Volume 22, Number 52 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 7 - 13, 2010
BY SAM SCHWARTZ
Dear Transit Sam,
I’m a manual wheelchair user and have an NYC handicap permit. Washington Street, where I park just North of Battery Pl., becomes very narrow when cars are parked on both sides of the street. So when I open the driver’s side door to exit the vehicle, I block traffic for as long as it takes for me to exit the vehicle (between five and ten minutes). In order to allow cars to pass, I park up on the curb.
I got the idea from Department of Correction vehicles who do the same thing. But, I was ticketed for parking on the sidewalk and they weren’t. I felt it was a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to do so. Unless I park on the curb, I will impede traffic and put myself in danger of being clipped by a passing vehicle.
I called 311 twice to report those government vehicles and the police followed up, but no action was taken. So now, if logic and citations of other laws do not support my parking on the curb, then what about this double standard that’s at play where city workers are not ticketed but a regular resident of NYC is ticketed for parking exactly the same way?
Alexander, Washington St.
I’m sorry for your situation, but I cannot condone sidewalk parking even for people with disabilities (it creates a safety hazard). NYC has a very good Special Parking Identification (SPI) program and allows placard holders to park in all No Parking zones, truck loading zones, designated agency parking areas and at meters without payment. I would not add sidewalks to that list, sorry. But, I also do not condone government workers abusing their status. I will also follow up on this by reporting it to NYPD.
Send Transit Sam your traffic and transit concerns via e-mail to TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, c/o SSE, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, NY, NY, 10012.
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