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21 Oct 2014
22 Oct 2014
Council to reconsider free parking for all disabled
The City Council will consider requiring that some but not all disabled motorists pay to park at meters in the central city.
The city currently allows vehicles with disabled parking permits to park for free at meters for an unlimited amount of town. Recent surveys have found that 11 to 30 percent of all vehicles parked on heavily-used streets in the central city have disabled parking permits. The result is reduced parking turnover and an estimated $2.4 million loss in city parking revenues every year.
The ordinance would also reserve a number of parking spaces for permit holders.
An ordinance introduced by Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick would require some disabled parking permit holders to pay for street parking. Exceptions include those with wheelchair permits and residents in subsided building that do not have parking. A tiered system would be established for the others requiring them to pay some or all of the hourly parking changes.
The ordinance responds to longstanding complaints from downtown retailers that some permit holders are abusing their free parking privileges. It says the changes will also increase parking opportunities for the disabled community.
The ordinance was based on recommendations from the Portland Commission on Disability. A fiscal estimate submitted with the ordinance says the city's revenue gain cannot be predicted.