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Reader questions disabled parking enforcement at Santa Cruz post office
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I have to go to the main post office six days a week and there are only two disabled spaces there. Since all the other spaces are usually filled, I have to wait for one, most of the time 10-15 minutes for people that are in there that don't belong. The driver sits in the car, while the passenger gets in line. It happens almost everyday. When I do see a meter person come by, I ask them why they don't ticket those people, three of them told me that they were told not to ticket anyone in any disabled space in the city because, 'They don't want to upset the tourists.' So, my next stupid question was, 'What's the point of having a law if your not going to enforce it.' They either giggled or smiled at me. You seem to get things done, so I am challenging you. Thanks in advance, JJ Kaye, Santa Cruz A: City parking program manager Marlin Granlund has spoken with parking officers regarding your concerns. While he could not confirm what you've been told, he insists the parking officers “rigorously” enforce the disabled parking spaces and are “conscious about the accessible needs of persons with disabilities.” “Yes, we do get some abuse in those spaces,” he said. “The enforcement officers are aware of this and they do contact individuals that are in their vehicles waiting for someone in the post office.” Parking officers make sure the people parked in the disabled spots have placards. They also check to make sure the pass actually belongs to the person sitting in the car. “There is not much we can do if either of the persons legally has the DP Placard,” he said. “There is not a law against sitting in your vehicle in a disabled person's stall if you have a disabled person's placard. If they are not the person that owns the placard the officer may wait for the person to come back to the vehicle. If the placard does not belong to that person then the placard is confiscated and the vehicle is cited.” Violators face a $293 parking citation. By the way, while there are two spaces reserved for disabled people in front of the post office, there are three more such spaces located about 100 feet to the south in front of the Vets Hall and Comerica Bank, Granlund said.