Tag Archives: disabled 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.
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.
Someone decided to take matters into their own hands.
A parking vigilante seemingly got fed up with waiting months and months for the city to remove signs designating a reserved parking spot for a handicapped resident who had moved in April, and ripped the sign out of the ground according to CBS 2 News.
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.
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.
But despite their best efforts, enforcement efforts by the Chicago Police Department don’t seem to be discouraging some drivers from misusing disabled parking placards according to the Sun-Times.
The newspaper reports since August 24th, the city has conducted enforcement investigations on 17 separate days. Police have stopped 234 drivers using disability parking placards and issued 47 violations when the driver was using another person’s placard to park for free at downtown parking meters.
The city has a lot of incentive to discourage this practice as it must compensate Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, the private firm which operates Chicago’s metered parking system, whenever disabled drivers park in metered spaces for free. So far, that bill for the past two years is over $35 million.
Disabled drivers, get your quarters ready.
Over 600,000 Illinois motorists with handicap plates or disability parking placards will say goodbye to free parking at metered parking spots starting in 2014.
Monday Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law sweeping changes to legislation controlling disabled parking statewide, but perhaps has the most impact in Chicago.
Part of the impetus for the legislation came from reports of wide spread abuse of disabled parking placards to park for free in Chicago’s very expensive metered parking spots first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In addition, the City of Chicago began receiving multi-billion dollar bills from Chicago Parking Meters, LLC the company which has the 75 year concession to operate the meters. Per the contract signed with CPM in 2008, the city has to compensate the company for the massive number of drivers using disability placard and handicap plates to legally park without feeding the meter.
The vast majority of drivers with disabled placards and/or handicap plates will no longer be eligible for the free parking. Only drivers who cannot physically operate or access a parking meter will still be allowed to park without feeding the meter. Those drivers will be required to have their physician to sign a medical form in order to obtain the new placard or window decal to park at meters for free.