Full parking lots, policy changes cause problems for some at Kentucky State Fair

Updated: Aug. 20, 2018 at 11:14 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time at the Kentucky State Fair this year, there is a designated lot for those with Disabled Parking Permits.

Tens of thousands packed the fair over the weekend. At some points, the crowd was so large event organizers had to close the lot for disabled parking because it got too full.

Tuesday is Senior Day at the fairgrounds and event organizers want to avoid issues.

"We address the problems as they arise," Cody Patterson, a spokesman for the Kentucky Exposition Center, said. "Our goal is to have the safest most enjoyable parking and fair experience possible."

The new ADA parking lot is located about a third of a mile from the South Wing, where the indoor exhibits are located.

"That's way too far for anyone that can't breathe and people that can't walk," Jo Ann Maynard said.

Maynard attended the fair this weekend and was not pleased. She said with smaller ADA lots previously scattered throughout the fair grounds, there was a higher chance to park near the Expo Center.

"This is the first year we have centrally located our ADA parking lot," Patterson said.

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There are over 700 parking spots in the new ADA lot. State fair organizers made the change based on feedback. They said one lot makes it easier for visitors to access the one vendor who rents out wheelchairs and scooters.

"The seniors enjoy walking through the south wing, and the parking lot is far from there," Maynard said.

There's a shuttle to take people from the parking lots, closer to the indoor exhibits. The problem is the shuttle only fits one scooter or wheelchair at a time.

"They didn't stop to think about the seniors," Maynard said.

Patterson said organizers will be closely monitoring the ADA lot on Senior Day and communicating updates to the public. He said his office welcomes feedback and can be reached at 502-367-5102.

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