23 abandoned handicap spots, located throughout the city, have been repealed and will be uprooted in the days ahead in an opening move to roll out a larger parking reform initiative in the city.
Council members have complained during the past year over the large number of handicap signs that are on various city streets.
Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, said last year in some streets there are more handicap poles with signs than there are normal parking, she cited Fair Street as an example.
Similarly, William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, has long stated that all these handicap parking spots gives of the impression that the city itself is handicapped.
It turned out a number of these spots are defunct and abandoned by their original owners. During Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting council members voted on a resolution to uproot 23 abandoned handicap parking poles.
“This is relative to the issue of handicap parking overall,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large. “For some time the council had requested an opinion as to whether or not we can place the handicap license or something like that on the license plate number on the placard itself.”
Christopher Coke, director of the Department of Public Works, has long held that placing a permit or license or name on the handicap parking sign is a good idea. He has said on occasions that other cities like Newark already have this in place to give handicap drivers a peace of mind.
Morris reiterated that point stating, by reserving the spot for the individual who requested the pole in the first place, it will allow them to park on the location when they get home after work without having to deal with someone else parking in that particular spot.
Julio Tavarez, 5th Ward councilman, who heads the Public Works Committee, said his committee is discussing the idea of having permit number on the sign, and he will have something prepared soon. “I’m going to have a resolution in the next workshop,” said Tavarez.
Morris, who has been talking about a residential parking program, one where individuals parking in city streets during the night must be residents, said this is the first step towards a complete residential parking program. “This is going to be an opening piece of an overall residential parking program,” said Morris, who said he will have his parking reform initiative ready soon.