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Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee Makes Recommendations to Improve Parking Access in San Francisco

- San Francisco, California, US

San Francisco’s Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee, a group of 16 stakeholders gathered by the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), have announced an integrated set of recommended state and city policy changes intended to improve parking access for people with disabilities.

Every day, people with disabilities have trouble finding parking in San Francisco, making it more difficult to access our destinations, lead independent lives, and participate in our communities,said committee member Jessie Lorenz, Executive Director of the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco. “Current disabled parking placard and blue zone policies are failing to increase access for people with disabilities, and reduce parking availability for all drivers.

The Committee recommended a set of integrated policy changes to increase access to street parking. These policies include:

  • introducing at least 470 new blue zones, increasing the citywide total by 70 percent;
  • improving enforcement of placard misuse; increasing the DMV’s oversight of placard approvals;
  • establishing reasonable time limits for placard holder parking;
  • removing placard holders’ meter payment exemption;
  • and directing revenue to accessibility improvements.

Our committee examined all possible solutions, and this package of policy recommendations is the best way to increase access to parking for people with disabilities,” said Carla Johnson, Interim Director of the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities.

The Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee convened in October 2012 and worked for six months to identify problems, analyze policies, review best practices from other cities, and create an integrated set of recommendations. The majority of the committee was comprised of disability rights advocates, many of whom were placard holders themselves. They were joined by representatives of business, medical, and regional transportation voices. The committee co-chairs were Carla Johnson, Interim Director of the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities and Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation at the SFMTA.

These analyses and recommendations flow from a complex and thorough process, during which some of us changed our initial views,” said Bob Planthold, Disability Beacon Award winner. “I ask you to consider these recommendations in light of the consensus support our group achieved.

Committee members presented their recommendations to the Mayor’s Disability Council and the SFMTA’s Multimodal Access Advisory Committee late last week. The Mayor’s Office on Disability, the SFMTA, and members of the Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee are now conducting community and policymaker outreach at city, regional, and state levels. Many of the recommendations will require state law changes; at the earliest, these could be introduced in 2014 and go into effect in 2015.

For more information on the Accessible Parking Policy Committee’s recommendations, please visit www.sfmta.com/parkingaccess.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
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