Wrong-way parking to change for vans for the handicapped

Vans with lifts or ramps for the handicapped will soon be able to park on both sides of the street in residential areas.

The public safety committee approved the change today and it goes before the city council for final approval Thursday.

Police requested the change after several handicapped people complained about getting tickets.

Current law says vehicles have to park along the right curb on two-way streets, which means the van lifts and ramps must load and unload in the mud or grass of the access strip between the sidewalk and street.

Some ramps will not even work unless they can be lowered to a flat surface at street level, said Councilman John Sharp.

The new law will allow vans for the handicapped to park what was the wrong way on residential streets, so people in wheelchairs can get out easily on the street side and go around the van to access driveways or sidewalks.

Sharp praised police for seeking the law change.

“This is the kind of cooperation we should have between the department and the council and we do have it,” he said.

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