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Please don't park in disabled parking spaces if you don't have a placard/need to!

Hi Neighbors

In Jamaica Plain (and I'm sure in other Boston residential neighborhoods) on street parking for residents can be a challenge for everyone, especially in the winter with snow, as I have just experienced tonight with our first accumulating snow. This is even harder for people who have trouble walking far. (I can only imagine how hard it must be in a wheelchair!). I am sure it is tempting to some to take that residential disabled parking spot even if you don't have a placard, thinking no one would use it or you might get away with not being caught by police in a residential area. If you are so tempted, please keep in mind that in residential areas often a disabled parking space has been put in because a neighbor or neighbors need it. Even though no one owns a disabled parking space and anyone can park there who has a placard, people who can't walk far do count on such spaces. In fact, it is quite possible that you may keep your disabled neighbor who by necessity relies on such spaces from being able to park close enough to their house to get home. This is especially difficult in the snow because there is less parking available.

Right now, for example, there is a car (identical with the make,similar model, and color of my own car, coincidentally) parked in the very obvious disabled parking space on Boylston Street, that has been there about a year. I think I have seen this car parked there before, as well as around the neighborhood. They do not have a disabled placard displayed today nor have I ever seen them display one. I know for a fact that there are two disabled neighbors who often use that space and at least one of them at times has had trouble (last winter when parking was even more difficult) getting home at night because she could not get close enough to her house to walk it. It is she that requested the space to be put in.

So, PLEASE resist the temptation of parking in disabled parking spots without a placard. You might be keeping a neighbor from being able to get home, or being able to go out, or causing them to have to strain themselves in order to get home. The ticket for such illegal parking is pretty high (I think $100) and sometimes they tow, as well. I personally find this behavior unneighborly and depressing when it happens repeatedly. I want our neighborhood to be somewhere where we consider each other more than that, especially those who are in a more vulnerable position.(it is not like we have tons of snow tonight or no parking at all--that person could have found a space with a bit more effort).


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Thanks for posting this Laura!

If someone is parked in a handicap spot, and does not have a sticker, you can call 911 and they will have the car towed.

Thanks Joseph,

Hope you are well...nice to hear your "voice".

I feel very reluctant to call, it's so expensive. And neighbors (2 different ones) have given me trouble around having that space as it is there. It's  stressful and why I was so reluctant to ask for help in the first place. Last month someone was angry with me because he got a ticket for parking Behind where the disabled person's because of how they put the signs in. I told him that I've talked to the city about moving them, it's in process. This neighbor doesn't realize how upsetting it is to be confronted around this kind of thing when you already are feeling vulnerable and precarious and trying as hard as you can to be a good neighbor while getting your own basic needs met. Such as, not being trapped in your house, not being able to get out etc.

A close neighbor said he called 911 last night...he knows I park there often.(he gets indignant when these kind of rules are broken, more than some, maybe because he was in the military!). They ticketed them last night but didn't tow. Wierdly enough, the ticket is gone now but they didn't move their car. Maybe the ticket blew away or someone took it. My friend thinks they took it off...that maybe they feel once they got the ticket they might as well stay there, they "paid for" the space. 

I got a space on Paul Gore...which is far for me (my injury has taken a downturn) and I don't want to walk it until I think  I can get a closer space...a bird in hand. I put a note on their car saying 'please don't park here if you don't need the space.". Maybe that'll get them to move it. 

I got accused of getting someone towed (I didn't) by another neighbor before, it was kind of intimidating. I rather not go there. I would only if I absolutely had no other choice, and that is not the case.

Hey Laura,

I regret to hear you had a tough experience around all of this. That really stinks. 

I've sent a couple emails on your behalf to some folks I know downtown to see if I can't help get this resolved for you. If I recall correctly, the signs are places to closely together, is that it?


Thanks for thinking of me and for trying to help...I feel the need to reiterate that the complaints around the sign were that the multifactorial, NOT about being ticketted in that space behind the disabled parking space. I know 2 people who were ticketted however so have been trying to fix it even though the people who live at that house park there and have not got one. 

By far the most difficult thing for me is when people without a placard park in the disabled space--happens a few times a month, more in the winter. That same car is still there, my car is still far away. EDIT: At second glance, believe it or not, their is now a station wagon (same color) in that spot. So maybe they moved their car. I hope the wagon has a placard. 

Joseph, just so you know there is a ticket pending already with the Dept of transportation around moving the sign. I went through the neighborhood liason but did not communicate directly with them. I did this last month when the guy got the ticket behind me so no one gets ticketted again. I do worry they'll move the sign wrong and make it worse! but I shouldn't put that out there...

Of note, the problem is NOT that the signs are too close...they are too far apart, causing two spaces on our street to legally be one disabled space, arguably...they put the second sign on an existing pole. This causes the driver who parks behind the person in the handicapped space to protrude a few feet into the back of it in order to there is a driveway behind him.

It's kind of you to notify people so that neighbors won't occasionally get those tickets...they are very expensive. Unfortunately we can't do much about those who choose to park in the disabled space themselves without a placard.


Darn it..

New wagon in that disabled space is doesn't have a placard either. I was hoping to get my car and park it close to home because of snow tomorrow...I have to go out tomorrow, have a job went to check.



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