Free Handicapped Parking in Chicago
In Chicago, if you have a handicapped placard, you can park for free at any of the paid metered street parking. With downtown metered street parking rates of $5.75 an hour, this is some serious money. Recently, 10 people were “nabbed” using fake, stolen, or “borrowed” handicap placards in order to get free parking. This issue keeps coming up, and with all the notoriety and news about this issue, it’s a wonder folks still keep stealing free parking. In Chicago there have been multiple sting operations and coverage on local news, radio and newspapers. In LA however, it’s a different story.
John Van Horn of Parking Today on LA
John Van Horn of Parking Today writes about how the chances of getting caught for abusing handicap parking placards in near zero. Los Angeles issued 11 citations for the entire year! That’s just one days worth in the city of Chicago! Currently, the placards do not have to be renewed which makes abuse even easier and much more likely. I like John’s idea of a crowdsourced app that lets motorists “tattle” and send a picture of the person taking advantage and using the handicap placard. That said, I think an immediate and much easier solution is for LA to have an email address folks can just send pictures with info too. It could be turned on immediately and folks could instantly have a place to email about the offenders.
This brings us to the next topic. Why should they get free parking? How does this solve the current issue? How does it help those that actually need to park closer to their destination? JVH brings up a scenario where there are 20 handicap spaces right next to the entrance to an aggressive trail head. This is beyond ironic. While increased enforcement would be great, it’s a grand wonder that other solutions aren’t looked at closer like, let’s hear it… Abolishing FREE parking for those with handicap placards.