February 23, 2007

Lenox Square Mall

Lenox Square Mall

I visited Lenox Square mall on a number of occasions since I have been living in Atlanta.  This is a mall with a lot of “higher end” stores.  The mall is very nice and feels more like a high class office building than a mall compaired to most.  I have had quite a number of “problems” while trying to shop here though!

The first time I went there we drove by car.  We drove around aimlessly searching for a parking spot, and finally spoted one in the parking garage.  It was next to a disabled parking space, but seeing how I hadn’t gotten my disabled parking permit yet we decided that it would work.  There was extra room between it and the disabled parking space, so we parked and Julian proceeded to unpack my wheelchair from the trunk.  As he was doing this a girl drove up and parked in the disabled spot in a huge truck.  She didn’t have a disabled parking permit, and as she talked on her cell phone she noticed me transfering out of the car and drove off. 

We made our way towards the exit, and once we got there we discovered a set of concrete stairs leading up out of the parking garage.  There was no elevator or ramp, but there was a button to press if you needed help right at the bottom of the stairs!  My question was if I did press the button what would happen?  Would someone come and drag me up the concrete staircase?  I doubt it.  We turned around and tried to go out the way the cars came in.  Once we got there we found a very high curb onto a sidewalk with a big pole in the middle!  We were trapped in a parking garage that had disabled parking spots!  Obviously someone didn’t think that design all the way through!  We got in the car and had to park in a completely different parking lot accross the street from the mall.  Of course this one was on a hill, but at least I could get out of there!  I suggest paying the extra $7 for valet parking!  At least you can drive up right in front of the entrance and have your car brought right back to you!

 The next time we went to this mall we took the Marta train.  (That’s a whole other story!)  When we got to the mall we followed the sidewalk down a hill toward the mall.  It was very narrow with a high curb.  We got about halfway to the mall entrance when Julian pointed out that at the end of the sidewalk at the curb there was a big pillar that held the gate for a parking lot!  We got closer and found out there was no way I could get past it.  The pilllar and gate was blocking the curb and the sidewalk too narrow for anyone to even walk by.  Instead of going back up the hill and finding another way in, we decided to have Julian lift me down the curb.  He had to step out into the street, hold the front of my wheelchair and lower me down onto the street!  

You are probably thinking why didn’t I just pop a wheelie and hop down the curb?  Well for starters it was onto a street, I have a guide dog attached to my chair and I’m a quad with no balance.  Besides that the curb was at least 5 inches high!  We still had to go down the street, across the entrance for the parking lot, and finally cross another street to get to the mall.  All of this in really busy traffic.

Once we got inside the mall we stopped at the mall directory to find a place to eat.  That seemed simple enough.  There was an elevator right accross from us!  We got in and found out quickly that it didn’t even go to the floor the restraunt was on.  By this time I was getting very dizzy from being hungry.  So much that I had to concentrate really hard to not pass out.

We searched the whole mall before we found an elevator to the floor we needed.  This is where things really got messed up!  In order to get there you have to take an elevator, walk along a cobble stoned sidewalk that is uneven outside until you get to another entrence to the mall and then take another elevator once you are inside!  When we got there the restraunt we were going to eat at had a huge line-up, so we found yet another directory.  We ended up finding another elevator and going to the food court to eat.  It was really hot and crowded and I just felt awful by the time we left there.

Other than that the hallways are pretty wide and there are a few slight ramps.  But it was really aparent whoever designed the property wasn’t thinking about accessibility at all!  If you have a lot of time and patience it could be worth the trip, but it is usually very crowded, and again I would suggest the valet parking, or at least parking on the side of the mall that Macy’s is on.


1 Comment »

  1. […] instance, there is a mall close by called “Lenox Square“  The first time we went there we parked in the parking deck, got out of the car and tried […]

    Pingback by Blogging Against Disablism 2007 « Peachtree Active Living — May 1, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

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