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Library to address community concerns over handicap parking spaces

By Abigail Kelly, Senior Staff Writer

Oxford residents are accusing the new Lane Public Library of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying the library's parking lot puts a burden on community members who are handicapped.

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that handicap parking spaces must have the closest route to the door. However, at Lane, Low-Fuel Emitting parking spaces have taken those spots and pushed the handicap spaces farther down the lot. The library is currently taking the preliminary steps to resolve this issue.

Community member Jackie Berberich goes to Lane Library about once a week. She didn't realize how far the handicap parking spots were from the door originally, but once it was brought to her attention, she was surprised by the spots' placement.

"They should be right near the door," Berberich said. "That is the purpose for having handicap spots."

Senior Lauren Johnston also goes to Lane frequently to study. She said can see how the issue could have a negative effect on the community.

"It prevents certain people from fully enjoying [the library] and all it has to offer," Johnston said.

Lane Library's public relations manager, Carrie Mancuso, said building the new Lane Library has been a learning process. After concerned community members came forward about the parking spot violation, the library started taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

"We realize this was an issue and we take it very seriously," Mancuso said. "We are working to rectify it quickly."

Mancuso said that the work would include cutting the curb closer to the door to accommodate for the handicap parking spaces and push the Low-Fuel Emitting parking spaces farther down. However, there is currently no specific timeline for when the work will start or be completed.

Mancuso says the project is in the process of being scheduled.

"While the timeline for the project start is unknown at this time, the process is underway and expected to be completed in the next several weeks," Mancuso said.

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Johnston said she is glad that the library is responding to the issue.

"It shows that people are concerned and that they care about Oxford residents," she said.

Although the details of the project are not finalized, Berberich said she's looking forward to the work being done to the parking lot.

"I wouldn't doubt that [the library] would fix it if someone brought it up to them," Berberich said. "I'm glad they are going to fix it."

Correction: The previous headline of this article stated that Lane Library had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While complaints have been voiced, to The Student's knowledge, no official ADA violation has been filed against the library.