Accessible Advisory Committee asks for Changes

Although most advisory committees are currently not active, one exception is the Accessible Advisory Committee and at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting they had two requests: 1. Free parking anywhere in Town in any space if you have an Accessible Parking Permit and 2. Transit to be operated directly by the Town and not by a contractor.  Councillor Darling pointed out that previously, the same committee said that those with mobility challenges did not want special treatment on payment for parking – so what has changed?  It seems that “Pay and Display” means a walk there and back which is a problem for some.  And why not just handicap spaces?  Apparently parking is hard to find and any space is better than none.

Text of request for Free Parking

Here is what they asked for:

Whereas Council deems it necessary to provide for the designation of accessible parking for those with appropriate permits to capture the intent and spirit of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, S.O. 2005, c11.

THAT the Town of Cobourg By-law 030-2022, be amended by adding the following:

Despite 12(1) (a) and (b), any person with a valid Accessible Parking Permit may Park on any Highways under the jurisdiction of the Town; Town Facilities; Municipal Property; or Private Property, set out respectively in the Schedules attached to By-law 030-2022, without purchasing a Metered Parking On-Street Parking Permit, provided that such Accessible Parking Permit is displayed in a conspicuous place on the dashboard of the Motor Vehicle and there are no obstructions preventing a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer from being able to verify the validity of such Accessible Parking Permit, and that the Motor Vehicle is not Parked in the same spot for more than one hundred and twenty (120) minutes.

Mayor Cleveland suggested that there could be a compromise; perhaps special paid permits?  Councillor Bureau supported free parking everywhere with an accessible permit.  But in the end Councillor Darling moved to refer the issue to staff for a report and his motion passed.

Second Request

The Accessible Advisory Committee also asked:

THAT Council direct staff to bring forward recommendations and projected costs required for program implementation and operating budget estimates for implementing public transit services directly through the Town of Cobourg (removing the current service contract with Century Transportation upon expiry).

Council’s representative on the Committee is Councillor Aaron Burchat (he moved the committee motion) and he said that the concern particularly related to the Wheel Trans service.

Councillor Darling said that a full business analysis would be a major task and Staff do not have the capacity to do that.  Aaron said that it “needed to be looked at” but did not give a time frame.

Councillor Darling moved that the request be “not done” and his motion passed.

Resources

Download ByLaw 30-2022 from Town web site.

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Geo
7 months ago

I can’t park my truck between cars down by the lawn bowling club, the spots are too small and I would tear their bumpers apart with my steel bumpers. I go and park on Chapel street or the 2 hour lots. No need for me to park downtown either. On my street where they put up no parking signs people still park there and the only way is to complain to the town but I don’t think they would waste their time.

ForeverYoung
7 months ago

I have an accessible permit. I use the Honk app to purchase parking. That way I don’t have to bother with the meters or walking back to my car, etc. I realize though that not everyone is comfortable using apps.

Jade
Reply to  ForeverYoung
7 months ago

Or have a cell to even think of using an app

Carol Anne Bell-Smith
7 months ago

The point that’s being missed is that the current situation is completely unusable in the winter for people who use mobility aids. The metres are completely blocked with snow, I can’t place a ticket from the pan display in the window because I can’t reach it from my wheelchair. As well if you give me a ticket, I can’t reach my windshield from my wheelchair. This issue has long been to discussed debated and decided by many municipalities towns, cities across the entire world. Most have decided the easiest way is to give folks with a disabled parking permit, free access to spots, and that way you’re not having to worry about clearing the snow in front of the meters. Last year I missed payments to the CRA because I could not get to the bank and have incurred penalties as a result. I’ve been fighting this issue for about 15 years. Sending pictures, writing letters, going to meetings, still no solution. The law is very clear… Equal access to Services and goods for everyone. That means folks with disabilities. Have to have a way to be able to park downtown. This is not the case right now.

Sonya
Reply to  Carol Anne Bell-Smith
7 months ago

I am not handicapped but I could not get over the high snowbank last year. I would of had to climb over it, walk down the street and get my ticket. Walk back to the car and climb over the snow bank again to put the ticket in the car. Then climb over the snow bank to get to the black cat and have a coffee. I decided to get back in my car and go to tim Hortons for coffee.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Carol Anne Bell-Smith
7 months ago

The law is very clear… Equal access to Services and goods for everyone.

The lack of sidewalk snow clearing results in significant issues for everyone. The solution is to keep the sidewalks clear rather than free parking for a few.

Beachwalker
Reply to  Carol Anne Bell-Smith
7 months ago

I agree with you . I drive my 98 year old friend to the bank. To try to get her and the walker over a snowbank and then to leave her standing there while I find a pay meter and come back climb over a snowbank to place the ticket on the dashboard. Sheesh! And to do all this while Councillor Bureau stood outside his business, smoking a cigarette and ignoring my shouts for his assistance. Let’s have free parking for those with a permit.

Beachwalker
Reply to  Beachwalker
7 months ago

And Cobourg miserables give a thumbs down! What is wrong with people???

Gerry
7 months ago

Do what they do on Third St. The on-street disabled parking spot never had the parking meter removed. Have the blue meters that were taken away returned. Then everyone is taxed equally for parking.

Sandpiper
7 months ago

I think once again the Town Brought this on them selves
I was just a Metro and there are plenty of Handi Capped well marked spaces close to the front door as well as the Mall entrance you will find this at all shopping centers in town . How ever the Town has few and far between spaces in the Most ridicules spots you could imagine . Take for instance the New spaces on First st and Albert the lot by the Fountain ,park and Public wash rooms that are never open They cost a fortune and now we have Porta Potties No wheel chair or walker would ever fit in. Yet the Handi capped Accessible parking spots are 400 ft away from everything over a Gravel Parking lot What strategic Planning Town Genius thought this was alright ??
and why hasn’t just 1 of the Towns employees or elected officials done something about it ?????????????????

Jade
Reply to  Sandpiper
7 months ago

Why hasn’t anything been done ? Simple.. they don’t give at rats ass

marya
7 months ago

I hope that the above wording request to park on private property is clarified or is omitted in that “parking on private property” is required by the owner(s) of private properties. This action would be considered to be “trespassing.”

Just Wondering
Reply to  marya
7 months ago

Perhaps the intent was to cover such things as mall parking, since malls are actually publicly accessible private property. There may be some private property owners who charge for parking, but I doubt council has the ability to dictate parking rules for them.

Last edited 7 months ago by Just Wondering
marya
Reply to  Just Wondering
7 months ago

Thanks for the clarification for this regarding commercial private property parking. There is a concern for parking on residential private property which is subject to towing regardless of any accessible parking permits.

Sonya
Reply to  Just Wondering
7 months ago

I’ve actually seen people from out of town park in the mall parking lot. Take their bikes down to the park. Cheaper than paying parking fees.

Tucker
Reply to  Sonya
7 months ago

Come up to New Amherst, it seems to be all free parking up here, mind you a longer bike ride to the beach. LOL Since they changed the no parking to only one side of the street, everyone takes advantage of that. Today (and almost everyday) there are 5 cars parked along Smith Rd. all in front of my house and only one belongs to an owner. Yesterday, the gardener had no place to park. The 3 other people that park everyday don’t use their garages because they’re still full of junk after 10 years. The new Bylaw #048-2023 states that vehicles can’t park for more than 3 hours on any street in Cobourg, but it should say 12 hours as passed by Council, so even complaining to the Bylaw dept. doesn’t work, because no one is sure what is what.

Old Sailor
7 months ago

If the Town covered all of the parking machines and meters that don’t work, persons with or without accessibility issues would find lots of free parking all over the downtown. I challenge Council members to find out who is responsible for the maintenenace of these devices and deduct from their salary ALL revenue lost every month. It would be tens of thousands of dollars annually. I don’t mind paying for parking. Broken parking machines sends a negative message to taxpayers.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

Port Hopes OLD Parking meters are still Working just Fine and you do not have to walk 1/2 a block or so to fine the Broken machine like Cobourg

Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

I think the mayor’s proposal was the fairest. Originally, persons with accessibility issues said they didn’t want special treatment. The current system makes it difficult with those with accessibility issues to get to the machines. The proposal of special paid permits means no walking to machines and no special treatment as far as free parking provided and is a good compromise.

Eastender
7 months ago

Leave it to the Mayor for wanting to monetize disability.
Leave it to Councillor Darling to think things never change.