Monday, August 11, 2008

Downtown Raleigh Parking

Police will step up enforcement of handicapped parking regulations downtown to ensure drivers aren't abusing the system, Police Chief Harry Dolan said. Under Raleigh's interpretation of state law, a vehicle bearing a handicapped placard or sticker can take any metered or time-limited parking space – at no charge – for as long as the driver needs it.

Downtown merchants have long complained that customers have no place to park because cars bearing handicapped placards often occupy all on-street spaces all day. State law defines handicapped as someone who cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest. It also covers physician-confirmed heart, neurological, and orthopedic conditions, among others. According to the state Division of Motor Vehicles, there are close to 1 million active handicapped placards in North Carolina.

A task force appointed by Mayor Charles Meeker has been looking at the issue as part of a comprehensive downtown parking plan. Citizens are encouraged to share input on the downtown parking plan. Whether you live, work, shop, do business, or simply visit downtown to have fun, citizens are being asked to provide feedback.

The next Public Input Forum on Downtown Parking will be held on August 26, 2008, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM in Council Chambers, 2nd floor of the Municipal Building, 222 W. Hargett Street.

A Draft Report containing key recommendations on improving the City's parking operations and strategies have been posted on the City of Raleigh's website along with the notes taken from the Downtown Parking Task Force's working meetings for the past 9 months.

The parking study is nearing completion and the Task Force is interested to hear the comments and opinions of the citizens of Raleigh before the Report is presented to Council in October.
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