A Non-resident member of the NYC driving public with disabilities received a parking ticket because she didn’t have an NYC handicap parking placard
“Katharine Lai had a New Jersey State disability parking permit and, upon coming to the City for various errands, parked in a no-parking zone near City Hall. As a result, she received two summonses on December 16, 1996, for parking at an expired meter. If she had possessed a Special Vehicle Permit, her car would not have been ticketed. Her permit, however, did allow her to park nearby at a City-run parking lot with designated handicap parking spaces.”
“Lai sued the City of New York, arguing that its policy for allocating handicap parking spaces in the City violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, and various constitutional guarantees. The district court rejected her ADA and constitutional claims (brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983) and granted the City’s motion for summary judgment on January 15, 1998. See Lai v. New York City Government, 991 F.Supp. 362 (S.D.N.Y.1998).”
Lai appeals to the United States Circuit Court
The Circuit Court affirmed the decision of the lower court. Here are some of the reasons why:
- The City’s policy discriminates on the basis of residency and not disability; and, therefore, does not violate the ADA
- The limited number of on-street parking spaces justifies the regulatory scheme established by the City; and, therefore, passes the rationality test of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution
- The City’s decision to give special parking privileges to those with the most pressing needs–severely handicapped City residents and nonresident who work or study in the City–is reasonable and that the two-tiered parking system substantially relates to the City’s policy goals. See Barnard v. Thorsten, 489 U.S. 546, 552, 109 S.Ct. 1294, 103 L.Ed.2d 559 (1989).
I disagree. If you are a person with a severe disability and live outside of NYC, your disability is no less severe and restricting than someone who resides, works or attends an NYC school on a full-time basis. As a matter of fact, a visitor to NYC is dangerously less familiar with the arcane NYC parking laws and is more likely to be ambushed by a warrior’s scanner.
- A resident of any State, which State has equal or more stringent requirements as NYC for the issuance of a Special Vehicle Identification Permit (“SVIP”); and which State reciprocates by providing the same parking privileges to NYC residents with disabilities as provided to State residents, shall be entitled to the same handicap parking privileges as a NYC resident with an SVIP
Here’s a link to a blog post about NYC parking rules for persons with disabilities
Please share your thoughts and opinions on this very important issue. Is the NYC handicap parking policy fair or foul?
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