Sonoma County has now almost eliminated the need for disabled parking spaces in front of highly special needed spaces. The County has advertised that Covid-19 sites were available to all county constituents by circulating a flyer titled “County of Sonoma Covid-19 Testing Sites. Feb.21-27.”
Well, I missed the date by one day. So I phoned a Sonoma County employee, by using the number at the bottom of the flyer. I identified the number as a Sonoma County local number. And sure enough, it was answered by a nice county employee. I explained my dilemma to her and that I wished to be tested for Covid-19 and I was a day late according to the flyer. She graciously helped me by informing me that the site was still open at the Target Store parking lot in Coddingtown. At the specified site I could not find the pop-up type building I expected to find. Come to find out it is a small red and white building at the far end of one of the parking lots in the Coddingtown shopping center. I had to go into the target store and get directions from a Target employee.
Now to set the stage: I am disabled and use a cane to help me get around. So, after getting directions I got back into my car and drove to the lot on the south end of the parking lot. The particular lot was well cordoned off with V Boards and yellow tape. I drove around the specific lot looking for an ADA entrance into the cordoned lot. There was no site of any ADA entrance however there was a small area I could squeeze into right next to the small red and white building. With the help of my cane I hopped to an open window only to be told that I needed to move my car if I wished to be tested. I explained that I was disabled and needed an ADA space close to the building. The attendant had no knowledge what a ADA stood for and that if I did not move my car she would call the police.
With that all of the attendants in the building turned their back to me. If I did not move my car, they would actually going to call the police. The parking police arrived and I explained to the officer that I needed an ADA space close to the building due to being disabled and having difficulty walking without the assistance of a cane. The Parking police knew nothing about what ADA stood for either, nor if there was a close ADA parking site. I needed to move my car to another lot about 50 yards away. There was no ADA signage as to where the other lot was located. Fortunately, the parking police officer was a nice person from Nigeria. I studied in Nigeria many years ago so we struck up a friendship. He pointed to a different parking lot over by the Target Store. There was no signage or any identifiable sign specifying any space to park in the lot.
So I moved my car to a lot way far away from the Covid-19 building, parked my car and walked some 50 or so yards and was finally able to get my Covid 19 test.
Several days later I was at the county administration center on another item and went into the Supervisors’ office and asked for the person in charge of getting a Covid-19 test in Coddingtown to ask why there was no space for ADA parking right next to the building. In fact there were no identified spaces anywhere for ADA parking in any of the parking lots of Coddingtown specific for Covid 19 testing. I talked to Ms. Kyreen Gonzalez, Deputy Clerk of the Board, County of Sonoma. A very personable attentive person complete with a note pad and pencil, Ms. Gonzalez took down all of the information relating to the absence of any help for disabled persons trying to get a Covid-19 test. She then gave me a complaint form that I should fill out. This form would be sent to Los Angeles of all places. Now, I was not there to file a complaint. I was there to get help. But I still needed to fill out a form.
All that needed to be done is for some employee of Sonoma County to put up a sign near the test site saying ADA Parking. Well, what happened is that I started receiving a number of phone calls from county employees. No one seemed to have any knowledge about the needs of ADA persons. I am so embarrassed for the County of Sonoma. I know all of the supervisors personally. Can I please have a job putting up ADA signs? I will work for free.
PS. OH!, by the way I tested negative. Now my grandson can come and visit me.