Accessible parking woes in Vaughan
Finding a parking spot when we need to access health care can be difficult. For those of us with mobility challenges, though, it can be even tougher — especially when we’re unsure of the rules. I was surprised to learn that accessible parking regulations often vary between Ontario municipalities.
Michelle Zaldin is a York Region mother whose 11-year-old daughter, Paige, has difficulty walking long distances due to cerebral palsy. Although Paige is able to walk short distances with the aid of leg braces, she requires a wheelchair for longer excursions. Michelle and Paige received a ticket in York Region for parking in a no parking zone with the disabled parking permit clearly visible. Although parking in a no parking zone with a disability permit is permissible in Toronto, it is not allowed in Vaughan.
“I called the City of Vaughan department, and the lady was sympathetic but unable to help reverse the ticket,” explained Michelle Zaldin. “In fact, she told me this is a common occurrence and, since the rules vary from municipality to municipality, she fields several calls a day like mine!”
Zaldin feels much more can be done to explain the differing rules to drivers who require accessible parking. I would like to see better coordination of accessible parking regulations across the province. My suggestion is to set up a task force of representatives from advocacy groups, municipalities and traffic experts to find ways to streamline our system.
It is time we address many of the inconsistencies in the permits themselves. Accessible parking spots should be available for all people who need the support.