There is convenient Lincoln Memorial handicap parking for disabled visitors right on Daniel French Drive. This is on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial. Private vehicles without a handicap tag are forbidden from even entering Daniel French Drive. You can only access Daniel French Drive if you are headed west on Independence Avenue or if you are headed west along Ohio Drive SW.
On-street parking on the National Mall is no longer free of charge. Three hour parking is available at $2 per hour. Parking meters only accept credit cards.
Anyone with a handicap visiting the National Mall in Washington DC will find that getting around between the various monuments is a big problem. The National Mall is simply not designed for people with disabilities. Rather than just searching for handicap parking at the Lincoln Memorial, perhaps the best solution is to organize a private tour for handicapped people, especially designed for those with limited mobility.
Handicap Access into the Lincoln Memorial
On the south side of the staircase leading up to the inner chamber of the Lincoln Memorial, there is a ramp. Follow this ramp and just to the left of the stairs you will see an open doorway. This doorway leads to both the restroom area and also to an elevator that will bring you up to the inner sanctum. From here, you have the best view in Washington DC down the Reflecting Pool and towards the Washington Monument and the US Capitol beyond.
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Wheelchair Availability at the Lincoln Memorial
There is a National Park Service information kiosk very near the Lincoln Memorial handicap parking. Technically, this is the Korean War Memorial information kiosk. With an ID, they will lend you a folding wheelchair that you can use to visit the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial.
Handicap Access at the Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial is nearby both to the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Lincoln Memorial handicap parking spots. There are no steps within the Korean War Memorial.
Handicap Access at the Vietnam War Memorial
The Vietnam Memorial is on the north side of the Lincoln Memorial. Unfortunately, this is at a bit of a distance from the Lincoln Memorial handicap parking spots. There are not yet any dedicated handicap parking spots near the Vietnam Memorial.
Does the Lincoln Memorial Display a Special Symbolism for the Disabled?
Many people have suggested that the hands of the Abraham Lincoln statue subtly form an “A” and an “L” in American sign language. This is not the official interpretation of the National Park Service. However, the sculptor of the statue, Daniel French, had a son who was deaf. They communicated with each other in sign language. In other statues sculpted by Daniel French, the hands on the statues are also said to contain sign language symbols related to each statue. Finally, Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Lands Grant Act, which funded universities across the United States. Among those universities was Galludet University right here in DC — the first university for the deaf in the nation.
Don’t Drive! — Take a Pedicab Tour including the Lincoln Memorial
Rather than deal with hassle of driving, why not let Nonpartisan Pedicab take you for a private tour of the monuments instead? In only 2-4 hours, you can see all of the major monuments. At each, you will have time to stop and walk in for photos or to explore. We give you a narrated tour of the history of the monuments and buildings and how they relate to US history and to the history of the city of Washington DC. If you find walking difficult, a pedicab is the easiest way to see all the monuments — and the most comfortable. Call Nonpartisan Pedicab at 7032319882. Or reserve online directly.
More information about Handicap Access on the National Mall
National Park Service Information on the Lincoln Memorial
Washington DC Disability Information — General Information for Handicapped visitors