Handicap parking ambiguity causing sadness at Mansons Post Office, local says

A parking lot with four spaces is located in front of a post office.
There are four signs, each one mounted in front of each parking space. From left to right the signs read, “No parking,” ”Handicap parking,” “Handicap Parking,” and “No Parking.” Photo by Loni Taylor.
Loni Taylor - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 19-09-2022
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Cortes Island is a small rural community of three towns, all with their own post offices.

In Mansons Hall, the Mansons Landing Post Office is perched on a hillside, making it a tricky place to access for those with mobility issues. Luckily, there is a well marked parking area with 4 yellow-painted cement barriers. There are four signs, each one mounted in front of each parking space. From left to right the signs read: “No parking”; ”Handicap parking”; “Handicap Parking”; and “No Parking.” This area appears to be an exclusively handicap parking area. There is a main parking lot for Mansons Hall, it is located uphill from the post office, there is both a steep ramped roadway and a staircase connecting the parking areas to the post office. But, according to some locals, the handicap parking lot turns into a free-for-all, making it a tough situation for those with mobility issues trying to access the many services of Mansons Hall.

Postmaster Hélène Racine works at the Mansons Hall location and has a direct view of the parking lot from her post. She elaborated on the ambiguity of the parking area in regards to the possibility of non-handicap spaces.

“I believe there is one, but it's marked no parking because it's for the mail truck…There are three other spots, and they may be all handicapped or at least two of the three are handicapped.”

Every Friday afternoon, Mansons Landing is buzzing because the market is hosted at Mansons Hall. During the pandemic, many vendors began setting up their booths on the main (upper) parking lot of Mansons Hall. During the summer months, the population of Cortes is known to triple to approximately 3,000 people. In the summer, on Fridays, "Downtown Mansons" resembles the concentration of people you see in a larger, urban environment.

Several cars park along either side of a narrow road as a pedestrian walks down the center of the road.

This photo is taken approximately 100 meters west of Mansons Hall on Beasley Road, it was 11:45 a.m. Friday Aug. 20, 2021. 130 cars were parked in the 100 meter radius surrounding the Friday Market. Over half of the vehicles counted were parked on the side of the road, the rest were in one of five parking lots located at the stores and the Hall. Photo by Loni Taylor.

Dan Arnold is a local senior with mobility issues and a handicap parking permit. He elaborated on his experience parking at the hall.

“There's times, you go down and it's full and you mention to people that it is for mobility issues-people. And it's 'oh, I'm only here for a minute.’ But we have mobility issues for the rest of our lives.” 

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) collaborates with Mansons Hall in managing the Skatepark, which is located west of the main Mansons Hall parking lot. The SRD commented that they "have no jurisdiction" in relation to handicap parking violations on Cortes Island.

To hear more about the complexities of handicap parking at Mansons Hall, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: