Accessible spots keep being taken: this advocate wants that to change

By Adam Inniss

Halifax disability rights advocate Paul Vienneau says people parking in accessible spots is becoming more common. Vienneau says the solution is simple: “increase the fines.”

“We need to make it more difficult for people to do this,” said Vienneau.

In 2022, 52% more tickets for parking in accessible spots were issued than in previous years.

Accessible parking fines are controlled by the province. Currently, taking up an accessible spot without a permit is $100. Vienneau wants to see that fine tripled to $300.

Vienneau lives near the Halifax Public Gardens where there are a few accessible spots, he says they’re frequently taken up by cars and are often used as loading zones.

“My father drops my mom off at our apartment for three hours, they can’t visit me together because he has to park at the wendys down the street and he can’t walk up. I’m being robbed of time with my elderly parents.”

Vienneau says the parking has gotten much worse in his area since the renovations on Spring Garden road Widened the sidewalks.

When there are events like soccer games or hockey games, he says there are usually zero courtesy spots available.

“It’s time for the public conversation so we can make this into the issue that it is…people need to be a little more polite towards elderly and disabled people.”

Vienneau says it’s not always people's fault, and that part of the solution is also making the accessible parking signs more visible.

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