Paru le lundi 31 août 2009 sur The Gazette
31 Aug 2009
The Gazette Parking for disabled queried
FEW SPOTS, ASSOCIATION SAYS In Montreal area, about 30,000 people
have disabled- parking stickers
Q: Would you be so kind as to clarify parking for disabled people?
I often go to Montreal with friends to visit and have dinner. On numerous occasions, I have asked the parking officer if it is legal to park with a disabled card (in the windshield) in a spot that specifies that one needs a parking vignette or sticker for residents only. From last summer to this summer, two parking officers responded “Yes, it’s OK,” and one Montreal police officer was not sure and told me to ask a parking officer (whatever you call them). Two weeks ago, I got a parking ticket on one of those streets where one needs a “vignette.”
I have an Ontario disabled parking card, I live in Cornwall, Ont., and I am 71years old. I suffer from atherosclerosis, a vascular leg disease. A: A disabled-parking sticker only gives the motorist the right to park in a spot explicitly reserved for the disabled, as indicated by the familiar pictogram, Montreal police Constable Nathalie Valois said. It does not give people the right to park in spots reserved for residents only.
Drivers with disabilities can also park in any spot accessible to the general public.
But according to Walter Zelaya, executive director of the Quebec Paraplegic Association, there aren’t disabledparking spots in enough places, so drivers with disabilities are often left without accessible parking close to where they need to be. Only 1.6 per cent of all parking spaces in Quebec are reserved for the disabled, he said. The group has asked that that be increased to two per cent, as there are now more permanently and temporarily disabled people who drive. The population is aging and more and more people have medical conditions that render them disabled yet still able to drive, he noted.
In Greater Montreal, about 30,000 people have disabledparking stickers. Why have police been directing traffic? Q: All summer long, on weekends and random weekdays (as far as I can tell), the Montreal police have created their own little traffic junction on the corner of Décarie Blvd. and Côte St. Luc Rd. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. At first I thought there was roadwork going on, but there haven’t been any construction workers nearby. Then I thought it must be a training exercise, but I saw too many older-looking officers directing traffic. Then I thought, could the lights be burned out or broken? But no, because I drive through that intersection daily (I live near the intersection) and most days the police aren’t there.
But when they are, traffic SCREECHES to a halt as every lane must wait about 10 minutes for the police to let every other lane have about two-three minutes of constant motion. It just doesn’t make sense. Can someone please figure out why this is happening? If it’s for some arbitrary reason, then how can I voice my concerns and frustration to the city?
The intersection of Côte St. Luc Rd. and Décarie Blvd. was a main re-routing point for traffic detoured this summer because of maintenance work being done at the Turcot Interchange, explained Transport Quebec spokesperson Réal Grégoire.
“It often happens that we (Transport Quebec) hire Montreal police officers or the Sûreté du Québec to manage traffic flow at some points because of work being done on the highway network,” Grégoire said.
The police officers find that manually directing traffic is more effective because of the high volume of traffic coming from blocked-off highways, Grégoire said.
The intersection should now be back to normal for a few weeks, he said. But more closings and detours being planned for between now and December could mean the intersection will see more handwaving cops in the near future.
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