ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque dad whose son has cerebral palsy says he is upset with the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo for not providing enough disabled parking spaces for families who need them.
“He has sensory issues so he really likes to go to the zoo to relax,” said Kenneth Medina.
But, it was anything but a relaxing day at the BioPark Zoo for Medina and his son Saturday.
“All the handicapped spots were blocked off, there wasn’t any open,” said Medina. “I had seen other people with handicap placards, you know, doing the same thing I was doing,” he continued.
He drove around and around looking for a disabled parking spot. There were only three disabled parking spaces available for the entire zoo Saturday, out of the dozens that were blocked off.
“I sat there and I counted out all the spots. I believe there was about 28 spots that were completely blocked off,” said Medina.
In a statement to KRQE News 13, a city spokesperson said the zoo is currently repaving the parking lot. They expect the project to be finished soon and apologize for any inconvenience. When we asked if any unmarked parking spots would be turned into temporary disabled parking, the spokesperson told us he did not have an answer for us at this time.
“A response like that is a slap in the face to our disabled community. That’s basically what it is,” said Medina.
While Medina said this won’t stop him from taking his son to the zoo in the future, he said this was an eye opening experience.
“There’s really nothing I can do about it. Just nice to know where the handicap community sits with the City of Albuquerque,” he said.
Medina said he goes to the zoo about three to four times a week, but he doesn’t know when he’ll be back after this experience.
News 13 also asked the city when the repaving project will be finished, they were not able to give us a date.