Letters to the Editor

Offensive fee

November 19, 2009


To the editor:

My wife and I are senior citizens who moved to Lawrence five months ago and we really enjoy the community.

We attended the first game at Allen Fieldhouse between Fort Hays State and the Jayhawks and were highly surprised that we needed to pay $20 for a handicapped parking space. We have lived in Florida, California, Nevada and Kansas over the last 74 years and attended high school, college and professional sports events but have never paid for a handicapped parking space.

Many of the handicapped sports fans can’t afford the football and basketball tickets along with paying an additional $20 for parking. Also, many of these handicapped sports fans put their lives in jeopardy by fighting in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Does KU need this money to pay the high salaries of the coaches and administrators? KU received multimillions from grants, inheritances, endowments, sports ticket fees, student enrollment fees, etc. Does KU need the small amount of income from the handicapped parking? Other sports events in America don’t need it.

I do hope this letter will not “fall on deaf ears.” I feel there is an injustice on the part of the handicapped by KU and its administration. Let us see if KU has the initiative to perform an act of humanity. If KU deletes the parking cost for the handicapped, I do hope they don’t take away the handicapped spaces and convert them to public parking.


Cait McKnelly 8 years, 4 months ago

I thought it was illegal to do that. Am I wrong? Did they change the law? I've had a handicapped plate for about 4 years and I've never had to pay for parking, even at professional sporting events at the stadiums in KC. Perhaps someone needs to look into filing a class action for ADA violation.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

KU sports is all about money money money money money

Bring all home games back home! Lawrence needs the tax revenue and the fun. Why give it to KCMO?

sustainabilitysister 8 years, 4 months ago

This is just wrong. I love KU but shame on the powerful people at KU for allowing this to be instated.

BigPrune 8 years, 4 months ago

In 15 years (because of the Boomers getting old), a third of the parking lot will need to be for the handicapped. What then?

Not trying to justify the $20 expense but a ticket already runs $62.75 per game for Tier 1 not factoring in the bribe to the Williams Fund. Factor in the bribe and the ticket might run $200 a piece.

Brent Garner 8 years, 4 months ago

Shame on this LTE writer for questioning that donation to the local religion. Don't you know that all believers must contribute so that the temple--Allen Fieldhouse, Memorial Stadium--can be properly adorned and the preachers--Mangino, Self--properly compensated? How dare you commit the blatant blasphemy and sacrilege!

monkeyhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I hope Mr. Weber had the foresight to rent rather than purchase a home. The bloom will be off the rose quickly.

gr 8 years, 4 months ago

If there is more demand than supply, shouldn't there be a charge?

Or you could vote by choosing not to go. Or park somewhere else. Unless you think it's worth it.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 4 months ago

I've never gone to a game here, so I don't really know the protocol. Is there a $20 fee for everyone to park in that area? or do they see your little blue placard and pull you aside for the special fee? If it's $20 for everyone, why should the handicapped feel that they deserve a special discount? Perhaps this was an isolated incident by an inexperienced student parking attendant. Or maybe it was one of our local criminals pulling a fast one on you.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 4 months ago

consumer.. how are taxing & fees considered a conservative ideal? How can (why would) you spin every single issue into a political issue?

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

You don't get charged for handicap parking when the rest of us have to pay at events? hmm, never knew that, and it just seems a little wrong. You pay for tickets and sit in the handicapped section at events. Why would you not expect to pay for parking?

sunflour 8 years, 4 months ago

Everyone pays to park in this area, not just the folks in handicap spaces. However, everyone with a Williams Fund pass payed "up front" with their season tickets.

Judgesmails 8 years, 4 months ago

Why do senior citizens think that everybody owes them something?

cry me a river, gramps.

worker_bee 8 years, 4 months ago

There is no such thing as free parking anywhere near Allen Field House on gamedays. There is, however, the option to park free at the Park and Ride facility at 23rd and Crestline and to ride the free Park and Ride shuttle bus which is ADA accessible and will drop you off and pick you up right outside the Fieldhouse. This is a perfectly good option that anyone can take advantage of; if people feel it's so important that they park closer they should expect to pay.

trailrunner 8 years, 4 months ago

I think this editorial is offensive. We should all be treated equally. I treat everyone with respect, including the elderly and/or handicapped, but I don't think someone deserves special financial treatment just because he/she is handicapped.

gphawk89 8 years, 4 months ago

Again, someone needs to answer the question: Is there a $20 fee to park anywhere in that lot (handicapped spot or not)? I've not been to Allen for quite a while so don't know the answer. If there is a fee for every spot, Mr. Weber has little room to complain. However, if KU is charging $20 for only the handicapped spots, Mr. Weber and others using these spots have every right to be angry.

1029 8 years, 4 months ago

Seriously? So everybody else has to pay for parking, but because you have a handicapped plate or placard you not only think you should get the closest spot, but also that you shouldn't have to pay?

And then to reinforce your "argument" you have to thrown in the little remark about how old people are probably veterans who fought in wars for us? Well, boo hoo.

Unbelievable. You should consider yourself lucky that you got to set foot in Allen Fieldhouse. There are plenty of diehard Jayhawk fans who would love to be inside the fieldhouse and actually

staff04 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm kinda with AreU and gphawk here. Do those with handicapped placards park free in automated city parking garages?

Tom, since I agree with you too for a change, I figure I better mention it.

Last week I was shopping and saw a man who appeared perfectly capable but had a handicap license plate literally jump down out of his 4x4 that was equipped with oversized tires and hustle right into the store.

sunflour 8 years, 4 months ago

Yes, people pay to park in all of the parking lots that are reserved around Allen Fieldhouse on basketball game nights - it is very frustrating for people who are trying to get to class! This includes the parking garage and lots 31, 54, 70, 71, 72, 90, 125, and 127.

remember_username 8 years, 4 months ago

This is one of the things that irritate me as well. As an employee of the university I find it aggravating that I have to return to the parking lot on game days and move my vehicle or it will be towed. My job often requires long days that extend beyond 5:30pm, frequent weekends are needed as well. But on game days many of the parking lots are reserved for elite ticket holders. Obviously charging for handicap spots is not beyond the greed of the Kansas Athletics Inc. Imagine how annoying it would be to be a physically challenged person and have to return to your vehicle to move it on a game day. Perhaps some solace can be found in the recent performance of the football team.

corduroypants 8 years, 4 months ago

Agree with momofthree here. Not sure why you would expect free parking. I will assume that if you can pay for 2 tickets, you can pay $20 to park. The "cost of doing business" as they say.

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago

I also agree with momofthree....

Handicapped parking should exist. My mother is handicapped and has a handicapped license plate enabling her to park closer. However, I don't think that means she, or James Weber should not have to pay their fair share of parking fees. If you use it, you pay for it.

Although arguably, since they don't really have the option of parking a mile away and walking, they shouldn't be charged the same rate. But I still don't think everything for them in life should be free simply because they are handicapped. What's next, a demand for free concessions and court-side seats?

Satirical 8 years, 4 months ago

Consumer1… “The only thing KU doesn't do is hold a gun on you to take your money.”

You mean that wasn’t the welcoming committee?

sbell10 8 years, 4 months ago

While I value the service and contributions made by our United States veterans, I do believe that it is completely unfair to use a person's military service as leverage for an argument like parking fees. How are we supposed to argue objectively and weigh sides with that kind of argumentation?

I have a friend who wakes up early every Saturday morning to volunteer with severely physically and mentally disabled children. Her services are invaluable, but she is not awarded with the luxury of close parking anywhere she goes. More importantly, she would not request that with her work as a justification, either.

During a previous job, I worked with extremely overweight students who would brag about using handicapped parking passes belonging to their disabled grandparents. After lunch, they would return to work with bags of McDonalds and enormous QuikTrip sodas. While I realize that the writer does not fall into this category, it is not difficult for me to understand why people believe in parking fee equality, regardless of physical state.

mrsm 8 years, 4 months ago

As workerbee stated, there ARE other options! Maybe take advantage of the FREE PARKING at Park and Ride and FREE BUS RIDE to Allen Fieldhouse!
Yes, they do sell some stalls in the lot east of Allen Fieldhouse, but they are usually sold out by 6 pm (for a 7 pm tipoff). Those stalls are also $20.

mrsm 8 years, 4 months ago

remember_username- park on the OTHER side of campus! Then you don't have to move your car! YOu know, the side that Allen Fieldhouse is not on...the side where there is also parking! Problem solved.

d_prowess 8 years, 4 months ago

I am glad this issue has come up because I for one have always wondered why every spot on Mass has a parking meter except for the Handicap spots. I don't understand why anyone in those spots wouldn't have to pay for parking on Mass, unlike everyone else. Perhaps the meters should be set to longer times since the reason for the handicap pass may require slower movements, but those spots should still be metered, right?

sunflour 8 years, 4 months ago

d_prowess, there is a state law that specifically states that people with handicap placards don't have to pay parking meters, so there'd be no point in installing it there.

Emily Hadley 8 years, 4 months ago

Just like handicapped students and other fans, you can park and take the shuttle, and every step of the trip is accessible.

At KU, there simply aren't enough parking spaces for everyone who wants to drive, including handicapped spaces. When I attended KU, there were nowhere near enough handicapped spaces for everyone qualified to use them. I was told that they all filled up by 7 AM.

In addition, whenever there is a game, you take parking spaces normally used by students, so a handicapped student trying to get to class, the library, their office, etc. is denied an accessible place to park for the sake of fans.

maxcrabb 8 years, 4 months ago

If we were talking about going to vote, or serving jury duty, I would understand the need for free, handicapped accessible parking.

But this is a superfluous basketball game that no one really HAS to go to. (and it was hard to say that as a die hard fan).

Everyone pays for parking. There are still handicapped spots, they cost the same as every other spot.

Thanks for your service, though, James Weber. If you like, I'll pick you and your wife up for games and drop you off right at the entrance of the fieldhouse. No joke.

gr 8 years, 4 months ago

"d_prowess, there is a state law that specifically states that people with handicap placards don't have to pay parking meters, so there'd be no point in installing it there."

So... So.... Did that just negate this whole conversation? That is, if the city is dictated by the state, would it be that far out of line to expect KU to give freebies?

"My spin is this, Liberals give money away and enable people, Conservatives take money away and oppress people. That is cut through all the fat to the bone of each party. Further, they take all that money or give it away from the middle class. If I spin anything towards political issues it is usually because there is a political agenda at work beneath the surface."

And where do Liberals get the money?

'Well..... from Obama'

And where does Obama get the money?

'Well............... I don't really know.'

Liberals -- enablers

any 8 years, 4 months ago

gr - the KSA (8-1,126) states parking METERS are free. I'd imagine there isn't a parking meter in front of the spots KU is selling for sporting events.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 4 months ago

From the KU parking page:

Home Game Parking

During home basketball games, a specific permit is required to park in lots 19, 31, 54, 70, 71, 72, 90, 125, 127 and the Allen Fieldhouse Garage. Permits for games are issued by the Williams Fund. Toll parking for those attending the game without Williams Fund permit may be available on a first come/first served basis in lot 90 for $20 per space.

All vehicles must be removed from these lots and the Allen Fieldhouse Garage by the time listed in the table below. Failure to do so will result in a fine and possible towing of your vehicle.

Free parking is available in Park & Ride lot #301, with a shuttle (see right) that runs to Allen Fieldhouse. Access to lot 301 is from Clinton Parkway at Crestline Drive, with shuttle service from stop #4 at far east end of the parking lot.

More information and directions to Allen Fieldhouse can be found on the KU Athletics Corporation web site. Accessible Game Parking

Handicap accessible spaces are available in four parking lots: 54 (3 spaces), 71 (25 spaces), 72 (13 spaces), and the Allen Fieldhouse Garage (8 spaces). Toll costs $20 per vehicle, and these spaces are sold on a first come, first serve basis.

notajayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

consumer1 (Anonymous) says…

"My spin is this, Liberals give money away and enable people, Conservatives take money away and oppress people. That is cut through all the fat to the bone of each party. Further, they take all that money or give it away from the middle class."

"Spin" is an accurate word.

Um, consumer? The government doesn't have any money. If "Liberals give money away", it has to come from somewhere - that is, they have to "take money away" from someone else.

And by the way, the top 1% of taxpayers pay as much in taxes as the bottom ninety-five percent - are you seriously so deluded you believe tax money comes from the middle class?

Wouldn't your class-jealous, "cut through all the fat to the bone" description of each party be more accurately stated as 'Liberals give away money to ME"?

CLARKKENT 8 years, 4 months ago



Confrontation 8 years, 4 months ago

Feel free to leave Lawrence and go find a city with a crappy team. You'll get $5 tickets and maybe some free popcorn. Until then, deal with it or don't go. There's always someone else who will take your ticket.

notajayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

CLARKKENT (Anonymous) says…

"go to a hallmark store, get a thank you card and send to lew perkins. things like this did not happen before he arrived. i really think they do not want common working people at there games."

Uh, yeah.

'Cause the AD of a major university with one of the top sports programs in the country has nothing to keep him busy from day to day besides worrying about handicap parking space policies.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 4 months ago

Multi says "he reason those disabled parking plates/placards give free parking, is that it is well known that many people who qualify for them, face huge out of pocket expenses, plus they are often unable to work, and have no/very low income."

I have a feeling that Mr. Weber is not destitute, or he wouldn't be buying tickets to a KU sporting event. And most people who don't have money tend to stay in one town or state their whole life, not move from coast to coast and all places in between. Yes generally people with disabilities and the elderly may have added expenses in life, but who doesn't? That is part of life. Going to a KU game is not necessary to survive, regardless of what some of you fans think. So, $20 parking; definitely.

CLARKKENT 8 years, 4 months ago



Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 4 months ago

There should be no argument about the parking fees. Walmart lets me take the cart out to my daughters car and I have even had one of the store workers volunteer to drive it back for me. Also, Checkers will deliver your shopping for free as long it is at least $25.00. They take debit and credit cards and the Vision Card.

notajayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

CLARKKENT (Anonymous) says…

"top basketball program in the country, not sports program. basketball was pretty darn good before lew and his new higher prices."

Believe it or not the AD is responsible for more than just the men's basketball program, and it's a shame that someone calling themselves 'notajayhawk' has to tell you there are other programs in KU athletics.

Regardless, my point stands - do you really think Lew sets parking prices?

mrsm 8 years, 4 months ago

Great comment Areu. Basketball tickets are not cheap and therefore if you paid the money for the tickets you sure as hell have another $20 for the parking. BTW, there are other places you can buy parking around the area. The lot east from Naismith Hall sells parking for $15 and there are a couple of houses around there that sell parking too. Also, for those people that are just want to drop off someone that can't walk far or has health conditions, they let you do that! They let you drop them off right next to Allen Fieldhouse! There are plenty of options, it just comes down to the fact that people are lazy and want to park up close for free.

mrsm 8 years, 4 months ago


Stuart Evans 8 years, 4 months ago

Multi.. you make a pretty good stretch for your own purposes as well. by your statements, it seems that you assume everyone who is old or disabled is poor. Does that mean that you don't feel like old people or disabled people have a means of supporting themselves and therefor require the rest of society to hold them up? I know of quite a few old folks and disabled who manage their finances just fine.

CLARKKENT 8 years, 4 months ago



Patriotfreak87 8 years, 4 months ago

Before I get started I just want to point out that I am a KU student and ex US Navy.

Ok, so I see problems with both sides...first of all I agree that there is no reason that you can't ride the bus like everyone else if you do not want to pay to park!

2nd...I don't give a flying rats __ if you were a part of a war! I do thank you for your service but I was US Navy and I don't get special privileges! That just sounds like a cop out for "give me free stuff"!

3rd...I am getting really sick and tired of all this crap about the baby boomers and how we owe them! All of the youth today are getting screwed because of these "baby boomers"! It is not my fault that America decided to reproduce like rabbits 60 years ago...nor is it my responsibility to make sure that when they get OLD, like we all will, to make sure I make life easier for them! Life SUCKS! We all get old, we all have problems, and an old war vet or not, WE ALL still are going to have to walk our happy butts from a $20 parking space to Allen Field house! We are not here to make your life easy just because you are old, a war vet, or a baby boomer! All those things don't mean crap!

Lastly, you said that you have been to college and professional events and never had to pay for handicapped parking...let me just say this....LIAR! I go to all the KC Chiefs games when they are at home and my father is handicapped and guess what? It still costs me $20 to park in BFE at Arrowhead stadium. Also, I have followed KU to OU, MU, NU, KSU and many others and guess what?! WE PAID TO PARK!

NOW the problem with KU! OMG! It's not like you don't make enough money from the the thousands of students that attend KU... you have to go and charge $20 to park for a couple hours! Make it a first come first serve and bring down the price you thieving, overpaid people! This economy is in a world of hurt and it is just great to go to a game and get away from it for a while and have a good time with the family and you have to ruin it by trying to get rich off of one game!

AND MY BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH KU... KU is so CHEAP they are actually making it a requirement that all kids, NO MATTER THE AGE, have tickets! My son is mentally challenged, can't see or even hold his own head up and he is 21 months old...He can't sit! He has to be held! I have to pay full price for a ticket for someone that can't see or understand the game, and isn't even using the seat! $$$$ HUNGRY UNIVERSITY!

So I can understand your frustration with the university...I love KU but I can't wait to get out! BUT don't use your age or your war time as a crutch to get free crap either! That's just pathetic!

Jason Bailey 8 years, 3 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says…

"For all the negative words coming on this thread, I only hope karma doesn't come around & "(goes on to illustrate absurdity by being absurd)...

MD: No such thing as Karma so not too worried about it.

2ndly, you mentioned how poor these handicapped people are...then why are they spending their money on a KU BBall game? If the tickets were given to them free of charge, then sell them and try to make some money. No wonder they're destitute (according to you).

earline james 8 years, 3 months ago

KU is a law unto themselves. I think it's wrong to charge for handicapped parking, but KU makes their own rules. Mainly, I think a 21 month old is too young for a full out Men's basketball game at the Fieldhouse. That buzzer alone is likely doing terrible damage to his inner ear. You can use the money you'd pay for the baby's ticket and hire a sitter for a couple hours. (Unless you're joking, and I totally missed the sarcasm.)

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