Seems the Seaport is the place to go to see some blatant abuse of handicap-parking permits

WBZ reports.

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BZ buried the lede

“I support that change because it actually treats people with disabilities equally with everyone else. And a lot of the time, that’s exactly what we’re arguing for,” she said.

I'm surprised they get to park for free. I thought the accommodation was dedicated spaces, not free meters. I'm not sure I was aware that one could park both in excess of two hours and without paying at a Boston meter with a placard.

I see these open space apps bandied about. Perhaps a good use of that technology would be to improve optimal access to desired spaces for those who have placards. Tie it to the mobile device. A person may readily surrender their placard for an entire workday to a relative, I don't see them giving up their phone for a few hours to be tracked for this purpose.

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Some locations dont have

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Some locations dont have enough handicap spaces so handicap persons have to park at meters as all the handicap spaces are full. Also many handicap persons are not able to work and thus are low income with low cost cars, are unable to take public transportation and can not afford meters

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Pete is correct. I'll add

Pete is correct. I'll add that The Ride has never been great, but now it's performance mirrors much of the rest of the MBTA. Now it's atrocious. I know of one friend who has MS and has been left waiting outside on a few occasions for hours.

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Paratransit is pretty awful

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Missed pickups can addup to big $$$ when you have doctors who fine no-shows.

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Parking at metered spots with

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Parking at metered spots with a placard is state law, not Boston city law.

The Ride doesn't operate across the entire Commonwealth. Only in Greater Boston.

For example, it is legal to park at a metered spot in Worcester under state law, but the Ride doesn't operate there

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All buses and trains should be wheelchair accessible.

I think that this attitude is why the ride is costing us so much money. I am not blaming the handicapped person. It is not comparable to a taxi. You have to schedule it a couple days in advance and deal with a 2 hour window of waiting. The point of accessibility is that a handicapped person can have some spontaneity of normal life. Bus stops need to be closer together, and more frequent. This is why the T can't (and shouldn't) pay for itself. Honestly if we just stopped collecting fares all together, and taxed people in proportion to access to the T. money collection is labor and technology intensive. get rid of it.

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I think it is more than that cinnamngrl.....

Some of these people don't have mental ability to get to the actual bus stop and figure out which bus/train they need to take and where to get off.

Others don't have the physical ability to bring their wheelchair or body across inaccessible areas (snow, ice, stairs, etc) to get to the actual bus/train stop.

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I am saying that services

I am saying that services should be more accessible, not taking the Ride away. The Ride sucks, most people would choose regular service if accessibility was real.

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Read what Pete stated again.

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The Ride is a para-transit service that exists to serve those people who, due to physical and/or mental disability, cannot use regular transit service. Further, The Ride is not an "I feel like taking it today" service like a bus or train. To begin with. one needs a medical certification to be eligible to use the service, and sets up a pre-paid account. Also, bookings for rides must be set up in advance.

Disclaimer: Most patients at the Diaylsis clinic I attend use The Ride, which is why I'm familiar with how it works and the eligibility requirements

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Good info

I see my comment might read a bit 'let them eat cake' but I thought the Ride existed to provide an alternative to handicapped people who don't have access to cars or the regular T. I don't disagree that these people need equitable service.

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Parkwayne....

One of the issues I believe that may need to be addressed is the issue of elderly using the ride for tasks that can be done in other ways. When you get old, your body breaks down, often to the point where you are officially "HP".

Many towns/cities have elder services with buses and transportation options that are very flexible. They aren't going to pick you up and drop you off at the CVS because you need Prune Juice and Worthers candies, but they will have a set schedule for grocery stores and Senior Center programs.

Also to add to your original point, it is the same reason why most people drive over taking the regular T. Convenience. Even if the T was free, I bet you see close to the same amount of people taking cars.

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if the T was free we could

if the T was free we could abolish more street parking and stop being so automobile subservient in planning and legislation. Treat cars as a luxurious choice. reducing the car traffic would evolve slowly, but it would happen.

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Yes

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I get what you are saying but as a former GCS/RIDE/TRAC employee.. I can tell you it's a bit more than that.

I am happy to elaborate but the best way to think about the differences and how it could mean all the difference between someone who uses the RIDE and someone who uses standard services...

The T - Curb to curb service. Does NOT set expectation to get you to your final destination. Just close enough.

The RIDE - Door to door service. Sets expectation to get you to your final destination. This means that the driver will ESCORT you to your final destination and do a hand off.

That last part of the ride is EXACTLY why many people can't use standard services. Think of it like your Grandma who has dementia who cannot walk from the bedroom to the bathroom without getting lost. This is what the RIDE is designed for.

There's many more reasons than that but that's the gist of why the RIDE exists. For riders who cannot use existing services.

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I don't think people with

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I don't think people with serious dementia are supposed to use the Ride.

Even if they are, the vast majority of Ride users don't have serious dementia.

Paratransit is out of control. It was supposed to be a temporary measure, until regular trains and buses could be made accessible. They thought it would be cheaper to provide a special service to the few people who needed it, until buses were being replaced anyway and there was time and money to put elevators in train stations.

But people got used to it and came to expect it. And people who weren't really qualified got it. One city councilmember in another city sent everyone an application on their 65th birthday --
that's how widespread the expectation is.

This not only costs a tremendous amount -- it also takes makes the service worse for the people who do actually need it.

There are small transit agencies where paratransit costs them way more than regular service. There are even some agencies that totally shut down because they couldn't afford to pay for paratransit.

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Bus stops

Closer together bus stops means more stops on a route, and that slows a bus (and a train) like crazy. Slow buses are bad for everyone:

  • They come less frequently than the same number of buses would going faster. E.g. on a route with 1 bus, if it takes 30 minutes to do a round trip, you get a bus every 30 minutes. If it takes 15 (faster bus) you get a bus every 15 minutes. Frequent buses also save time because you're not spending as much time waiting.
  • Slow buses discourage people from using them, and so some people opt to drive instead. Those extra cars clog the roadway and slow the bus even more.
  • Slow buses are especially bad for low income people, who have less time to spare because they're working multiple jobs (and those jobs are less forgiving of tardiness).

More closely spaced stops are better for some vulnerable people, but much worse for other vulnerable people.

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I know people who take the

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I know people who take the ride and if I had to depend on the ride to get me to and from work on time??? God forbid you had a meeting 1 mile away at noon and needed to be back to the office by 1pm? For most of us that could be managed but if you are disabled it becomes a disaster.

Although metered spots are SO cheap compared to other spots I do not think them having to pay in Downtown is a big deal. The problem is how do you over ride the meter to tell it you can pay for 8 hours at one time when they are set to only do two hour increments?

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A lot of the meters are being

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A lot of the meters are being switched over to Smart Meters where you can use a CC card, pay by phone, etc. Seems pretty simple to give handicap ppl a smartcard of some type that will interact with the meter and "tell" it that normal rules don't apply. Nice thing about that, too, is the agency can turn the card off when the placard is set to expire (thinking temporary HC cards for broken legs etc) or upon a user's death.

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One doesn't just get the ride

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One doesn't just get the ride, one has to apply and Ive been told that it is only given to those unable to drive. Getting a handicap placard does not render one entitled to the ride. The ride though it always gets one there is often late sometimes hours late and requires one to make arrangements more then 24 hours in advance. The other thing to consider is that the ride is likely more expensive to the taxpayers then a parking placard. The ride is a door to door taxi service, which is more expensive taking a taxi or paying a parking meter.

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Treating everyone alike,

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Treating everyone alike, treating handicap persons who can not walk fast or far or can not take public transportation, the same as healthy person is not treating everyone equal. When there is a disparate impact, there is not equality.

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No, I mean increased

No, I mean increased accessibility. More stops, more frequency. Not treating them the same as a healthy person.

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“I support that change

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“I support that change because it actually treats people with disabilities equally with everyone else. And a lot of the time, that’s exactly what we’re arguing for,” she said.

That quote sounds like she's saying we should do away with all handicap parking.

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I thought meters have to be

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I thought meters have to be free for people with a handicapped permit because the meters aren't considered accessible.

But that doesn't explain why there's an exemption from the time limit. Paying $1.25 per hour really isn't a big deal. But having to move your car every 2 hours is the real burden of metered parking, and being exempt from it lets you avoid paying much more for a garage.

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Extended time limit is needed for many disabled

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Perhaps it shouldn't be unlimited time, but it's reasonable to extend the time for people who cannot move as quickly because of their disabilities. It will take them longer to get from their car to their destination and to do things like access a restroom.

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yep

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And it's this rule is why there's so abuse with the placard system. People get a free parking space as long as they want.

There has to be a way to tighten up restrictions on this so there isn't so much abuse that goes on. But like everything in this state, you try to do something, you won't see the next election because you took away someone else's 'perk'.

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Your not taking someone perk

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Your not taking someone perk away when you prosecute persons who use other persons placards, use stolen placards, or who use dead persons placards, that was never the criminals perk to begin with. There should be strong prosecution of persons who use placards which were not issued to them.

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That makes sense for someone

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That makes sense for someone who walks slowly.

Not so much for someone with a power wheelchair that goes 12 mph.

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In some locations one even

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In some locations one even with a handicap placard has to park a block or more away, which is difficult for handicap persons to walk. It can take a handicap person an hour to walk something a healthy person can walk in 5 minutes. While walking a block away is easy for a healthy person, it is difficult for a handicap person so they should not have to return every two hours

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They make things to help with that

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Not that someone with such mobility limitations should be parking at a distance, but if you are so very restricted in mobility you really should look into a mobility aid for longer range movement.

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Not so easy...

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It can take individuals or families a very long time- or never!- to get insurance to cover a scooter, manual or power wheelchair (good luck on that!). Then, you have to afford a wheelchair accessible van which is very costly. Having a disability is a challenge. You face discrimination on so many fronts- social, career, education.

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Could insufficient and overpriced parking cause abuse?

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Make more parking if reduced abuse is wanted.

My other complaint is too few handicapped parking spots on Boston and Cambridge streets.

Sure, laws can force private parking lot owners to provide many hp spots, but a far smaller proportion of public street parking is reserved, making it too rare also. Many times no parking spot is near my destination, so I just go and shop etc. in cities/towns where there is parking.

Oh, and having a handicapped placard doesn't get you free parking in private lots, just public street spaces.

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How about bulldozing your house?

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That's one way to "make more parking".

How about this: prosecute placard abusers with heavy fines and take away their driving privileges?

And then work on better ways to get rid of cars - you know, by taking actions that Mahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy refuses to take?

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Make more parking where? And

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Make more parking where? And pay for it how? Drivers are stealing millions of dollars per year from the city of Boston with this scam so we should reward them with more handouts?

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Millions?

How much do you think metered parking costs?

Seaport meter rate is $1.50/hr. If you assume 12 hours then it's $18 per day per violation. To get one million in stolen parking, you'd need to have 55,555 12 hour violations which is 177 people pulling this scam all day everyday but Sundays.

Checks out!

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Wrong

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Seaport parking is $30 a day now. $22 in the Channel Lot.

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FYI, Seaport district used to be almost all parking lot!

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So, ignorant, worthless excuse claiming there is no space for parking.

Parking and transportation capacity needs to be kept in proportion to building construction, and its not been for the last 50+ years. Adding building square footage needs to be contingent on adding transportation capacity. Not just roads are over capacity, the MBTA is also.

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No such thing

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The problem is too many cars. Period.

There is no such thing as insufficient storage for private property.

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As a disabled person with a

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As a disabled person with a placard I am concerned about persons who are not disabled using disabled placards. These placards are necessary for equal access. Disabled persons should not suffer due to other peoples crimes.

The use of someone elses placard is a crime. It should be made a felony both for the user and the lender. There is no legitimate reason for anyone to use a placard issued for someone else.

The registry makes it very difficult to report these things that should change.Apparently one has to give their name and address to the criminal in order to report this. I have tried to report when I see someone not believed to be disabled using a handicap spot but have not been able to find anywhere to do so.

This has included health young persons using grandma's placard, persons using dead persons placards, persons using expired plates, persons who hang the placards backward likely to hide expired dates, and a person believed a healthy young student using grandmas plate with an out of state handicap license plate who could not get a resident sticker due to the out of state plate, permanently parked their car at a meter, always the same meter in an area with insufficient parking where that would be impossible if the car were used. I brought this last one to a meter maids attention who did nothing.

There should be a simple way for persons to report persons suspected of using other persons plates. A web site which allows the location of the incident, license plate, a description of the user, and the placard number if possible and allow for uploading photos.Partial information should be allowed, may not be enough to prosecute but could provide leads or corroboration. Also persons making such reports should not be required to provide their names, addresses etc.

Recently a tv station filmed persons using other peoples placards, the persons who used these placards and the persons who gave them the placard should be prosecuted.

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My only objection to this

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My only objection to this vigilante system is that a lot of helpers and relatives (not to mention people with invisible disabilities) are going to get reported when they're not abusing the system at all.

When my mother had a temporary placard after surgery, sometimes she would get tired out or her ankle would start hurting halfway through the grocery store, so she would sit outside while I brought the car around. (This was in TX where handicap spots can still be quite far away in those massive parking lots.) I would get the NASTIEST looks.

Same now that my elderly grandmother gets dizzy spells. I sometimes go load the bags in the car while she sits and has a rest between errands in the same shopping center. She resisted using the placard at all for so long, but she can't go far without a cart for balance anymore and can't handle stepping over curbs.

By all means, check that the placard is still valid. But too many people are nasty and judgmental when they see a healthy-looking person anywhere near a placard, while having no idea if the person it's for is just sitting 10ft away.

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These abusers are not loading

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These abusers are not loading cars or getting in them to go pick up grandma they are parking the cars and leaving the car there, no grandma in sight.

A person can not use the placard of another person to do errands for a disabled person, it can only be used when the disabled person is in the car. Being a helper or relative is not a valid basis to use someone elses placard.

If a person has a hidden disability that can be straightened out when there is a report. If a picture is taken of a person it can easily be checked because the placard has a picture on it. Many of these abusers are clearly not hidden disabilities, young persons running, young persons using old persons placards, men using womens placards, women using mens placards, a living person using a dead persons placard etc

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Unlimited time is a good accomodation

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It would be nice if you could just "double" the amount of time, but there's no clear way to do that yet. So, why should HP parkers get more time? Because many of them move muc
h more slowly. They simply can't accomplish the same errands in the (2 hour) time frame. HP is a tiny percentage of total parkers. Of all the things to worry about, this ain't it. In 10 years, there'll be even more HP placards out there, and it still won't be a biggie.

Fraudulent HP parkers are scumbags. Punishment should be severe, far moreso than parking in an HP slot without the placard. My preference: suspended license. Hell, start with just 7 days, but it requires the paperwork, the fees, and the time at DMV. Do it again, we suspend for longer.

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Honestly I would rather all

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Honestly I would rather all parking be metered and cut back on the HC spots. Oftentimes I show up to an area with "free" parking and there are 15 HC spots and none of the other spots move... if you show up with a HC plate you park for free, including in the 10 minute spots closest to the doors. That way if nobody is using the spot I can pop in for ten minutes but if enforced properly someone with a HC plate could just show up knowing it will be open in a few minutes.

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It would be pretty easy to

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It would be pretty easy to double the time limit. Meter maids already track how long cars park at meters by scanning (or writing down) the license plate, so they can ticket for feeding the meter all day. All they have to do is adjust the limit to 4 hours in their computer if someone has a handicapped permit.

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that seems fair.

But am I still allowed to drive my blind mother places? She needs a walker. Bureaucracy though. I use my mother's placard for my father pretty regularly. He can actually still drive but I prefer he didn't. When I use their car alone, I park regular but I never move the placard. PS. I had no idea that meters were free. If there is no HP spot I drop my parent out front and park regular.

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Photos work well if they are visible.

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If you have the placard holder with you, that's legal.

You can get your dad his own placard, too.

Just pull the placard when you are driving solo.

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You can drive your mother

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You can drive your mother with the placard only if your mother is in the car. If your father is disabled he should get his own placard, you can not use your mothers placard for your father.

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Yes

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There are photos on most of the perm cards. Yet people are allowed to cover them.

Sure "privacy" but at this point, where there's so much fraud going on, I think privacy takes a back seat. You want to use the card, be prepared to show your face on the card.

I think if people were required to show their card, you'd cut down on the fraud by half. Because a good portion of the fraud that goes on is by people taking cards who are not theirs (i.e. parents, disabled relative, dead persons) and using it. The minute people start seeing a person, who is not the card holder, using the card (without the card holder around).... fraud will stop because now anyone can easily snap a photo of the card and offender. Problem solved.

Until this happens, the fraud will just continue...

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Even with the photo, you still need to ask questions.....

What you will find that if you just have people taking photos and videos of people getting out of cars that don't match a photo, when that person eventually gets summonsed, charged, etc, they can just say "I was picking up the HP person" at this location and going to help them.

I think a good way to stop some abuse, is to simply treat them like border patrol agents. Anytime an officer sees one, ask a few simple questions. 99% of the time it is going to be easy and as long as people understand the police are cracking down there shouldn't be an issue.

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The placards already have the

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The placards already have the persons picture on them, persons are allowed to cover the picture but are required to show it if the police ask

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Y isn't the construction worker using the temporary no parking?

That's what they usually use. I remember being pulled out of the gym because after I arrived at 5:45am they stuck a temp sign up. Then when I left it was full of sparkling white pickup trucks. the kicker was that it was in front of a pay lot they had just paved.

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Not enough spots usually for them...

And they usually come from places far away (NH/Maine) and need the max time (10 hours) so they cheat the system two ways (abusing the HP, and parking at 2/4 hour meters for 10-12 hours.

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Why the hell

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Why the hell don't they bid spaces in their contracts, then?

Seriously - pile of nonsense excuses.

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Concept

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No permits for construction unless you have a plan for your workers to park.

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Construction Permits

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The city doesn't issue permits for construction parking, only for space to allow equipment to perform work. Like loading or unloading equipment from a truck, space to put the excavator, etc. They do actively ticket permit holders who abuse the permit and just use it as a parking space all day. I've seen this enforced first hand. They are very clear when you get a permit at City Hall what you can and can't do with it.

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In other states ...

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They come after the placard as soon as the death is registered.

I was given one week to turn my father's in.

The state has access to death data and can easily do this if it weren't so bloody siloed out.

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A car is a prosthetic device

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One that some people absolutely need to get around, but that the vast majority use as a convenience.

All parking in urban areas should be reserved for those who require prosthetic mobility.

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