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.
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.