Skip to comments.Sacramento grapples with more drivers parking free with disabled placards
Posted on 08/08/2012 5:00:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Anyone searching for a parking space in downtown Sacramento on a weekday might conclude that a big percentage of this city's residents is disabled.
Bright blue and red placards hang in half of the windshields on some blocks, allowing those cars to park free all day at any meter, regardless of how much time the meter allows or how congested the area is.
As placard numbers grow across the state, frustrated officials from Sacramento to Los Angeles say too many users are in fact able-bodied people abusing the system. It's time to put a stop to it, they say.
Vehicles wrongly sporting disabled placards block customers from getting to businesses, cut into city parking revenue and keep truly disabled people from being able to park near their destinations, city officials contend.
"It's out of control," said Sacramento city transportation head Jerry Way. "If we don't do something, people are going to continue to game the system."
Sacramento city parking representatives will bring their concerns to the City Council on Thursday as part of a larger discussion on how the city can better manage downtown parking.
Officials acknowledge they do not know how many placards are being misused, but they conclude based on enforcement efforts that misuse is common.
.....The disabled parking perk has deep roots in California. State law in the 1950s gave disabled veterans parking privileges. That was extended in the 1970s to everyone deemed disabled. Officials and advocates say the law was put in place to aid people whose physical limitations made it hard to use meters, and hard to return to a metered car in a timely manner. Advocates also say the law takes into account that some disabled people are lower-income or on a fixed income......
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Aw, what the heck; give ‘em ALL a disabled placard.
Anyone choosing to live in that state must be 80% disabled from the shoulders up.
The Americans continue their slide to 3rd world, where corruption like this is routine. Which set of laws applies, there are so many of them now depending on who you are and who you know.
Liberalism is a freak show
And a mental disorder.
One of the problems is that states are very liberal in their awarding and renewal of these placards. My husband applied for a placard in PA in 2006 after a knee injury. He had the choice of 6 months or 5 years on the placard. He used it for about 2 years while he was on crutches and rehabbing his knee. Then he forgot about the placard until the automatic renewal arrived in the mail. While the initial application required a doctor’s signature, the renewal did not. I think many people end up with placards for life, long after a short-term need has ended. Similarly, when my aunt died, I found placards for Florida and New York in her car. She had a legitimate need, as she had a prosthetic leg. However, there is nothing except conscience stopping me or anyone else from using them now. I doubt any parking authorities are checking the identification numbers on them against death certificates.
The “ME” generation has come home to roost and it’s going to get very ugly before it’s over.
But I keep mom's placard in my glove box for picking her up. The other really weird thing about some parking lots is the relative abundance of disabled parking places relative to the small size of the parking lot. I must confess to misusing her placard once when there were eight disabled spaces open in a lot where every single other space was taken. This was a small strip mall, not the type of place where you'd expect physically disabled people to congregate.
This issue was addressed in Arlington, Virginia, back in 1998 by removing this exemption and instituting the “all may park, all must pay” policy. There are still handicapped-only spots at the ends of blocks.
The reason cited for the change? Widespread abuse, exactly as mentioned in this article.
I've seen a lot of this too. The size of the placard population is so large now that some parking lots have allocated very substantial chunks of their space to disabled people. I'm all for making life a little easier for the disabled, but for many people it's just another way to cheat.
I moved out of California 10 years ago. I had a handicapped hangtag there but every year the Great State of California mails me a new tag (free of charge)even though I now live in Indiana.
And they wonder why they are circling the bowl.
Last year, I broke my leg and was hobbling around on crutches or a cane for seven or eight months. Even though I wasn’t driving at the time, I thought about getting a placard, for people that were helping me out driving me around. Then, I figured, even though it was a pain trying to get around, I’m young and I only had to put up with it for a few months, but the real disabled people had to deal with it for life. So, I decided to just suck it up and do without it. Guess I was a sucker.