Parking spaces irk handicapped on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Suzanne Sheldon and her husband have only been to nearby Folly Beach a handful of times, since moving to James Island two years ago.

"I have to park close to the beach because I can't walk long distance," she says.

Sheldon is afflicted with the neurological disorder generalized dystonia, which limits her mobility.

She says she oftentimes cannot find any available handicapped parking spaces close to the beach.

"Why couldn't Folly Beach give up some of its parking to the handicapped -- who deserve to come to the beach … but they just have trouble getting to the beach because it's so difficult?" Sheldon says.

Mayor Tim Goodwin says there are several handicapped spaces near the beach's wheelchair access ramp at 9th Avenue and West Ashley Avenue.

"We try to be diligent in making the beach accessible for everyone," he says.  "We can't create more spaces that don't exist."

Folly Beach Building Inspector Eric Lutz says there are also additional reserved spaces near the beach: one at West 3rd Street and two at 1670 East Ashley Avenue.

Sheldon says she would like for the city to transform two parking spaces into handicapped spaces at each beach access point.

"Handicapped people can get suntans, too," she says.

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