Cynthia L. Birkholz, Minot
After surviving all the complications that the flood in 2011 brought to my life, including homelessness and a year in a FEMA trailer I happily moved into a great little apartment in the Milton Young Towers. Upon moving in I was given the news that there was assigned parking and that I would be put on the list but that the list was not moving very rapidly as tenants with a vehicle basically have to move out or pass away to open up a spot.
I have discovered over the past three months how much I miss my muddy little driveway beside my FEMA trailer. There are two handicapped parking spaces available in front of the apt building and too many handicapped people living and visiting the apartments for me to be able to give a count of what would be necessary to accommodate all, myself included. I do not have a visible handicap but I have health issues that are painful, serious and unseen.
More often times than not when I arrive home I am forced to walk an unsafe distance given my health conditions and the weather, roads and sidewalk conditions. I have not even mentioned the folks who can't find parking that are not handicapped or disabled in some way. Of all the things in life that a person should be concerned with, finding a place to park at your home at the end of the day really should not have to be one of them.
I can't tell you how many late nights I have arrived home only to find absolutely no parking anywhere near my apartment. Sometimes, I just find a place to pull over and cry until I can muster up the presence of mind and physical strength to figure out some sort of plan. Do I risk a parking ticket and park relatively near my building? Do I park next to the two handicapped parking places and block the walkway a bit? Do I drive around and waste gas for awhile hoping that someone moves in the meantime and I can get the parking spot before someone else who needs it gets it? Maybe I can stay with a friend who has parking in front of their home.
Last night I took a chance and parked on the north side of the Milton Young Towers. I figured that it was Friday night and since there would be no school on Saturday I could park there without taking a spot that a student would need to attend school. I was wrong, I received a $10; ticket courtesy of the city of Minot.
I guess my hope in making this parking issue public is in hopes that the city of Minot and Minot Housing Authority can work toward finding a more suitable and decent way of providing reasonable parking for everyone who calls Milton Young Towers their home.