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Downtown Joplin Post Office Gets Rid of Its Only Handicapped Par - KOAM TV 7

Downtown Joplin Post Office Gets Rid of Its Only Handicapped Parking Spot

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

For Joplin resident Steven Duncan getting around after back surgery can be difficult.

"I have a drop foot problem right now,” he says.

And with a disability, parking at the post office can be a challenge.

"Sometimes it's hard to find a parking place especially if you did have a handicap and there are no handicap spots here, so you're kind of out of luck, maybe you leave and come back."

The post office only had one designated handicapped spot that now has been taken away. Now that spot behind the post office is marked “Supervisors only.”

Many postal employees are upset with the change. According to police records, post office officials say police have been called out to address parking concerns at least three times.

"Several postal employees have been using that parking place, so apparently some other employees are calling in to make an issue of it,” says Joplin Police Corporal Chuck Niess.

According to Joplin city ordinance a handicapped spot must be closest to the nearest accessible entrance. From where I’m standing that's about 100 feet back to up this embankment, making it hard for people like Duncan to get to.

Corporal Niess says “Still the fact that there's a fence there now…it really kind of puts it out the way of anybody. And they'd have to go out of their way to go park there and then come around the fence to get inside. So I don't know that that's really the closest spot anymore." 

Several postal employees tell me that customers have been using that spot for years, but Joplin Police say there's nothing they can do since it's behind an employee fence. Currently the handicapped striping is still visible.

Duncan says "That doesn't make any sense, it's very confusing."

The postmaster denied our request for an on camera interview, but told me postal officials are in preliminary talks with the city to add a handicapped parking spot on 1st Street.

According to International Building Code and accessibility standards any public or private parking lot must have a handicapped parking spot. 

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