Do Pregnant Women Deserve Special Parking Privileges?


Pregnant New Yorkers may be entitled to free parking, thanks to New York City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn). Yep. Special privileges for the maternity set in a city that has people who don't often offer up their subway seat for pregnant women.

Greenfield's proposal, in theory, is pretty rad. Women who are having "difficult pregnancies" could park for free in no-parking or no-standing zones with a note from their doctor. The rule would even give them a cushion of 30 days after their due dates, just in case those ladies deliver late or have postpartum recovery challenges.

The story has already brought out plenty of commenting haters, with 56 percent of polled Daily News readers saying there isn't enough parking as it is. 

Now, I could see parking lots in the suburbs having this policy, but let's focus on the real problem: pregnant commuters standing on buses and subway trains. This happens every day, and you know you've seen it happen. Or it's happened to you.

How hard would it be for a councilman like Greenfield to amend those signs in train cars reserving seats for the elderly and disabled to include pregnant women? Or to require that bus drivers make announcements kindly suggesting that riders offer their seats to pregnant women?

I avoided the bus like the plague during my pregnancy, mainly because the driver would jerk the bus forward before I even got close to a seat. I even had one female driver make me exit from the rear although I was sitting next to the front door!

As for the subway, I couldn't believe how late in my pregnancy people really took notice. Sure, just days before I delivered, I would get on the train and not have to dramatically look around for a seat. But two weeks before that? Trust me, I rode several stops before anyone noticed or cared, and it took awhile just to get to that point.

Greenfield's proposal is a nice idea, but it's just a Band-Aid for a bigger issue.

Do pregnant New Yorkers deserve parking privileges or is there a better solution?


Image via Flickr/cordelia_persen

the pregnant life


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baby1... baby1love

Why not??? Do you want to walk all the way from the back 50 to the door when you are 30 weeks plus pregnant!!??? I sure the hell didn't want to. I was BIG when I was prego it was hard to walk far after 35 weeks.

PonyC... PonyChaser

What constitutes a "difficult" pregnancy?  The woman who is hurling multiple times a day? The woman with swollen ankles?  The woman who really has nothing wrong with her except that she's pregnant and likes to use it to get anything she wants?

What needs to happen is a reversal of the "coarsening of society".  I've seen a man offer his seat to a woman he thought was pregnant, only to have that woman give him a never-to-be-forgotten tongue-lashing because she wasn't pregnant, just overweight.  Did she have to do that? No, she could have politely declined.  Can you blame a guy for never offering again? 

Once people get out of their own little selves, and start participating in polite society again, we won't have to have manners legislated for us.  We'll know how to do it on our own.

So I'd vote no on the special seating/parking, if I lived there.

nonmember avatar JB

I just moved to London, England from Boston, MA and all of the trains in the tube have signs designating seats for "those less able to stand", that includes disabled, elderly, pregnant, and moms with small children, all illustrated with pictures and via text. I have to say that it's well respected by the people I encounter day to day. I have to imagine the same for the commuter time slots too. NYC should follow London's lead.

nonmember avatar Nikko

Funny... I have to constantly fight with family NOT to be considered crippled by my pregnancy.

I can still walk across a parking lot. I can still walk in the mall. I'm 36 weeks pregnant and I do NOT need special treatment.

That said, I think it's lovely that the women who DO need the help would be able to get it. As I don't need special privileges, I will not use them. But having seen the absolute hell pregnancy puts on some women, I can't say that this is an unwelcome idea.

Amanda Oaks

I love the parking spots locally here that are for new or expectant mothers, especially in this cold weather. It makes it much easier with little one to not have to walk a half a mile to get in the store. Plus, my pregnancies call for STRICT bed rest after 25 weeks. So If I have to go the store a handicap spot is really beneficial.

Happy... Happy2BDomestic

I think it's a wonderful idea!  I haven't run across anyone unwilling to give up a seat for a pregnant lady but I live in ohio. :)

081109 081109

On the buses in syracuse new york it's crazy, older men who are sometimes disabled are the chivalrous ones who would let me have a seat while healthy young people never got up.

nonmember avatar Dana

I think part of the problem is that there are so many obese women. It is often hard to tell if a woman is pregnant or just obese. But as a mom of an 8 month old who is also 29 weeks pregnant with my second child, I need the help. I can walk, yes, but this pregnancy has had a lot of complications and it is getting harder and harder to walk or stand for long periods of time. I have yet to have had a person offer me a seat and oftentimes I even have doors slammed in my face instead of people helping me as I struggle to carry my 8 month old. I think that there are women who should be able to access handicap spaces and such, but I think it should be determined by a doctor. A woman who is high-risk or on bed-rest, should be issued a temporary handicap permit that will allow them to park in the handicapped spots like any other disabled person. I do use the expecting mother spots on base, due to my own health issues, but I often see women who don't have any need for it (and some who I doubt are even pregnant) use them and it is frustrating. I also think that there should be more regulations on the handicapped bathroom stalls (nothing bothers me more than to have to squeeze into a tiny stall and then see a teeny-bopper wander out of the handicapped stall), but that's another issue. :)

Tara Dukaczewicz

I believe all the vulnerable members of our society should be cared for, so yes this is a good idea.

Cassondra Monique

When I was in NYC last I was preg and I just "asked" someone to give me a seat. It was a young guy who was listening to music and he promptly got up as soon as I tapped him and pointed to my belly. I had a difficult preg but not so bad that I had to be on bedrest. We have some places with parking up front for expecting or new mothers and I really appreciate it. Did I "need" those spaces? Some days I did more than others but honestly how much do some "handicapped" people need their spaces? Some of them do, some of them don't. It's about making it available and letting people use their own judgement as to what's right for them. We are, as a whole, an incredibly lazy society. Is it really so hard for adults who are just tired to give up their spaces to those really in need?

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