Creating special parking spaces and privileges for the disabled is a great idea. Except that people have started to abuse the handicap placards in order to get a free day of parking in metered spots, landing them a hefty $935 ticket.
In an attempt to cut down on the placard abuse, The City is trying to reform disabled parking rules which could mean disabled motorists may need to pay for metered parking spots.
While many placards belong to people with genuine disabilities, The City knows that not all of them do. SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said:
“People do use these disabled placards fraudulently, and they misuse them constantly.”
In looking for ways to cut the abuse, The City is considering charging disabled drivers for metered parking so they will not abuse the placards. And before you call this crazy talk, know that this month Washington, D.C. passed a similar measure that resulted in 400 metered spaces for handicapped drivers being turned into paid parking.
But don’t worry about this quite yet because in order for SF to charge drivers with a disability placard for metered parking, they would need to lobby for a change in state law. And that is definitely easier said than done.
While The City thinks this new option may work, many others claim it will harm people with disabilities instead of helping them. The Mayor’s Office on Disabilities spokesperson Susan Mizner said:
“People with disabilities who tend to be at the lower socioeconomic brackets would have a higher burden to be able to get around The City.”