Tag Archives: handicap parking
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.
According to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, a lot of disabled drivers are parking for free at metered parking spaces around the city. Millions of dollars worth.
CPM says it’s cost them $22 million in revenue in 2011 according to a story in today’s Chicago Tribune.
Per the parking meter lease agreement, approved by the vast majority of the Chicago City Council and signed by Mayor Daley in December of 2008, the meter company can bill the city when the number of drivers utilizing handicap license plates or disability parking placards exceeds a set percentage.
A week ago, CPM submitted their bill to the city for $22 million to compensate the company for disabled parkers just for 2011. The company invoiced the city $13 million for the same item in 2010.
Only Few Exceptions Will Still Be Allowed To Park Free
Illinois State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) has introduced legislation to take away the free parking meter privileges for all but a minority of drivers with handicap license plates or disabled parking placards according to report in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Illinois Secretary of State will issue a special free parking sticker to disabled drivers only after qualifying in at least one of four very strict and specific ways through doctor’s verification according to the proposed legislation.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
A joint enforcement effort between Secretary of State Police and Chicago Police put many police officers on the ground at five separate locations around downtown Chicago Thursday looking for abuse of disabled parking laws according to the NBC Chicago website.
WTTW’s Paris Schutz puts together a nice nuts and bolts synopsis of Chicago Parking Meter, LLC’s recent $13.5 million bill for an overabundance of motorists utilizing handicap license plates and disabled placards to park for free in metered spots.
That’s the message Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to convey to drivers who feel compelled to misuse disabled parking placards or handicap plates to park for free on metered streets.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the proposal cruised through the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Monday and looks like it will be voted on by the full City Council at Wednesday’s meeting.
The proposed change in the law would hand down fines between $1500 and $3000 for drivers flouting the law. Furthermore, the driver’s vehicle would be immediately towed and impounded to the tune of an additional $150.
Emanuel’s plan had the support of Secretary of State Jesse White who has his own major changes planned for the state law that controls handicap parking abuse.
It seems both Emanuel’s and White’s push for more stringent laws on disabled parking abuse is the direct result of a week long series on the subject by the Chicago Sun-Times last month which caught myriads of drivers involved in this type of abuse.
One in every 13 vehicles in Cook County utilize a handicap parking placard according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
This is just one of the many eye brow raising statistics the second part of the Sun-Times’ series on the abuse of placards used by disabled drivers.
A team of investigators led by reporter Chris Fusco surveyed the area in the South Loop bounded by Roosevelt, Van Buren, Desplaines and Canal and found as many as 60 cars using disabled placards parking for free at metered spots.
The article also reveals that nearly 600,000 handicap placards have been issued statewide with 204,787 or 34% of the state total, being utilized just in Cook County.