Alabama Disability Advocacy Program looking into Chick-fil-a Handicap parking issue

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For several months, we've been working with Chick-fil-a on Whitesburg Drive to solve an issue with their handicap accessible parking. A concerned customer reached out to us back in May, when she couldn't pull into handicap parking spots when the drive-thru line is too long. “We couldn’t park there, we couldn’t take him to the restaurant, we haven’t been able to since," says Karen Trevey.

When she reached out to the Department of Justice for help, they sent her back a letter saying "We have decided not to take any further action on your complaint," claiming they were too busy.

“While it’s probably not an easy fix, smart people might be able to find a way to have the flow, be compliant with the law," says Trevey.

After that update aired, one of our viewers reached out to the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, based out of Tuscaloosa, to notify them of our story. Monday morning, a representative of their team came out to the restaurant to take measurements.

The representative found that the store had the proper ratio of parking spaces and handicap spots, and that the spaces are the right measurements. She says the next step will be for her office to determine if blocking the handicap spots falls under a different portion of the American's with Disabilities Act and if there's a solution that Chick-fil-a can put into place.

It's important to note, the franchise owner of the Whitesburg location has been very accommodating.  Because of Chick-fil-a rules, any changes to the parking lot would have to be approved by the corporate office. We have made several attempts to reach someone from the corporate team, but our phone calls have not been returned.

In response to our story, the restaurant has removed the cones blocking those handicap spots, meaning if the drive-thru line isn't wrapped around the building, those spots are accessible.

The problem is, because Chick-fil-a is so popular, that doesn't happen too often.