The Disabled Parking Disaster


The Disabled Parking Disaster

Mike Manville, post doctorial fellow at the UCLA Department of Urban Planning and a protégée of Don Shoup as been doing on the ground research on the use of disabled parking placards in downtown Los Angeles. I interviewed him this week and the article will appear in September’s PT. He did pass along some anecdotal events he witnessed while doing his research.

“I watched a white van pull up into a parking space. The driver then unloaded a number of large boxes and, using a hand truck took the boxes into a building. He then returned and hung a disabled permit on the mirror. The truck sat there for the rest of the day. I think he ran a shop in the mall.”

“On morning I watched a fellow pull up in front of a building, put a quarter in the meter and go inside. A couple of minutes later he came out, hung a disabled permit on the car, and left it there for the remainder of the day. I wondered if this was a “company” permit, or maybe the first one in got to use it.”

“I spoke to a manager at the city that ran the disabled permit section. He told me a story about one woman who got a permit for a broken ankle. She lost the permit four times over the period of a month. It was discovered she had four sons of driving age and wanted each one to have their own.”

The stories are endless. As long as cities and states allow free parking for disabled, these permits have considerable financial value and people are motivated to cheat. Remove the motivation, and the problem will disappear. More in a month.. The results of his study are amazing. In certain areas, well over half of the onstreet spaces are taken by cars carrying disabled permits. There is one area where the meters charged $4 an hour but collected about $.41 an hour. And the spaces were always full.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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