August 22, 2013 | Portlandtribune.com-- Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick is getting serious about changing city policies governing use of disabled parking placards at on-street parking spots.
Novick, Portland’s transportation commissioner, sent a letter recently to the city’s Disabled Parking Task Force asking for proposals to address the long-running downtown problem.
Novick told the Tribune Wednesday that a few weeks ago he walked about five blocks surrounding City Hall and found more than half the on-street parking spaces were taken up by vehicles with disabled parking placards.
As detailed in a July 11 Tribune story, most of those cars belong to downtown workers who keep their vehicles parked in metered spots all day. Parking spaces with one-hour or 90-minute limits are intended to encourage shoppers who make short visits and free up spaces for other shoppers. But those with disabled placards are allowed to park free for as long as they want.
Downtown business owners for years have complained that people with disabled permits parking all day are costing them business. As reported in the Tribune story, some cities have moved to a policy that requires drivers with disabled placards to pay for their parking. Those cities have found that the problem of all-day parking at metered spaces virtually disappears when payment is required.
Novick says his tour with a bureau of transportation parking enforcement officer was more than eye opening.
“I was just astonished,” Novick says. “More than half of the spaces were taken up with ‘disabled parking’ cars and it was obvious the vast READ FULL ARTICLE