Disabled parking space in front of home should be removed, reader says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I live downtown Santa Cruz in a neighborhood that is difficult to find parking places. Next door to me is a low-income apartment with four units. They have a space in front designated for handicapped parking but the only person in the unit who has a valid handicap sticker no longer drives or owns a car. I was told by the city parking office that they are still entitled to a designated space in front of the building and that they can use their sticker to give to friends to park in. Does this make sense and do you have a written ordinance stating this is so? Jan Noto via email A: The city's parking office will occasionally remove disabled persons parking spaces if they are no longer required, said Marlin Granlund, parking program manager. "We would need to know the exact location to look into it," he said, noting that disabled stickers and/or placards may not be shared with friends and family. According to Municipal Code section 10.40.250, the city can install disabled parking spots on both on- and off-street locations, such as in front of business, places of public assembly and residences. Generally, in industrial and commercial zones, disabled parking slots are limited to one per block face while residential areas are limited to one per residence of a disabled person. After requests for disabled parking are received in writing, public works staff will survey the area for parking requirements, conditions and parking control devices before deciding whether to recommend implementation to the city's transportation commission or downtown association. If approved by either of those two bodies, the recommendation then goes to the city council for final approval. Billboards appeal to drivers' hearts Caltrans has launched a new billboard campaign aimed at getting drivers to slow for the cone zone. Posted statewide, the 77 billboards feature pictures of Caltrans workers' children with the words, "Be Alert, My Mom/Dad’s at Work." Drivers encroaching on highway work zones are the biggest hazard to road workers. Since 1924, 183 Caltrans employees have died on the job, including eight in District 5. "I am very excited for these new billboards because they convey a very clear message that we all have families and want to return home safely to them at the end of our work day," said Tim Gubbins, District 5 director. On the Central Coast, two billboards are on Highway 101. One is south of Salinas and the other is between Paso Robles and San Miguel.
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