DDOT denies handicap parking space for elderly DC couple

The District Department of Transportation denied a handicap parking space for an elderly couple with limited mobility in Northeast D.C., but has similar spots nearby for people who are reportedly deceased.

Lawrence and Emma Rivers asked for a handicap parking placard in front of their home and were denied by DDOT.

"Well my husband had a stroke and he can't walk very well and with me, I have spine lumbar spinal stenosis sciatica, and the only way I feel good is to bend halfway over with the assistance of a walker," 84-year-old Emma Rivers said.

DDOT told the Rivers their parking space behind their home is adequate enough, but FOX 5 went to their home and spotted a hill, several flights of stairs and a long walk to access the parking spot.

"If we decide to go outside the house we have to go down the stairs from the kitchen and from there we have to go down another set of stairs and then we have to go all the way back to the alley to get to the car," 88-year-old Lawrence River explained.

FOX 5 learned the very same block the Rivers live on has at least one handicap parking space for a person who is now deceased.

"There has been no follow up from DDOT to figure out if the people who have reserved parking signs outside of their house still apply," said Tyrell Holcomb, the advisory neighborhood commissioner. "This block on Blaine Street and then on Ames Street as well."

When FOX 5 reached out to DDOT for comment they stood by their denial of the handicap parking placard for the Rivers, stating that the neighborhood had plenty of street parking.

"We really feel that after paying taxes here for 60-plus years that we have really been denied a service that should be supplied to someone," Emma Rivers said. "I think that the D.C. government should take care of the seniors a little better."