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Bend family explains why the white stripes by ADA parking spots are important

(Update: Adding video, information from Bend PD)

For people with disabilities, finding adequate parking spots can be challenge

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After experiencing multiple incidents with people unlawfully parking in ADA access aisles, a Bend family wanted to spread awareness about what the white-striped spaces next to parking spots mean for people with disabilities

Bend parents Jessica and Mark Beare told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday they have experienced similar situations at least twice a month.

“Another car had parked about 6 inches over the white striped lines and Bella was not able to get into the vehicle because we needed a bit of extra space,” Jessica Beare said.

She said she and her husband enjoy taking their 6-year-old daughter, Bella, with them on errands, but sometimes it can be challenging to find an adequate parking space.

Bella was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, also known as MDC1A or LAMA2. This means her muscles do not form properly and she has very low strength. 

Because of her condition, Bella uses a powered wheelchair to get around.

The Beares said she often has to wait in a parking lot so her parents can find a van-accessible parking spot that would allow them to deploy their ramp for Bella to get back inside the vehicle.

According to the ADA, a van-accessible parking space requires three additional features, in addition to a standard ADA parking space.

They must include a wider access aisle of at least 96 inches to accommodate a wheelchair lift, a vertical clearance to accommodate van height and an adjacent access aisle, and an additional sign that identifies the space as “van-accessible.”

The family said having to wait outside while her parents find adequate parking has been the norm for Bella since she was 3, and she's not alone.

Dianna Hansen, executive director of the Central Oregon Disability Support Network in Bend, said other common challenges for people with disabilities include cars blocking the sidewalk in driveways, or not leaving enough space for people to open their car door wide enough for them to get out in standard ADA parking spaces.

“It’s not just extra space. It’s not a place to park real quick if you need to run into the store,” Hansen said. “It’s not only disrespectful or not courteous, it is against the law.”

Oregon law states parking in a space designated for people with disabilities is a Class A traffic violation. It also states people who violate the law could face a minimum fine of $190 for the first offense.

The Bend Police Department said in the past year, it has issued citations to 208 people who have illegally parked in a parking space for people with disabilities. It has also given out five warnings.

“We see it all the time, every day,” Hansen said. “You can be in town, and if you pay attention, you’ll see people parked there unlawfully.”

Hansen said people must have a parking permit designated for people with disabilities to use the ADA spaces.

However, she said she has heard judgment on both sides.

“We also see people commenting about people who get out of their cars who do have those placards and appear to be walking just fine,” she said. “Oftentimes, some of those people do have things like multiple sclerosis or things that don’t allow them to walk very far.”

Bella’s parents said they just want more people to be aware of what the white stripes mean.

“We just try to remain positive,” Beare said. “We just say, ‘You know what? These people probably didn’t understand how important it was to us.’”

To learn more about Bella’s story, visit the Facebook page, Beare It For Bella.

Central Oregon / Government-politics
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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



  1. Im sorry this family has to find out the hard way, but bend is one of the most ada-unfriendly cities in the usa, weve been fighting against building safe crosswalks for decades too… bend exceptionalism sadly seems to mean, we are exceptionally bad at helping others before ourselves like jesus taught

    1. No.Not just in Bend. Everywhere. It’s been happening for years. People are oblivious. I’ve experienced this multiple times with a friend in Seattle. And she’s been using a motorized wheelchair for 28 plus years.

      It’s just plain inexcusable. Selfish.

      But Bend doesn’t own that. It’s national / global.

    2. OH PLEASE. Like you care anything about Christian values.

      And you’ve obviously never been to San Fransisco. You want to see non ada compliant streets? Go there.

  2. What really gets me are the motorcyclists who think those areas are reserved parking for their precious machine. They should know that those of us transport wheelchair bound family members have to park there anyway, and if the wheelchair user has to rub against their ride to get in and out, it’s on them.

  3. Bend P D & Bend City Code enforcement are worthless unless the Gov is involved then all of a sudden they enforce the ADA laws that’s why you now see wheel chair ramps The Feds need to come in & fine the living crap out of the City of Bend & the Bend P D there is no excuse for folks to have to endure this This town suck’s when code & law enforcement is involved DOJ Department Of Justice needs to also investigate The City & the Bend P D The Mayor of Bend use to sit on the same committee as me now that she is Mayor of Bend crap don’t get done This City need’s to be heavily looked into Big time you have folks that won’t/ don’t follow Laws & codes

  4. You have people that don’t care they aren’t Handicapped so they don’t care but you can bet if they were or a member of there family was wholly crap they would be very upset at the clowns that don’t & won’t follow the Laws You have people that park in reg parking that can’t park between the lines they will take up two spots Some of these clowns shouldn’t even have a drivers Lic

  5. Nobody old enough to drive needs awareness of what the markings for disabled parking mean. They already know. This is a problem of selfishness, not awareness.

  6. It amazes me how many people I see get out of cars that are parked in handicapped spaces, and you know for certain that they aren’t handicapped, and it’s people of all ages that do it…
    Last week I saw a car that was driven by a young girl that was probably about 18 years old, and there was another girl in the passenger seat that was about the same age. They both got out of the car and headed towards the store, but they weren’t walking, they were basically jogging.. I guess they were in a hurry…
    Yes the car had a handicapped tag on the mirror, but there is no way that it was hers. My guess is that the tag belonged to one of her parents or grandparents, but there was nobody else in the car… It says right on the tag that the person who was issued the tag must be in the vehicle in order to use a handicapped parking space.

    I don’t know how people can consciously park in a handicapped spot when they don’t
    have any reason to do it. It’s rude, disrespectful, and it’s a reminder that many
    people today live in the ‘all about me’ world, and they don’t have any respect or
    compassion for others, even those that have disabilities.

    1. Hey Mike, what if the girl driving the car you witnessed suffers from multiple sclerosis and the exposure to heat and physical exertion exacerbates her condition? Maybe she suffers from any of a myriad of serious disability conditions that would not be apparent to your uniformed view? Your judgement might be misplaced and in complete contrast to the ending sentence of your post. Think bigger next time.

      1. Under Oregon law, you can only use those spots if you are blind or are unable to walk 100 feet unaided. Obvious these girls don’t qualify. Just because someone has a “physical condition” doesn’t cut it.

  7. How long until the BLM Antifa crowd declare the stripes racist and devices and has them removed. White stripeS ove black asphalt? That’s obviously racist. And Handicap parking signs are blue representing support for police brutality. Someone is triggered somewhere.

  8. Good Luck these clown’s don’t get it they aren’t H C so it don’t matter to them but let a family member get disabled holy crap S would hit the fan

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