Your New Downtown Parking Handicap

YOUR NEW DOWNTOWN PARKING HANDICAP That borrowed disabled parking placard trick you’ve been using to get free parking all day in metered spaces Downtown? It won’t work for much longer, Mayor Parker announced today, calling the abuse of the hanging tags an “epidemic.” That’s right: After October 8th you’ll only be able to park free with a placard for about 2 hours, or whatever the posted limit is. After that, you’ll have to feed the meter, or face a $30 fine. Downtown has 4,200 metered spaces; parking officials say as many as 500 of them are occupied for most of the day by vehicles displaying the disabled placards. [Houston Politics]

21 Comment

  • Good move. I’m sick and tired of seeing supposedly “disabled” individuals with hang tags park in a handicap space, and then walk quickly and effortlessly to wherever it is that they are going. Come to think of it I’ve seen individuals with disabled license plates do the same thing.

  • My favorite was an able bodied older woman who parked next to me in a disabled spot at Memorial Park, and then proceeded to run the loop. I was tempted to take a picture of her car, and another of her running, and then send it to the city.

  • @UG – Has it occurred to you that perhaps healthier friends/relatives are coming to pick up the owner of the tag?
    My dad and I had an…understanding about who would drive for many years, regardless of whose car it was.

  • @mollusk…if someone wants to borrow dad’s or grandma’s car with the handicapped tag or plates, fine…but don’t take advantage of the situation and park in a handicap parking space. Leave those spots for the people who really have a serious physical disability.

  • GOOD! Maybe this will catch on. The biggest offender is Walmart & their 400 pound shoppers who go (wobble) strait for those ride-on wheelchair carts. I also find it funny when people circle & fight for the closest spot at the gym. Park and WALK!

  • And most of those disabled hang tags all over the court district probably belong to city/county employees who don’t want to PAY for parking.

    @Mollusk–my mom had a disabled tag and never drove a car so I know what you’re talking about but please…….we all know that the hang tag permit is abused to the max. Not all disabilities are visible. But if a person walks briskley or runs the loop, they don’t have a serious heart condition.

    Mental disabilities are another matter. I once met a woman who was diagnosed with clinical depression and she said she was issued a disabled tag based on that. What?? Yeah.

  • I don’t pay for parking. I’m a commuter cyclist…probably will end up “paying with my life”.

  • Isn’t one of your favorites the pick-up truck with hand tag, bed loaded to the siderails with heavy tools and work supplies, carefully pulling into a handicapped parking slot? Saw that just yesterday downtown.

  • @ UG, pyewacket2 – Let’s use small words. My dad had a heart problem. I do not. I would drive, and park where he did not have to walk far. And got my share of snotty looks from charitable souls such as yourselves when I went in to get him. Mom would, too.

  • Why can’t handicapped people pay for parking? I’m glad I don’t need the handicapped spaces, and don’t begrudge them spaces closer to buildings, but being handicapped doesn’t mean you are too poor to feed a meter.

  • @ miss_msry……….
    (the gentle thud of head hitting wall)….(deep breath)….
    Because parking on the street right in front of the Esperson Building (an example) is closer than the parking garage three or more blocks away….

  • I just think miss_msry was commenting on the fact that handicapped parking is free–while adjacent downtown parking spaces are metered–not that it exists. I personally have never noticed, but if this is the case, then I don’t think adding meters to handicapped spaces is an undue burden.

  • About time! Just because you’re handicapped shouldn’t mean that you get free parking. There’s meters on every block. If you can’t walk a few steps to the meter, then you sure ain’t going to make it to your destination.

  • I’m curious: how does the Mayor think this proposal meets the requirements of the Texas Transportation Code (Section 681.006), which permits an individual displaying a disabled parking placard to park for an unlimited period of time?

    It’s important to read the language in context.

    DISABILITIES. (a) Subject to Section 681.009(e), a vehicle may be
    parked for an unlimited period in a parking space or area that is
    designated specifically for persons with physical disabilities if:
    (1) the vehicle is being operated by or for the
    transportation of a person with a disability; and
    (2) there are:
    (A) displayed on the vehicle special license
    plates issued under Section 504.201; or
    (B) placed on the rearview mirror of the
    vehicle’s front windshield a disabled parking placard.
    (b) The owner of a vehicle is exempt from the payment of a
    fee or penalty imposed by a governmental unit for parking at a meter
    (1) the vehicle is being operated by or for the
    transportation of a person with a disability; and
    (2) there are:
    (A) displayed on the vehicle special license
    plates issued under Section 504.201; or
    (B) placed on the rearview mirror of the
    vehicle’s front windshield a disabled parking placard.
    (c) The exemption provided by Subsection (b) or (e) does not
    apply to a fee or penalty:
    (1) imposed by a branch of the United States
    government; or
    (2) imposed by a governmental unit for parking at a
    meter, in a parking garage or lot, or in a space located within the
    boundaries of a municipal airport.
    (d) This section does not permit a vehicle to be parked at a
    time when or a place where parking is prohibited.
    (e) A governmental unit may provide by ordinance or order
    that the exemption provided by Subsection (b) also applies to
    payment of a fee or penalty imposed by the governmental unit for
    parking in a parking garage or lot or in a space with a limitation on
    the length of time for parking.

  • as mentioned, the obvious solution is to have every one pay for the parking that the city has provided them with, regardless of location and/or disability.

    metro is there to address any other disabled needs

  • @MichaelM, section C2 says that the city can charge for parking at a meter.

  • People with disabilities I know don’t have any problem with the idea of paying for parking (example – changing the rules for parking garages at the airports a few years ago). The problem with parking meters at handicap parking places is making the meters themselves accessible – wheelchair access, height limits, etc.

  • @Ross–Agreed. The statute “never” exempted payment of the initial fee for meter parking, and I didn’t comment on that. My comment refers to the time exemption. When the statute was passed in the 1980s, the author (a Houston legislator), told me his intention was NOT to prevent the fee but rather to prevent the conduct now proposed by the Mayor–in short, the disabled must pay the initial meter rate but cannot be ticketed after the meter runs out. Read the history.

  • I have ra and done had a total hip I don’t like going downtown but I have a tag and only use it on the day I can’t walk a long way every boy that has a handy cap don’t have walking problems.

  • I got a ticket for parking in a handicap parking spot. I never noticed any sign of symbol. There was a pickup truck parked on one side and a car on the other. I would think there would have been some space marked that allows for wheel chairs to be unloaded. The spot was around the center of the block. I paid for regular parking and displayed it on the dash. I could get a handicap parking permit because I have back problems.. But I can walk without a ca op n or wheel chair. Long story short. My car got booted and it cost me $1100. Money I can’t afford since I make 15000 a year on ssid. I know the judge in the basement on Lubbock. He one of the easiest people to deal with. I now need to mount a defence and get my money back. I’ll trpost my results.

  • I am a disabled veteran lost my leg in Vietnam in 1967. I think the violators should be penalized not the people who have a physical disability. Why should none disabled people be allowed to influence the outcome of a benefit they are not entitled to in the first place. People who loan out there plackards should loose their privileges and fined