Category Archives: Handicapped Parking
What the Hell is going on here?
How is it possible that a handicapped parking spot is where a stop sign is posted?
We came across this confusing mish mash of traffic signs at Drexel Blvd. and 39th.
It’s illegal for drivers to park within 30′ of a stop sign (on the approaching side). But this reserved handicapped parking spot shares a sign post with the stop sign.
Theoretically, it would seem the person parking in their reserved handicapped spot could also be ticketed for parking too close to a stop sign.
NBC 5, hanging out with law enforcement in a few shopping mall parking lots on Black Friday and finds some drivers parking illegally in spots reserved for handicapped drivers.
Earlier this week, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced a crackdown on this type of illegal behavior over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at malls and shopping centers.
The fines are expensive, ranging from $500 to $2500, and drivers violating these laws risk having their driver’s license suspended.
If you have some Black Friday shopping planned at a mall and see that alluring empty space reserved for handicapped drivers–don’t even consider parking there.
That’s because Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is sending out stepped up enforcement to bust people who illegally park in these spots.
Illinois Secretary of State Police will be at Water Tower Place and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, as well as malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford and Springfield according to the Daily Herald.
On January 1st, most “handicapped” or “disabled” drivers will lose the ability to park for free at Chicago’s parking meters.
Illinois state law changed in 2012. Now, only severely handicapped person who cannot operate or access a parking meter due to their disability will qualify for the new state placards.
The impetus for the change resulted, ironically, from the city’s 2008 parking meter lease deal which dramatically increased the cost to park at metered spaces around the city. Prices quadrupled in the first year and now, Chicago’s downtown meter rates are the most expensive in North America.
Some drivers who had access to disability parking placards used them to park for free all across the city, especially in the Loop where rates are the most expensive. The problem for the city was that the parking meter lease contract allowed Chicago Parking Meters, LLC the private company which paid the city $1.16 billion in 2008 in exchange for control of the parking meters and it’s lucrative revenue stream, to bill Chicago for lost revenue from all the people using their placards to park for free.
Those bills came to a shocking $55 million, an amount that most assuredly played a big part in moving the new law through the Illinois General Assembly.
CBS 2 reports on the problem of reserved handicap parking spots on residential streets being abandoned and then unused for long periods of time. All the while drivers, especially in highly congested parts of the city, can’t find a parking space for their vehicle.
Sometimes a disabled person moves or dies, but the handicap parking space they were using sits there idle.
CBS 2 reports on why and how this happens and what is being done to alleviate these issues.
According to CBS 2′s Pam Zekman, one over zealous Chicago police officer is wrongfully issuing tickets to drivers who are using their disability placards to park in designated handicapped parking spots legally.
The story spotlights the plight of an elderly gentleman who dropped off his wife at the entrance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, for treatment of her brain cancer, and then proceeded to park the car in the spots reserved for the handicapped.
Each year, beginning on Black Friday, November 23rd and running through the end of December, SOS police target shopping malls in 66 communities around the state including Chicago, Schaumburg (Woodfield Mall) Champaign, Carbondale, Fairview Heights, Marion, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.
“I’m pleased with the results of the disability parking enforcement efforts,” said White. “As I’ve said before, our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the disability parking spaces are available to those who need them.”
Here’s how the numbers break down:
Don’t even think about it.
Sure, that open handicap parking spot near the entrance to the mall sure looks inviting.
But it’s not worth it. Especially with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White on the prowl looking for motorists illegally parking their vehicles in disabled parking spots this Friday.
White has instructed Secretary of State Police to conduct enforcement sweeps at popular shopping malls state wide this Black Friday—the biggest holiday shopping day of the year. SOS Police will be dispatched to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Chicago’s Water Tower Place as well as shopping malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Rockford, and Springfield.
“Our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the parking spaces are available to those who need them,” White said. “Parking illegally in a space reserved for those who are disabled will mean more money will be spent on fines and less towards gifts. My message is simple: if you don’t belong there, don’t park there.”
According to CBS 2 and the Sun-Times, alderman overwhelmingly supported Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to limit the number of parking spaces per block for drivers with handicapped license plates or disability placards.
There are some residential streets in the city where a disproportionate number of these reserved spaces exist, reducing the number of potential parking spots for other residents.
This change to the municipal code will limit this type of parking to no more than 20% of the total number of available parking spots per block.
If a disabled driver is denied a reserved spot due to this new rule, they do have the opportunity to appeal to Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities which can review and possible overturn the denial.
Just imagine it. The weather is beautiful, even balmy. Friends and family are tailgating, the grill is going, beer is flowing and everyone is excited about the Bears’ Monday night game at home against the Lions.
But then, Illinois Secretary of State law enforcement walk up and nail you for parking in a handicap parking spot.