Ac­ces­si­ble park­ing woes in Vaughan

Richmond Hill Post - - News - Gila Mar­tow MPP of Thorn­hill

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.

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