Tigard Safeway shoppers, have you noticed the eight new parking spaces in front of the store marked “SENIOR CITIZEN PARKING ONLY”?
They became available the second week in November using the honor system and are the result of one man’s perseverance. Ron Nixon, who currently lives in the Highlands and has lived in King City for more than 20 years, wrote a letter to Tigard Life in February telling of his efforts to get more parking spaces marked with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) designations in the Safeway parking lot.
Nixon said that as an ADA permit holder, “I have often been disappointed when trying to secure a handicap parking space” in the lot. He added, “I have been told by a representative of the Tigard Safeway store that the small number of current available spaces do meet the minimum number required by the ADA.”
His email continued that “this particular Safeway store is unique among all other Safeway stores in the Portland Metro area because it is surrounded by 55+ communities …” and “many of us shop at that store.”
Nixon said his goal was to see the Safeway corporation and shopping center owner, ROIC -Retail Opportunity Investments Corporation, “consider the concept whereby it isn’t enough to merely comply with the minimum number of required handicap spaces but to recognize the greater need for many more, perhaps two to three times more available spaces to offer their customers.”
Nixon said he had talked to the store’s assistant manager and manager, Jim Kuhn, who invited him to send an email regarding his concerns that he would pass on to Safeway corporate management for their consideration.
Months went by, and on Nov. 4, Nixon received an email from Kuhn telling him that there were eight designated parking spaces, and he had been receiving positive feedback from customers.
Standing by the signs recently, Nixon said, “I was surprised they weren’t ADA, but everyone seems to like them, and I’m happy Safeway has done this. This has been a passion of mine to make sure that people with mobility issues don’t have to walk any farther to the front door of the store. And I hope only seniors use the spaces.”
While in the parking lot, Nixon saw a couple of his neighbors using the senior parking spaces, who said they were thrilled with them. But one neighbor said after she pushed her cart to the closest cart return, which was a bit of a walk, “I wish they would put a cart return next to these spaces.”