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