Questions arise after THP cruiser appears to block wheelchair ramp

Courtesy: iReport2 Network

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A mother and her sons visiting in downtown Nashville were angered after a ramp they thought was for handicap access was blocked by a parked Tennessee Highway Patrol SUV.

The family, from Lawrenceburg, said it happened April 7 at a ramp on Seventh Avenue at the War Memorial Auditorium. They took a photo of the incident and sent it to News 2.

When confronted with the photo, Lt. Bill Miller with the THP said it does look as if the patrol car is blocking a disability access ramp, “But that is incorrect.”

“This is not an access point for anyone with disabilities to try to cross the street,” Miller explained.

He added that the ramp appears to be a part of a former loading zone at the memorial, but the location is actually a parking spot.

The spot, which has a bagged parking meter, is reserved for THP vehicles and has a sign stating that fact.

Furthermore, Miller told News 2 the part of the street where the ramp is located is not in a crosswalk and would make it difficult for a person using a wheelchair or scooter to get back up on the sidewalk on the other side because the sidewalk is raised.

“Around the War Memorial complex, there are clearly marked access points for people who have disabilities that need assistance getting into the complex,” Lt. Miller explained.

He continued, “That is where the sidewalk is designed and engineered for safety, for you to smoothly transition from the sidewalk to the roadway to the crosswalk.”

Lt. Miller said anytime someone has a question about a trooper’s behavior on duty they should reach out to the department.

“Unless we are responding with full flashing blue lights, we have to obey all laws just like regular citizens,” he said.

The area was still marked with the reserved sign when News 2 went to the location Thursday.

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